With most general white-tailed deer seasons open, hunters are reminded that they play a significant role in monitoring for chronic wasting disease (CWD) and more samples are needed! Idaho Fish and Game is hoping to acquire as many samples as possible to help with monitoring efforts in the Clearwater region.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a slow-moving, fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose. Idaho Fish and Game has tested lymph nodes from deer since 1997 looking for CWD. Chronic Wasting Disease has not been detected in Idaho, but it is present in states bordering Idaho. Testing samples from deer is the first line of defense in monitoring Idaho’s wildlife for CWD and hunters play a vital role in this effort.

Harvested animals can be tested for CWD by collecting the retropharyngeal lymph nodes, which are where much of the infectious protein concentrates in infected animals. Hunters can collect their own samples and either drop samples off at a regional office or mail the sample into the wildlife health lab for testing. Clear sample baggies can be acquired by contacting the regional office.

Wildlife staff is also willing and available to collect samples from deer heads. In the Clearwater region, hunters can drop off their deer heads or lymph node samples at the regional IDFG office, 3316 16th St. in Lewiston for testing anytime during business hours 8 a.m.-5 p.m, Mon-Fri excluding holidays. Contact the Clearwater regional office for more information at (208) 799-5010.

There is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans. Hunters wanting to sample their own animals, should consider simple precautions when extracting lymph nodes from deer, elk or moose.

To learn how to extract the lymph nodes, visit the full story here: https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/hunters-urged-help-monitor-chronic-wasting-disease-cwd-clearwater-region.

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