Idaho Fish and Game staff will be collecting samples from deer at hunter check stations across the Panhandle over two weekends in November as part of a statewide surveillance program for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
Chronic wasting disease is a contagious, fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. Samples are collected on a voluntary basis by removing lymph nodes from deer, located near the base of the jaw. CWD has not been detected in Idaho.
Check stations will be operated November 14, 15, 21 and 22 from 10 a.m. to sunset. Check stations will be located at:
- Priest River: along State Highway 57
- Samuels: along US Highway 95
- St. Maries: south on State Highway 3
Fish and Game also has freezers across the region where hunters can deposit their own lymph node sample or deer heads. Each freezer has instructions attached to it and information tags are to be filled out for each head and sample. All samples should be kept cool or frozen until transferred to a freezer. Panhandle freezers are located at:
- Bonners Ferry: Far North Outfitters, 6791 S Main Street
- Sagle: WaterLife Discovery Center, 1591 Lakeshore Drive
- Plummer: Heyburn State Park, 57 Chatcolet Road
- Kingston: Kwikstop Gas Station, 123 Stemm Loop
Hunters can also bring their own lymph node samples or deer heads into the Regional Office at 2885 W Kathleen Avenue, Coeur d’Alene from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information on sampling locations or to learn how to collect your own sample, use the links below.
Testing will take approximately four to six weeks after samples are submitted. For deer sampled at check stations or the Regional Office, hunters will be given a business card with a unique barcode number on it. This number can then be entered into the IDFG sample results website, where status updates and final testing results will be posted. Hunters that submit samples at freezers locations throughout the region will only be contacted if a sample is positive.
Fish and Game began testing for CWD in 1997 and has never detected the disease in Idaho. Neighboring states Montana, Utah and Wyoming have confirmed CWD-positive animals close to the Idaho border. In the summer of 2019, several white-tailed deer sampled in Libby, Montana tested positive for CWD.
For more information regarding CWD sampling in the Panhandle, please contact the Regional Office at (208) 769-1414 or visit the IDFG CWD website.