CWD Surveillance Hunt Requirements and Information

For hunters who participate in the CWD Surveillance hunts, you must abide by the requirements set by Idaho Fish and Game. Review the requirements below before purchasing a tag, as well as sampling guidelines and meat safety information.

Hunt Requirements

  • Provide your deer head for CWD sampling at a Fish and Game check station or regional office within 24 hours of harvest.
  • Follow procedures for mandatory check-in and sampling. 
  • Provide GPS coordinates of the harvest location.
  • Bring out the entire deer head for mandatory check (sampling guidelines provided when purchasing tag).
  • Quarter or debone a harvested deer at the kill site and care for the edible meat, including hindquarters, front quarters, loins and tenderloins. 
  • Leave gut piles, spine, and all other portions of the carcass (except head) at the kill site. 


If you wish to keep antlers, the antlers will either need to be removed from the skull or the skull will need to be capped at a check station or regional office. Hunters may retain antlers or skull cap after sampling, but the remainder of the skull will be retained by IDFG after sampling.

If skull capped, IDFG staff will place the fresh skull plate in bleach to minimize the risk of CWD exposure if the animal is positive for the disease.

Sampling Information

Do not shoot the deer in the head or neck. Specific portions of the brain and jaw area are required for sampling (lymph nodes and brain stem)

  • Please do not cut the head off at the jawline of the animal. Cut below the jawline leaving at least 4- 6 inches of neck attached to the head, which should include several vertebrae.
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Meat Care Safety

When processing your harvested animal, the following is a list of meat care best practices:

  • Cut the meat with knives that you can sterilize afterward in a 50% bleach solution. Disposable blades can be disposed of with the carcass in a CWD dumpster. 
  • Wear gloves when cutting and handling the meat. 
  • Wrap meat and mark it appropriately so you can identify it at a later date.
  • Dispose of any trimming, hide or bones in double garbage bags put into your household trash. Do not put the trimmings, bones or hide in the field or a bone pile. CWD can be spread by scavengers scattering carcasses.
  • Please review the Center for Disease Control and Prevention health guidelines.

Additional Resources

– mobile brochure [PDF, 1.9 MB]