The number of deer samples needed for testing of chronic wasting disease has been met for the 2005 hunting season, according to Dorothy Fecske, wildlife disease biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Collection sites are no longer set up, Fecske said, as the goal of collecting heads from 1,500 hunter-harvested deer was achieved. “We’re really happy with the number of heads we collected this year,” Fecske added. “The support we received from hunters, meat processors, fur buyers and wildlife clubs was tremendous.”

The goal of the Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program is to obtain a statistically significant sample (458) of animals in each of the eight surveillance units within a two-year period.

Samples for CWD testing will be sent to the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab. Results should be available in early spring, and hunters will be notified only if a sample tests positive.