Chronic Wasting Disease Case Reported In Deer Gun Hunting Unit 4B
November 6, 2019 | View PDF
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has unfortunately become increasingly more prevalent in North Dakota. The first case of CWD in North Dakota was reported in 2009 when a mule deer buck located in southwestern North Dakota tested positive for the disease. The disease has been spreading throughout the state, and now a case of CWD has been reported in McKenzie County.
In September, a mule deer located in the deer gun hunting unit 4B tested positive for CWD. This is the first reported case in the badlands.
CWD is a serious disease that can cause long-term population declines if left unmanaged. This disease is a fatal contagious neurological disease that affects deer, moose, and elk. It causes deterioration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions, and death. CWD can spread from animal to animal through saliva, blood, urine, and feces.
According to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, there is no treatment/cure, and once established in an area, it remains indefinitely. For those reasons, CWD poses a significant threat to the future of hunting North Dakota deer, elk, and moose.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has implemented baiting and carcass transport restrictions to help decrease the spread of CWD. For the 2019 hunting season, it is illegal to attract big game with bait for the purpose of hunting, in deer units 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 3A1, 3A2, 3A3 north of U.S. Highway 2, and 3B1.
High-risk portions of the carcass such as the brain, soft tissue of the head, and spinal column cannot be transported outside of hunting units where CWD has been previously detected. The North Dakota deer gun hunting units that restrict carcass transportation are 3A1, 3B1, and 3F2.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department strongly advises hunters to have their animals tested if harvested from an area where CWD has been reported - even if the animal appeared healthy when harvested.
The only way to determine if the animal is infected with CWD is by getting it tested. Although unit 4B does not have carcass transportation restrictions in place for 2019, hunters should avoid transporting the brain, spinal column, and spleen outside of the hunting unit.
If you see a deer, moose, or elk that looks like it has the symptoms of CWD - note the location, gather information about the animal/situation, and immediately call the North Dakota Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300.