WEST FARGO – Working for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department as a game warden and now biologist has provided countless positive interactions with hunters, anglers, trappers and citizens who love everything about North Dakota’s outdoors and are willing to do what they can to help the future of our outdoor heritage.
The relationships with fish, wildlife and conservation clubs and members are legendary, from helping maintain and fund fishing access to submitting wings for upland game data. The cooperation is generational, appreciated and invaluable.
We need it to continue and so do future generations of hunters and anglers.
One of the latest examples is hunters assisting with deer herd management and surveillance of chronic wasting disease, a terminal disease of deer, elk and moose.
North Dakota hunters have been at the front when it comes to helping monitor the spread and reducing the potential expansion to other parts of North Dakota, including eliminating hunting over bait in units where it’s prohibited.
How to help
Managing the impact of CWD in North Dakota is a long-term endeavor that requires everyone’s help. By taking several actions, you can join the cause.
- Go hunting. North Dakota hunters are the eyes, ears and boots on the ground. They help to keep deer populations at healthy levels, and license dollars fund CWD control efforts.
- Plan ahead. Excellent hunting opportunities remain in areas where CWD has been found, but hunters will need to prepare ahead of time to comply with transportation restrictions.
- Lower the risk. We need to do everything we can to reduce the rate of CWD spread within our big game herds. Animal-to-animal contact is a major way contagious diseases spread. Practices that lead to deer unnaturally congregating or frequenting the same place put the entire herd at risk. Hunters can reduce this risk by avoiding the practices of baiting and feeding.
- Dispose of carcass waste responsibly, regardless of where it was harvested. Infected carcasses left on the landscape can serve as a source of infection. Unless an animal has been tested for CWD, there is no way to tell if it is infected. CWD remains in the soil and can be taken up by plants. Scavengers that feed on the carcass can spread CWD through their scat. The best practice is to leave carcass waste at the kill site or dispose of it via a landfill or waste management provider.
- Stay informed. Everyone has a stake in the future of big game hunting in North Dakota and there are a lot of voices in the CWD conversation. North Dakota Game and Fish uses the best available science to guide its understanding of CWD.
- Get your animal tested. Surveillance is an important part of addressing CWD. If hunting in the current year’s surveillance area, please get your animal tested.
- Report sick or dead deer. Contact your local game warden, biologist or the Game and Fish wildlife health lab.
Source : Grand Forks Herald