NEWS

CWD samples vital for disease monitoring

 

11/21/2022 4:02:09 PM

Cheyenne - Hunters have submitted more than 4,759 lymph node samples from deer and elk for chronic wasting disease testing thus far this hunting season to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The samples are a valuable part of helping Game and Fish understand the disease and achieve CWD monitoring goals. As the hunting season continues, hunter-submitted samples remain important. 

Game and Fish is targeting Deer Hunt Areas 1-6, 59, 60, 64, 65, 66, 124, 130, 131, 134, 135, 138-146, 150-156, 157, 165 and 171. Deer Hunt Areas 59, 60, 64, 65, 157 and 171 require mandatory lymph nodes submissions for testing.

Elk focus hunt areas include: 7, 19, 33, 34, 41, 45, 47-49, 67-71, 75, 77-85, 88-91, 93, 95, 96, 102-105, 120 and 127.

“We’ve had good participation in our CWD sampling program this year,”  said Hank Edwards, Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor. “But we still need more samples to meet our goals, so please submit from your later-season elk and deer harvests.”

In 2021 Game and Fish personnel tested 6,884 CWD samples.

Hunters outside of this year’s focused surveillance areas can still submit a sample for testing. Hunters can learn how to take a sample by watching a how-to video and submit it alongside the CWD data sheet. Hunters also can have animals sampled at the Game and Fish Headquarters in Cheyenne or regional offices from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Hunters who submit samples are entered into a prize raffle

Results from CWD testing are available online within three weeks. 

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. 

Game and Fish has a rotational sampling program designed to monitor CWD throughout the state by  targeting specific hunt areas. The method provides the long-term data collection needed for CWD while not overwhelming the Wildlife Health Laboratory with testing. 

Hunters also need to be aware of Wyoming carcass transport and disposal rules to prevent the spread of CWD within Wyoming and other states.  

Since 1997 Game and Fish has been monitoring the distribution and prevalence of CWD to better understand how this disease may affect the health of Wyoming’s deer and elk populations. Initial surveillance goals focused on the detection of CWD in new areas of the state along with monitoring the disease. This disease has now been identified in most deer hunt areas across Wyoming and necessitates a shift in focus of the program from detection to monitoring. 

More information and resources for hunters on CWD is available on the Game and Fish CWD webpage.

(Breanna Ball, statewide information specialist - (breanna.ball1@wyo.gov))

- WGFD -

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