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Fish and Game operating CWD check stations this month

by T.J. ROSS / Contributing Writer
| November 15, 2022 1:00 AM

Idaho Fish and Game staff will be collecting samples from deer at hunter check stations across the Panhandle over two weekends in November as part of a statewide surveillance program for chronic wasting disease.

Chronic wasting disease was detected for the first time in Idaho in 2021 after more than 20 years of proactive surveillance and testing; the first detections were in Unit 14, which is located south of Grangeville. Chronic wasting disease is a contagious and fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose, and there is no cure.

Although CWD has not been detected in the Panhandle, Libby, Mont., which is a short 22-mile jaunt east of the Idaho Panhandle border, has confirmed white-tailed deer, moose and mule deer with CWD in recent years.

Check stations will be operated Nov. 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. to sunset. Check stations will be located at:

Priest River: along State Highway 57

St. Maries: south on State Highway 3

Bonners Ferry: Three Mile weigh station

Fish and Game also has freezers across the region where hunters can deposit their own lymph node samples or deer heads. Each freezer has instructions attached to it and information tags are to be filled out for each head and sample. All samples should be kept cool or frozen until transferred to a freezer.

Panhandle freezers are located at:

Bonners Ferry: Far North Outfitters, 6791 S. Main St.

Sagle: WaterLife Discovery Center, 1591 Lakeshore Drive

Plummer: Heyburn State Park, 57 Chatcolet Road

Kingston: Kwikstop Gas Station, 123 Stemm Loop

Hunters can also bring their own lymph node samples or deer heads into the regional office, 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., Coeur d’Alene, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Testing takes approximately four to six weeks after samples are submitted. For deer sampled at check stations or the Regional Office, hunters will be given a business card with a unique barcode number on it. The number can be entered into the IDFG sample results website, where status updates and final testing results will be posted. Hunters that submit samples at freezers locations throughout the region will only be contacted if a sample is positive.

For more information regarding CWD sampling in the Panhandle, please contact the Regional Office at 208-769-1414 or visit the IDFG CWD website.

T.J. Ross is a regional communications manager for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

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