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Game and Fish expands CWD testing efforts to Red River Valley after suspected Minnesota case

With the expanded surveillance, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is encouraging hunters in deer gun Unit 2B to submit the head of their harvested deer for testing in Fargo, Grand Forks or Hillsboro.

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has added deer hunting Unit 2B in the Red River Valley to its list of hunter-harvest surveillance sites for chronic wasting disease initial test results came back positive from a deer on the Minnesota side of the Red River southwest of Climax. Contributed / North Dakota Game and Fish Department
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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is adding deer hunting Unit 2B in eastern North Dakota to its hunter-harvested surveillance efforts after the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday reported a suspected case of chronic wasting disease in a wild deer southwest of Climax, Minnesota.

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North Dakota deer gun hunting units. (North Dakota Game and Fish Department)
Contributed / North Dakota Game and Fish Department

North Dakota’s deer gun season opens at noon Central time Friday, Nov. 5.

With the expanded surveillance, the Game and Fish Department is encouraging hunters in deer gun Unit 2B to submit the head of their harvested deer for testing in Fargo, Grand Forks or Hillsboro. Game and Fish Department staff will also be stationed at the Hillsboro location from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through the deer gun season to sample deer heads hunters wish to keep.

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CWD is a fatal brain disease of deer that can cause long-term population effects as infection rates climb.
“It is a different disease than epizootic hemorrhagic disease that was detected in many parts of the state this fall,” Dr. Charlie Bahnson, wildlife veterinarian for Game and Fish in Bismarck, said in a statement. “Hunter-harvest surveillance provides information that is critical to track and manage CWD.”

Dr. Charlie Bahnson, wildlife veterinarian, North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Dr. Charlie Bahnson, wildlife veterinarian, North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Hunters can drop off the heads of adult or yearling deer at these collection sites:

  • Fargo: North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, 4035 19th Ave. N.

  • Grand Forks: Tractor Supply Co., 4460 32nd Ave. S.

  • Hillsboro: Cenex, 105 Sixth St. SW.

More information on CWD, including collection locations, is available on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at bdokken@gfherald.com, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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