Regional Offices > Cody Region > Cody Region News > Game and Fish to focus CWD sampling efforts on mule deer and elk harvested in specific hunt areas in

Game and Fish to focus CWD sampling efforts on mule deer and elk harvested in specific hunt areas in the Big Horn Basin

September 19, 2023
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Cody - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department needs help from hunters this fall to collect samples from mule deer and elk for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing in target hunt areas. 
Game and Fish aims to collect samples from at least 200 adult elk in the Cody Elk herd, consisting of elk hunt areas 55, 56, 58-61 and 66. 
In addition, Game and Fish is requiring mandatory CWD sample submission on deer harvested from a Type 1 license in Deer Hunt Areas 41 and 47 this fall. These hunt areas are located northeast of Worland and are home to the Paintrock deer herd.
Game and Fish is asking hunters that harvest mule deer bucks or adult elk in these specific hunt areas to submit samples to Game and Fish for testing. Samples from does, white-tailed deer, elk and moose throughout the Big Horn Basin will be tested if requested by hunters.
“Our goals with collecting samples and monitoring CWD are to protect the health of wildlife. Hunters are very important in helping understand the disease and achieve monitoring,” said Cody area Wildlife Management Coordinator, Corey Class.
Samples collected from mule deer and elk harvested from targeted areas help Game and Fish track CWD as part of a long-term, state-wide monitoring plan. CWD is widely distributed across Wyoming and is fatal to deer, elk and moose.
Hunters can have animals sampled at any game check station this season or by stopping by the Cody Regional Office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Additional options for testing include select processors and taxidermists throughout the Basin, drop barrels for heads located at the Cody Regional Office, Medicine Lodge State Park and in Powell at Northwest College on the south side of the Science and Math Building at 6th and Division Streets. Hunters can also call 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 take a sample with a how-to video on the Game and Fish website.

Hunters who submit samples from focus and mandatory hunt areas can win prizes when they submit an usable lymph node sample — that means the correct tissue and in good condition to be tested. Hunters who submit a usable sample will be entered into a raffle for an opportunity to win quality outdoor gear. Winners will be drawn in March 2024 – Good luck!

Hunters should refer to page 5 of the 2023 Antelope, Deer and Elk Hunting Regulations for specific CWD provisions regarding transportation of harvested animals. 
Although this disease has not been shown to be transmissible to humans, hunters are encouraged to wear rubber or latex gloves when dressing carcasses and avoid handling the brain and spinal tissues. When butchering, meat should be boned out. Hunters should not consume animals that appear to be sick, or brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen or lymph nodes. Washing hands and instruments is good practice. Knives and other equipment can be disinfected by soaking in 40:60 bleach water for five minutes.  
Hunters interested in CWD test results of their harvested animal will need to log in through their Game and Fish user account at

- WGFD -

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