Hunters will be utilized in the take of up to 1,000 deer to help detect the spread of chronic wasting disease in the state
“We will only take additional animals up to the numbers we need for sampling,” IDFG Director Ed Schriever says. “We’re going to take the minimum number that is needed to be able to make good decisions.”
The hunt will only be open to Idaho residents and will likely involve discounted tags. Both sexes of deer will be targeted. The dates and specific rules that apply to the hunt have not yet been released. After the hunt, the IDFG hopes to be able to determine the extent of the disease’s spread, as well as the percentage of the deer population that is infected. “This information will be used to make informed management decisions going forward,” explains Schriever.
CWD is a progressive neurological disease that eventually leads to death among infected deer and elk. The disease was first detected in captive deer in Colorado in 1967 and has since spread to wild cervid populations in 27 U.S. states and four Canadian provinces. CWD had already been detected in Montana and Wyoming, which border Idaho. CWD is not known to infect humans, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend against eating meat from infected animals.