Regional Offices > Cody Region > Cody Region News > Bighorn Basin general license deer hunters, we need your help to monitor CWD

Bighorn Basin general license deer hunters, we need your help to monitor CWD

November 05, 2019
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Cody - Game and Fish is asking hunters who harvest mule deer bucks in hunt areas 105, 106, 109, 121, 122 and 123 to submit samples for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing. 
Wildlife Management Coordinator Corey Class said so far, Game and Fish has collected very few samples from targeted areas.  “Hunters are a very important component in helping Game and Fish achieve CWD monitoring goals,” Class said.  “With only a few days left in the general deer season, we are hoping hunters who harvest a buck deer in these areas take the time to submit a CWD sample.” 
Hunters can have animals sampled at any game check station this season or by stopping at the Cody Regional Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additional options for testing include Zero Box Quality Meats in Cody, a drop barrel for heads located in Powell at Northwest College on the south side of Science and Math Building at 6th and Division Streets, or by calling the Northwest College CWD hotline at 307-754-6018 to schedule a time during regular business hours for a sample to be collected from a harvested deer, elk or moose.  Hunters can also learn how to collect a CWD sample by watching a how-to video on the Game and Fish website.          
Game and Fish aims to collect samples from at least 200 adult mule deer bucks from both the Clarks Fork (hunt areas 105, 106, 109) and the Shoshone (hunt areas 121, 122 and 123) herd units. Hunters outside of this year’s focused surveillance areas can still submit a sample for testing.
Since 1997, the Wyoming 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. 
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. This will be a challenge for Game and Fish, as collecting samples for valid estimates of prevalence requires large sample sizes in focused areas across the state. The Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory has limited testing capacity to monitor CWD across the entire state, so focused sampling will rotate to different hunt areas each year.

- WGFD -

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