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Help monitor for chronic wasting disease in the Panhandle

| October 16, 2021 1:00 AM

By T.J. Ross

IDFG Regional Communications Manager

Hunters play an important role in helping monitor for chronic wasting disease in Idaho

With most hunting seasons already underway and many more to begin in the weeks and months ahead, Idaho Fish and Game is reminding hunters that we need your help monitoring for chronic wasting disease in Idaho.

How you can get involved:

Fish and Game staff will be collecting samples from deer, elk and moose at hunter check stations around the Panhandle this weekend as part of a statewide surveillance program for CWD.

Check stations will be operated today and Sunday from 10 a.m. to sunset. Check stations will be located near Enaville on the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River and east of St. Maries.

Fish and Game is also encouraging hunters to collect and submit their own CWD samples or whole deer heads.

Samples or heads can be placed into several freezers located across the region. Each freezer has instructions attached to it and information tags to be filled out for each head or sample. Please keep all samples cool or frozen until transferred to a freezer.

CWD sample kits can be requested directly from Fish and Game by emailing your mailing address to: wildlifelab@idfg.idaho.gov

 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 (pictured below)
  • Kingston: Kwikstop Gas Station, 123 Stemm Loop

Hunters can also bring samples or deer, elk and moose heads into the Panhandle Regional Office at 2885 W Kathleen Avenue, Coeur d’Alene from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

More on CWD:

Although chronic wasting disease has never been detected in Idaho, the threat of it making it to Idaho is not something to be taken lightly.

Animals with CWD have been documented in Montana, Utah and Wyoming, and infected animals have been found close to the Idaho border. Libby, Montana, which is a short 22 mile jaunt east of the Idaho border, has confirmed white-tailed deer, moose and mule deer with CWD in recent years.

CWD is a threat to Idaho’s big game animals and the hunting opportunities they provide for sportsmen.  Fish and Game needs to prevent CWD from entering the state and monitor for it within the state to ensure Idaho’s big game herds remain healthy and capable of providing hunting opportunities for sportsmen.

CWD is a contagious and fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose in North America. There is no live test or known cure for CWD.

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