Due to the regular amending of regulations in Idaho, it is recommended that before hunting you check these CWD regulations, as well as those of any other states or provinces in which you will be hunting or traveling through while transporting cervid carcasses. The contact information for Idaho can be seen below:
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At its July 26 meeting in Idaho Falls, Fish and Game Commission approved several new rules to prevent chronic wasting disease from entering Idaho, or managing the disease if it ever is found in Idaho.
New rules include:
Exceptions to the carcass ban include:
End of article.
Article can be found here: https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/fg-commission-approves-new-rules-prevent-chronic-wasting-disease-entering-idaho
BOISE, Idaho — When the Idaho Department of Fish and Game announced the escape of more than 100 domesticated elk from a private game reserve near Yellowstone National Park, former state Sen. Laird Noh was alerted with a late-night phone call from a colleague.
The specially bred trophy elk — which GOP Gov. Jim Risch authorized to be killed on sight Thursday because of concerns they could spread disease and blemish the gene pool of wild herds — bolted through a fence on Rex Rammell’s Chief Joseph hunting reserve in eastern Idaho.
Noh wasn’t surprised. Rammell is a familiar name, a man Noh described in 2002 as a “bad actor” who shouldn’t have been “legislated off the books” when state lawmakers forgave some $750,000 in fines that the elk breeder owed to the state for numerous violations.
“This is often how we learn lessons,” the Kimberly Republican said Friday. “It was shaping up to be a very unfortunate situation. I didn’t think they had any business writing away actions of the judiciary and regulators.”
Four years ago, Rammell tangled with the state Department of Agriculture over hefty fines assessed against him for failing to apply blaze-orange ear tags that identify elk as domestic. Inspectors also said he improperly maintained protective fencing on an elk ranch 35 miles east of Rexburg and protested a law requiring testing for the incurable chronic wasting disease.
Rammell took his case all the way to the state Supreme Court, where he lost. Officials say he has since complied with disease testing, but never properly tagged the animals.
Still, Rammell successfully lobbied the Legislature to forgive the fines. A law capping how much state agencies can fine violators won passage and relieved Rammell of hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
Rammell has not returned numerous calls for comment about the elk escape.
A supporter of the bill, state Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, said Friday he does not regret his vote. The bill did not support Rammell or the controversial practice of breeding trophy elk for wealthy hunters; it reined in the agriculture department for levying excessive fines, he said.
“I’d say I’m probably opposed to (domestic elk breeders),” Lake said. “But I said it then, I’m not going to let a department use heavy-handed tactics just because they don’t like them, either.”
Noh, who chaired the Senate Resources and Environment Committee for 22 years before his 2004 retirement, said the bill to ease Rammell’s fines typifies the knee-jerk reactions against government that Noh said have become so common in the Republican-dominated Legislature.
“This is a micro-example of the trouble we get into if we go too far in turning the free-market system loose with no controls,” he said.
But some lawmakers predict a swing toward more regulation in the elk farming industry. Lake predicted opponents will revive efforts to limit, or even bar, the operations in the next year’s legislative session. Neighboring Wyoming bans elk farms.
“I’m sure we’ll see some bills, from outlawing them to everything else,” he said. “The Legislature is reactive — you know it and I know.”
State Rep. Mack Shirley, R-Rexburg, faced primary challenges from Rammell in 2002 and 2004. Even though Shirley said Rammell unfairly tarred him as liberal, he hoped state regulators would not burden the elk breeder with unfair fines.
He also cautioned against new laws that could hurt the growing elk farming industry in eastern Idaho. “Although, Mr. Rammell is an opponent of mine, I recognize this could be devastating to him as well,” Shirley said. “I hope we don’t overreact to the extent it hurts the overall industry. We have 140-plus ranchers who have been so careful and so diligent.”
