Title: Idaho Fish and Game Confirms First Case of Chronic Wasting Disease in Mule Deer Buck
Idaho Fish and Game officials have confirmed the first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a mule deer buck outside of Unit 14. The positive case was discovered in a mule deer buck that was harvested approximately 7 miles south of New Meadows in Game Management Unit 32A.
In response to this finding, Fish and Game is urging hunters in Units 32A, 22, 23, 24, and 32 to have their harvested animals tested for CWD. To make it easier for hunters, they can bring the heads of the harvested deer and elk to any regional Fish and Game office for sampling. Alternatively, they can follow the instructions provided on the Idaho Fish and Game website for removing lymph nodes to be tested.
Currently, more samples are being tested, and the results will be available in November and December. Jim Fredericks, the Director of Fish and Game, emphasizes the importance of testing to manage and limit the spread of CWD.
Fish and Game is also requesting reports of road-killed deer and elk in the Highway 95 corridor between Riggins and Weiser, as well as any sick deer or elk. This information will further assist in monitoring the spread of the disease.
Chronic wasting disease is a contagious and fatal neurological illness that affects deer, elk, and moose. There is currently no cure or live test available for wild animals. It has been found in multiple states and Canadian provinces, even in neighboring states east of Idaho.
Symptoms of CWD include excessive salivation, drooping head/ears, tremors, low body weight, and unusual behavior.
Considering the different migration patterns and winter ranges of mule deer in the area, the management of the disease in Unit 32A will differ from that in Unit 14.
The Fish and Game Commission will receive an update on the situation during their upcoming meeting on November 15-16 in Lewiston.
It is crucial for hunters and wildlife officials to work together in order to prevent the further spread of this disease. Identifying and testing potentially infected animals is the first step in managing and controlling the spread of CWD.
For more information on CWD testing and reporting, please visit the Idaho Fish and Game website.
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