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North Dakota 3F2 deer hunters reminded of rules for CWD, EHD

From North Dakota Game and Fish Department

-- Hunters with a deer license in unit 3F2 are reminded of preventive measures intended to reduce the likelihood of spreading chronic wasting disease within North Dakota.

Hunters harvesting a big game animal cannot transport a carcass containing the head and spinal column outside of the unit unless itís taken directly to a meat processor. However, the head can be removed from the carcass and transported outside of the unit if it is to be submitted to a CWD surveillance drop-off location or a licensed taxidermist.

In addition to carcass transportation guidelines, hunting big game over bait is prohibited in unit 3F2.

Bait includes grain, seed, mineral, salt, fruit, vegetable nut, hay or any other natural or manufactured food placed by an individual.

Bait does not include agricultural practices, gardens, wildlife food plots, agricultural crops, livestock feeds, fruit or vegetables in their natural location such as apples on or under an apple tree, or unharvested food or vegetables in a garden.

Based on continuing reports of white-tailed deer mortality in western North Dakota caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease, on Oct. 21, the state Game and Fish Department suspended the sale of remaining first come, first served deer licenses in units 3F1, 3F2 and 4Fl Oct. 21.

In addition, hunters with white-tailed deer licenses in units 3B1, 3D1, 3E1, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F have the option of turning in those licenses for refunds.

The decision is based on evidence of moderate to significant white-tailed deer losses in some areas that might affect hunting success in those locations. The loss of deer to this disease appears to have extended through September and into October to reach a large area of western North Dakota.

More than 13,000 white-tailed deer license holders are eligible for license refunds. Individuals who return their license will have their preference points restored.

EHD, a naturally occurring virus that is spread by a biting midge, is almost always fatal to infected white-tailed deer, while mule deer do not usually die from the disease.

Hunters do not have to worry about handling or consuming meat from infected deer because the virus that causes EHD is not known to cause disease in humans. In addition, the first hard freeze typically kills the midge that carries and transfers the EHD virus which will slow or halt the spread of the disease.

The last time Game and Fish made license refunds an option for hunters because of an EHD outbreak was in 2000.

White-tailed deer license holders who want a refund must return their license, along with a note requesting a refund due to EHD, to the Game and Fish Departmentís Bismarck office no later than Nov. 3. Envelopes postmarked Nov. 3 will be accepted.

For a map of deer units affected by EHD, visit http://gf.nd.gov/images/maps/deer-refund-units-2011.jpg.

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