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Hunters Encouraged to Have Deer Tested for CWD


The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2020 hunting season by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease from units in the western third of the state. 

Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken will be tested from units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3 (that portion of the unit north of U.S. Highway 2), 3B1, 3C (that portion of the unit west of the Missouri River), 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B and 4C.

Game and Fish wildlife veterinarian Dr. Charlie Bahnson said given the COVID situation, Game and Fish is focusing resources and personnel to prioritize hunter-harvested surveillance in the northwestern and southwestern parts of the state where CWD is a little greater concern.

In units where CWD is documented, Bahnson said roughly 10% of license holders end up dropping off heads for sampling. Outside those units, in adjacent units, he said it’s more like 2-3%. That’s a number he would like to see increased quite a bit.

“In hunting units where CWD is documented, it’s important to get a good handle on where and how common it is,” Bahnson said. “But equally important, is documenting where CWD is not.

“In order to be confident in saying that we don’t have CWD in a unit, we have to test a lot of heads,” continued Bahnson. “Only testing 10 heads doesn’t give you much confidence. But if we can get a lot of hunters to participate, if we can test a few hundred heads from each unit, then we can start to confidently make assessments of whether CWD is likely there or not. So, hunter surveillance is a critical part of the big picture.”

Hunters are encouraged to drop off the head of an adult or yearling deer. Fawns and head-shot deer cannot be tested. Hunters wishing to keep the deer head can bring it to a Game and Fish district office during business hours to have it sampled.

The department will attempt to provide results within three weeks, however, delays may occur. Results for lottery licenses can be viewed by logging on to their Game and Fish account and clicking on “Additional Info” for the associated license. Results for first-come, first-served licenses will be sent via email. To add or update contact information, visit My Account at the department’s website,

Hunters should note a carcass or head of a deer taken from units 3A1, 3B1, 3F2, 4B and 4C may not be transported to a collection site outside of the unit. Exception: hunters can transport the whole deer carcass between adjoining CWD carcass restricted units.

More information on CWD, including transportation restrictions, is available at the Game and Fish website.

Hunters are encouraged to drop off deer heads at the following locations:

Alexander – Sather Lake Recreation Area

Amidon – Mo’s Bunker Bar

Beach – Gooseneck Implement

Belfield – Badlands Taxidermy, NDGF Disposal Site, Superpumper

Bismarck – 3Be Meats, NDGF Office, West Dakota Meats

Blaisdell – BJ Taxidermy

Bottineau – Mattern Family Meats

Bowbells – The Joint

Bowman – Frontier Travel Center

Carson – Hertz Hardware

Crosby – Cenex/New Century Ag

Dickinson – NDGF Office, Wildlife Creations

Elgin – Gunny’s Bait and Tackle, Melvin’s Taxidermy

Flasher – NDGF Disposal Site

Fort Yates – Prairie Knights Quik Mart

Fortuna – The Teacher’s Lounge

Garrison – Myers’ Meats and Supplies

Glen Ullin – Kuntz’s Butcher Shop

Grassy Butte – Sweet Crude Travel Center

Grenora – Farmer’s Union

Hettinger – Dakota Packing

Kenmare – Jessica Ware’s Taxidermy, Farmers Union

Killdeer – Grab N Go

Mandan – Butcher Block Meats

Minot – Blom’s Locker and Processing, Frenchy’s Taxidermy, State Fairgrounds, Wallen’s Taxidermy

Mohall – Engebretson Processing, Farmer’s Union

Mott – 4 Corners Car Wash

New Leipzig – Hertz Hardware, NDGF Disposal Site

New Salem – Arrowhead Inn

New Town – TAT Fish and Wildlife Division Office

Parshall – Myers’ Meats and Supplies

Powers Lake – Farmers Union

Ray – Horizon-Cenex, Thoreson’s Meat Processing

Richardton – Farmers Union

Riverdale – NDGF Office

Scranton – Wolf’s Meat Processing

Selfridge – Cenex

Sentinel Butte – Buffalo Gap Guest Ranch

Solen – Hettich Salvage

Stanley – Ace Hardware

Tioga – Recycling Center

Watford City – Farmers Union Cenex, Forest Service Office

Williston – Bickler Taxidermy, Dave’s Heads or Tails Taxidermy, Mounts By Mert, NDGF Office, Zerr’s Taxidermy