Some of the domestic elk that escaped last month from an eastern Idaho shooter-bull operation have been shot and more have been rounded up.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Friday afternoon September 8, authorized a Department of Fish and Game proposal to send seven, three-member teams of Fish and Game and Department of Agriculture employees into the field starting Saturday morning, September 9. The teams include two shooters and one spotter, with help from aerial spotters in a helicopter and fixed-wing airplane.
The commissioners also authorized Fish and Game to open a depredation hunt, should it become necessary. No depredation hunt will be in effect, however, unless the department director and the Upper Snake regional supervisor determine it necessary.
As of Monday, September 11, Fish and Game officials reported eight of the escaped, specially bred domestic elk-five cows and three calves-had been killed.
In addition Rex Rammell, owner of the Chief Joseph Idaho domestic elk operation east of Rexburg, has rounded up about a dozen animals.
Sometime before August 14, an estimated 75 or more animals, perhaps as many as 160, escaped from the commercial domestic elk operation about eight to 10 miles from the southwest corner of Yellowstone National Park.
“They may be fairly well distributed by this time,” Department Director Steve Huffaker told commissioners Friday.
Thursday, September 7, Idaho Gov. James Risch issued an emergency executive order authorizing the immediate destruction of the escaped domestic animals. Friday’s commission action came in response to the governor’s order. Fish and Game is working with the Department of Agriculture, which regulates and oversees domestic cervidae operations such as Rammell’s.
The seven teams in the field are getting help from other teams, including veterinarians from both agencies, who sample the killed animals for disease and genetics. Others help salvage the meat.
The department is reluctant to shut down the already open archery-only hunt in the area, and that is one reason for the agency teams to hunt the domestic animals initially for the sake of public safety.
If it becomes necessary, Huffaker may exercise his authority to open a depredation hunt on or before October 1. Such a hunt would authorize hunters with valid Teton A and B elk tags, as well as controlled hunt permits for hunt number 2122, along with private property owners in the area, to participate.
Other hunters may sign up with the Idaho Falls Fish and Game regional office at 208-525-7290. Hunters on the list may be called if additional help is needed.
The difficulty state officials have had finding and killing a few of the domestic elk so far, indicates the difficulty hunters would face should a depredation hunt be opened.
Hunters who already have valid Teton A or B hunting tags or permits for controlled hunt 2122, who shoot a domestic elk, marked with a small metal USDA ear tag, during an open season, do not need to validate and attach their elk tag. They are not required to turn the elk over to Fish and Game, but they should report it to the department within three days.
The tags are about three-eights of an inch wide and 1 1/2 inches long. Huffaker asked hunters to avoid adding to the problem by heading for eastern Idaho with hopes of shooting an elk.
A national surveillance program that encourages states to exchange information on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) cases has proved its worth in an incident involving an Idaho deer hunter.
The Idaho resident hunted in Wyoming, killing a mule deer which he brought back to eastern Idaho. The hunter submitted tissue from the deer in a voluntary surveillance program operated by Wyoming Game and Fish.
When indicators of CWD was found in the deer, Wyoming authorities notified the hunter and Idaho Fish and Game.
Idaho big game manager Brad Compton said the department had made contact with the hunter and found out where he had disposed of the deer carcass. A Fish and Game biologist was assigned December 20 to retrieve the carcass for disposal. Compton noted that Fish and Game will continue to make every reasonable effort to “minimize the risk to our deer and elk populations.” While Idahoans have been bringing home deer and elk killed in Wyoming for years, the surveillance program enables Idaho to increase its vigilance in preventing the disease.
CWD affects the brains and nervous systems of deer and elk. It is believed to be caused by an errant protein called a prion.
Wyoming has known about CWD in certain deer herds for more than 30 years. Idaho has so far never detected the disease in any deer or elk but has increased its surveillance dramatically in recent years. Idaho Fish and Game employees sample deer in check stations for CWD and look for it in animals killed outside hunting seasons, such as roadkills. Scrutiny is most intense along the Idaho -Wyoming border.
Though CWD has drawn much attention from hunters and wildlife authorities in recent years, the World Health Organization has said that no connection to human disease has been made.