Notice to Hunters

Wildlife Health and Disease

The vast majority of Manitoba's wildlife is very healthy. Natural selection, through predation, ensures that only the healthiest of wild animals survive. Sick, diseased, or injured wild animals are quickly killed and eaten by a wide variety of predators including wolves and coyotes. This natural process ensures the overall health of Manitoba's wildlife.

Diseases can significantly affect wildlife populations in situations where natural habitat and environmental conditions have been altered. An example is the loss of natural habitat for elk through land clearing and agricultural activities. The situation becomes worse when elk, searching for browse, encounter rich food sources such as hay bales left in fields over the winter. Elk may crowd together to feed on this forage thereby increasing the chance of disease transmission.

Monitoring Disease Occurrences in Wildlife

Manitoba Sustainable Development will continue to monitor the occurrence of diseases in wildlife so that steps can be taken to reduce their impact. Hunters are encouraged to report, to the nearest Manitoba Sustainable Development office.


By law, hunters are required to submit biological samples of elk and deer taken in certain Game Hunting Areas (GHAs) to Manitoba Sustainable Development. Samples are assessed for disease as part of the monitoring efforts. Hunters who fail to submit these samples will be prosecuted. Please note that if the necessary sample targets are not achieved through hunter submissions, the removal of elk and deer by Manitoba Sustainable Development after the hunting seasons may be required. 

Samples are required from elk and deer taken in GHAs 5, 6, 6A, 11, 12, 13, 13A, part of 18 and 18B west of PR 366, 18A, 18C, part of 22 (west of PTH 83), 23 and 23A.

Provisions have been made so hunters may retain their antlers attached to bone plate and cape and still fulfill legal requirements to submit samples.  The head, lungs and windpipe are not needed for a mount.  Before submitting the required biological sample, the animal should be caped, and the antlers and bone plate removed from the remainder of the head. The remaining head, lungs and windpipe may then be submitted to a Drop-off Depot.  Manitoba Sustainable Development allows hunters 48 hours from the time of the kill to submit samples to accommodate these actions.  

When removing antlers a shallow v-notch cut should be made through the skull (see photo below). This cut should be no deeper than the midpoint of the eye socket. Please ensure that any tissues, for example brain matter, that may be become detached using this method, are included with the remainder of the sample.  Hunters should note, tagging requirements stipulate that the head and antlers must be labeled with the applicable tag provided with the hunting licence. Therefore, hunters should take care to keep the antlers with the head until the sample is submitted, or contact Manitoba Sustainable Development for clarification.

Antler Removal

Antler Removal

Samples may be submitted to any of the following Drop-off Depots during regular business hours in the hunting seasons:

  • 3-Way Service - Robin, MB
  • Benito Premium Meats Inc. - Benito, MB
  • Catcheway Convenience - Dauphin, MB
  • Five & Fifty Sales & Service - McCreary, MB
  • H. L. & K. Enterprises Ltd - Grandview, MB
  • Kelsey Trail XTR - The Pas, MB
  • McKelvey's - San Clara, MB
  • Olha General Store - Olha, MB
  • Riding Mountain National Park, Wildlife Lab - Wasagaming, MB
  • Russell & District Veterinary Clinic - Russell, MB
  • The No. 5 Store - Riding Mountain, MB
  • Rough Country Sports - Swan River, MB

When a hunter submits a sample they will be issued an official receipt.  It is the hunter's responsibility to ensure that all relevant information is recorded accurately on the receipt.  A copy of the receipt (yellow) must be retained by the hunter (or partner) as proof that the sample has been submitted.

Manitoba Sustainable Development
Appreciates Hunter Co-operation

Hunters who submit elk and deer samples under the bovine tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease programs will receive a token of appreciation when samples are submitted. Hunters have contributed greatly to our understanding of diseases in wildlife and your continued support of these programs is appreciated.