Yep, you read that right, just as many of us have feared Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) continues to spread across the west and now Idaho has confirmed cases found in two mule deer bucks just north of Riggins, ID. The specimens were harvested in October of this year. Now Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) is preparing for a cull hunt in an attempt to isolate this invasive disease, (some of the details of which are below.) Montana has tried similar hunts with what appears to be little success. But in some cases this method works, at least on paper. IDFG is asking hunters to hep procure 775 CWD samples by issuing 1527 deer tags to resident hunters onlhy. Public land tags will go on sale December 7th at 10am MST and private land tags will go on sale December 8th at 10am MST both will be available first come first served basis. Yes, you guessed it, they are only valid as described…thus you will not be able to mix match. If you have a public land tag you will not be allowed to hunt private land and vise versa. Perhaps this is an attempt to help with pressure? IDFG suggests many of the deer will be on private land during this hunt period. But of course this requires landowner permission and makes for a tough scenario if you don’t have those connections already lined up. Successful hunters will be required to submit their harvest for CWD testing-no exceptions and abide by the rules and protocols set by IDFG. There will be 35 separate hunts each with set quotas and type of tags, i.e. bucks/does, whitetail/mule deer, etc. Here are a few key points to keep in mind if you want to participate in this hunt:
- Tags must be purchased at IDFG REGIONAL offices only
- Public land hunt begins December 7th
- Private land hunt begins December 8th
- Both hunts are tentatively scheduled to end December 19th but may end sooner or be extended pending success rates and testing.
- Tags are available to Idaho residents only
- Successful hunters are required to quarter and debone their animal AT the harvest site.
- The deer’s head must be presented at a check station or regional office within 24hrs of kill time.
- GPS location of kill site must be recorded shared for biologist research.
- More specific rules can be found on IDFG’s Press Release page
CWD is found in 27 states and much of Canada. Recently found in Montana in 2017 it appears to be spreading faster and is already hitting Idaho. A factor in this “wave” of CWD could likely be the fact that many deer have the disease, and it goes undiagnosed for quite some time. Meaning, discovery can be very difficult until late stages. All-in-all CWD appears to be very misunderstood…Share your thoughts with us, do you have any experience with this disease or animals tested positive with it?
Visit: idfg.idaho.gov/cwd/hunt for hunt specifics and details about each hunt.