NEWS

CWD found in new Wyoming elk hunt areas

Game and Fish continues to notify hunters of new areas where CWD is found

11/1/2021 5:17:51 PM

Cheyenne - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed the presence of chronic wasting disease in three new elk hunt areas in Wyoming. The disease was confirmed from lymph node samples from three hunter-harvested bull elk. 

In the Pinedale Region, CWD was confirmed in Elk Hunt Area 98. This hunt area overlays Deer Hunt Area 138 where CWD was confirmed in January.

Additionally, in the Sheridan Region, Game and Fish has identified two new CWD-positive elk areas. CWD was also confirmed in Elk Hunt Area 36 and 129.  Elk Hunt Area 36 is surrounded on three sides by Elk Hunt Areas 37, 46, and 35 which have been CWD-positive since 2019, 2020 and 2009, respectively. Elk Hunt Area 129 overlays nine CWD positive Deer Hunt Areas (8, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 29) and one CWD negative Deer Hunt Area (31).

To ensure hunters are informed, Game and Fish announces when CWD is found in a new hunt area. The Centers for Disease Control recommends hunters do not consume any animal that is obviously ill or tests positive for CWD.

Continued monitoring of CWD over time is important to help Game and Fish understand the potential impacts of the disease as well as evaluate future management actions for deer and elk. A map of CWD endemic areas is available on the Game and Fish website. The disease is 100% fatal to deer, elk and moose that have been infected. 
 
Throughout the fall, Game and Fish has been asking hunters to collect lymph node samples from harvested deer and elk for CWD testing in focused monitoring hunt areas across Wyoming. Hunters are an important component in helping Game and Fish understand the disease and achieve CWD monitoring goals. When hunters submit samples, they are entered into a prize raffle.

“Each CWD sample we receive is valuable for monitoring and understanding  the disease,” said Hank Edwards, Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor. “Please make an effort to submit a CWD sample of your harvest.”

Game and Fish has conducted surveillance for CWD in Wyoming for more than two decades. Based on the past, wildlife managers believe CWD will be documented in new deer and elk hunt areas within Wyoming. 

In 2020, Game and Fish personnel tested 6,496 CWD samples and continue to evaluate new recommendations for trying to manage the disease. So far, over 3,600 samples have been tested in 2021. 

Please visit the Game and Fish website for more information on chronic wasting disease testing, transmission and regulations on transportation and disposal of carcasses.

(Sara DiRienzo (sara.dirienzo@wyo.gov))

- WGFD -

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