Big game hunters are asked to help Idaho Fish and Game increase its monitoring efforts for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a contagious and always-fatal disease that affects mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, caribou and moose.
CWD has not been detected in Idaho. However, Montana, Utah and Wyoming have confirmed cases of CWD in animals close to the Idaho border. Several states with CWD in their wild deer and elk herds have documented population declines and fewer mature bucks and bulls.
This fall, successful hunters can help get more Idaho big game animals tested for CWD by doing one of the following:
- Leave the head and upper neck of their harvested animal at one of four area collection stations located at: North Fork General Store, Leadore Stage Stop, Salmon Fish and Game office, or north of Challis at the check station on Highway 93
- Collect samples from their harvested animal and leave them at one of the above locations
- Stop at a Fish and Game’s big game check stations during hunting season
- Request a CWD sample kit by emailing your mailing address to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Because hunter participation is vital for monitoring and keeping it out of Idaho, Fish and Game wants to make collecting samples as convenient as possible.
“Successful hunters are always welcome to come by our office where we can collect the samples for them,” said Bret Stansberry, IDFG wildlife biologist based in Salmon. “The more samples we can collect and test – the better.”
Detailed instructions including diagrams for collecting samples for those willing to do so will be provided at the collection stations and at the Fish and Game office in Salmon. Sample drop-offs can be done any time until November 5.
Idaho Fish and Game sampled 1,113 mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose in 2020 and early 2021 to test for CHD, and found no positive cases. With no live test or known cure for CWD, it poses a serious risk to Idaho’s deer, elk, and moose populations, and ultimately, to hunting opportunities.
For more information about CWD status in Idaho, and what Fish and Game is doing to prevent it, see the CWD information webpage. If you have questions about local monitoring efforts, contact the Fish and Game office in Salmon at 208-756-2271.