The Panhandle Region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) is asking hunters to help with a surveillance program looking for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Fish and Game staff will be seeking voluntary sample submissions from hunters that harvest white-tailed and mule deer in the Panhandle region. Sampling requires the removal of lymph nodes near the base of the deer’s jaw.

The Department has freezers to collect heads from hunters who wish to have their deer sampled. There is currently a freezer located in Bonner’s Ferry at Far North Outfitters – 6791 S. Main St. and in Sagle at the Water Life Discovery Center – 1591 Lakeshore Dr. Each freezer has instructions attached to it and a supply of data collection tags. Each deer head will need to have a completed data tag attached. Please remove any antlers before placing heads in the freezer.

Biologists will also be operating check stations around the Panhandle region this fall collecting deer lymph node samples. We will announce check station locations and times as they become available. Additionally, hunters can bring deer into the Regional Office in Coeur d’Alene to have samples taken.

Please keep deer heads cool or frozen until transferred to IDFG staff or deposited in an IDFG freezer. Testing will take approximately 4-6 weeks after samples are collected. IDFG staff will only contact hunters if their deer sample tests positive for CWD.

Fish and Game has not detected CWD in Idaho since testing began in 1997.

For questions regarding CWD sampling in the Panhandle Region, please contact the IDFG Panhandle Region Office at (208) 769-1414. The address of the Regional Office is 2885 W. Kathleen Ave., Coeur d’Alene, ID. To learn more about CWD, visit https://idfg.idaho.gov/cwd/status.