With most chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing completed, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department reports 26 deer tested positive during the 2021 hunting season.
Fourteen were from hunting unit 3F2, eight from unit 3A1, and one was found in unit 3B1. Single positive deer were also found in three units (3C, 3D1 and 3E2) where the disease had not been previously detected.
CWD is a fatal disease of deer, moose and elk that can cause long-term population declines as infection rates climb.
The estimated infection rates in unit 3F2 were 4.9% in mule deer and 3% in whitetail deer. In unit 3A1, the estimated infection rate in mule deer was 6.9%. Approximately 4.9% of hunters turned in heads for testing in units where the Department was focusing surveillance efforts. Game and Fish will use its 2021 surveillance data to guide its CWD management strategy moving forward. More information about CWD can be found at gf.nd.gov/cwd
Featured Photo: CWD was detected in three units where it had not been found in previous seasons, evidencing spread of the prion-based disease in North Dakota’s mule deer and whitetailed deer herds. Simonson Photo.