Two mule deer taken during the 2014 deer gun season from unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Dan Grove, wildlife veterinarian for the State Game and Fish Department.
The total now stands at seven deer to test positive for CWD since 2009, and all were from the same general area within unit 3F2.
“This isn’t surprising, and the number of positives coming out of the area remains low,” Grove said, while mentioning both hunters were notified of the positive results.
In addition to unit 3F2, samples for CWD testing were taken last fall from deer harvested by hunters in the central third of the state, and from any moose or elk taken during the hunting season. In all, more than 1,200 samples were tested.
Since the Game and Fish Department’s sampling efforts began in 2002, more than 25,000 deer, elk and moose have tested negative for CWD.
The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. In 2015, deer will be tested from the western third of the state.
The Game and Fish Department also has a targeted surveillance program that is an ongoing, year-round effort to test animals found dead or sick.
CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.