NDGF collecting deer heads in areaThe North Dakota Game and Fish Department has designated several sites in the western part of the state for chronic wasting disease surveillance.
By: Ashley Martin, The Dickinson Press
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has designated several sites in the western part of the state for chronic wasting disease surveillance.
Hunters who take deer in the western or the far northeastern parts of the state are being asked to voluntarily drop off deer heads at collection sites, said Janel Kolar, administrative assistant with the NDGF southwest district office.
“They rotate the surveillance units throughout the state,” Kolar said.
It has been a few years since CWD surveillance units have been set up in the area, Kolar said.
“They try to get a certain number of heads in each of those surveillance units, and once they reach that, then they switch over and move it to another part of the state,” Kolar said.
She added CWD affects the brain of infected animals.
“We have never had a case of chronic wasting confirmed in North Dakota … We’re just kind of making sure that we don’t,” Kolar said. “We want to make sure if there ever is chronic wasting disease in the state, we know about it.”
The NDGF is reportedly giving away five muzzleloaders and 100 saws to people who donate their tagged deer heads for testing.
Today, two manned check stations will be open at Dairy Queen and Cenex in Belfield, Kolar said.
Paul Schadewald, chief of administrative services division for the NDGF in Bismarck, said about 4,000 deer licenses are still available in the state.
He said 144,000 licenses were made available this year.
“The total available is down about 5,000 and the number sold is down just a little bit,” Schadewald said. “If we sell out this year, we’ll be 5,000 less than last year.”
He said the number of licenses made available each year is determined by a combination of things, including deer population.
The deer population in the southwest region of the state is up by about 2,000 compared to last fall, Schadewald said.
“It’s quite high in most areas,” Schadewald said.
However, scattered regions throughout the state have experienced a drop in deer population, Schadewald said.
Area* deer head collection sites:
Belfield: Cenex (manned check station at Dairy Queen and Cenex today only)
Dickinson: Dean’s Meat Market and Dickinson Game and Fish District Office.
Dunn Center: Lake Ilo National Wildlife Refuge office.
Glen Ullin: Kuntz Butcher Shop.
Hettinger: Dakota Packing.
Marmarth: Past Time Club and Steakhouse.
Medora: Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch.
— Information courtesy North Dakota Game and Fish Department
*For locations statewide, visit the NDGF Web site at www.gf.nd.gov.