In a grim milestone Chronic Wasting Disease documented in two Idaho mule deer

<p><p>Two Idaho mule deer bucks have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. This is the first time ever that the deadly neurological disease has been documented in Idaho. </p></p><p><p>The bucks were killed in October in the Slate Creek drainage near Lucile, which is south of Grangeville on Highway 95. The samples were tested at the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab and are being verified by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, according to an agency news release.</p></p><p><p>Per IDFG’s CWD strategic plan, both hunters have been notified that their bucks tested positive.</p></p><p><p>Although CWD has been known to exist in the Western United States for over 40 years, this is the first time animals in Idaho have tested positive for the disease, which is fatal to deer, elk, moose and caribou. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission has been notified, as well as the Idaho Department of Agriculture, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.</p></p><p><p>Anyone hunting in Unit 14 is encouraged to have any harvested deer or elk tested. To sample for CWD, lymph node tissue from fresh or frozen harvested heads are extracted. Meat or muscle tissue cannot be used to test for CWD.</p></p><p><p>CWD was first documented in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1967. With the confirmation of CWD in Idaho it has now spread to at least 26 states and two Canadian providences. Earlier this year, it was documented in the the Teton Wilderness and Greys River watershed, a world-class hunting area in Wyoming south of Yellowstone National Park.</p></p><p><p>In 2019, it was confirmed in whitetail deer near Libby, Mont., just miles from the Idaho border. CWD can decimate wild ungulate populations. According to a University of Wyoming study CWD can kill up to 19% of a population annually.</p></p><p><p>Since the 2019 confirmation in Libby IDFG officials in the Panhandle region have sampled for CWD yearly. </p></p><p><p>On average, the Gem State spends about $100,000 per year on its CWD detection efforts. In 2018, Idaho banned the importation of deer, elk or moose carcasses from areas with CWD.</p></p><p><p>In 2021, the Washington Legislature allocated the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife $465,000 for CWD surveillance and monitoring. This fall WDFW ran CWD check stations during the modern deer hunting season for the first time in a decade. </p></p><p><p>Visit idfg.idaho.gov/cwd for more information.</p></p><p><p><em>This story will be updated.</em></p></p>