G&F Needs CWD Samples From Certain Deer & Elk Hunt Areas

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. For the 2020 hunting season, the Jackson and Pinedale regions will focus CWD sampling efforts on elk harvested from Hunt Areas 75, 77, 79, 84, 85, 88-91, 97 and 98. Game and Fish is asking hunters that harvest elk in these specific hunt areas to submit samples to Game and Fish for testing.

An example of a lymph node sample needed

Since 1997, the Wyoming Game and Fish has been monitoring the distribution and prevalence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) to better understand how this disease affects 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 management actions for deer and elk. This will be a challenge for Game and Fish, as valid estimates of prevalence require 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 hunt areas each year. Hunters are very important in helping Game and Fish understand the disease and achieve CWD monitoring goals.

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