CWD sampling for mule deer in the Black Hills

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department needs help from mule deer hunters this fall collecting lymph node samples for chronic wasting disease testing (CWD). Samples are requested from any mule deer harvested in the Black Hills (Hunt Areas 1-6). 

CWD is a fatal disease of the central nervous system in mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose. Game and Fish has tracked the distribution and prevalence of CWD since 1997 to better understand how it affects deer and elk populations. Hunters submitting samples from their harvested deer are crucial to help understand the impacts of this disease in wildlife herds.

Animals with CWD may show weight loss, reluctance to move, excessive salivation, droopy ears, increased drinking and urinating, lethargy, and eventually death. However, not all animals show symptoms; most CWD-positive animals harvested by hunters appear normal and healthy.

This November, Game and Fish is asking hunters to voluntarily submit samples from mule deer harvested in the Black Hills (Deer Hunt Areas 1-6).

“This year sampling efforts are being concentrated on mule deer in the Black Hills, so we can determine the prevalence of CWD. We need and appreciate all the assistance hunters in these areas provide in helping us gain this knowledge,” said Newcastle Wildlife Biologist Joe Sandrini. He continued, “We hope to make submitting a sample for CWD testing easy for hunters, whether they bring us the harvested animal or collect the sample themselves.”

Game and Fish personnel may contact hunters in the field, at game check stations or at meat processing facilities to request CWD samples from harvested animals from these targeted areas. Sampling takes just a few minutes and requires removing a set of lymph nodes from the neck of the animal.

If you harvest a mule deer in Deer Hunt Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, but do not encounter Game and Fish personnel in the field, you can have your deer sampled at the following locations:

CWD Sampling Stations

Devils Tower

Weekends: Nov. 5 and 6; Nov. 12 and 13; Nov. 19 and 20

9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

·        Devil’s Tower Overlook, Highway 24

 AIS Check Station Northeast Wyoming Visitor Center, I-90 - Beulah

Daily: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

·       5266 Old highway 14 Beulah, WY (Exit I-90 at Hwy 111)

AIS Check Station Coulter Bay – Keyhole State Park

Please note:  entering the State Park for CWD sampling does not require day-use fees

Daily: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

·       Take the Pine Haven Rd. off Hwy 113                                                             

If it is more convenient take your own sample, sampling kits and instructions can be picked up and dropped off at the following locations:

·       A-1 Agency, 26 South Seneca, Newcastle, WY

·       Game Warden Station, 121 West Alden St. Sundance, WY


Hunters can also learn to take samples by watching an informative how-to video and can drop off their sample at any of the above locations or sampling stations. For more information, contact the Casper Regional office at (307) 473-3400 or visit the Game and Fish webpage.   



·        Casper Regional Office: 3030 Energy Ln., 8-5 M-F (307) 473-3400

·        Sheridan Regional Office: 700 Valley View., 8-5 M-F (307) 672-7418

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