Brucellosis Surveillance Raffle Info

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease primarily of Rocky Mountain elk and bison. The disease is limited to northwestern Wyoming and adjoining portions of Montana and Idaho. Cows often abort their first fetus after becoming infected. Abortions may occur in subsequent pregnancies but diminish over time. The disease is transmitted to other wildlife and cattle through contact with these infected aborted fetuses. The disease does not affect bull reproduction; however infection may result in inflammation of the testes (orchitis). Brucellosis also infects domestic cattle.  A state/federal eradication program has almost eliminated the disease in cattle, but infected elk and bison pose a continuing threat.  Each year the Wyoming Game and Fish Department monitors the distribution of brucellosis within the state’s elk populations by requesting hunters to collect blood samples from their harvested animal.  Surveillance is generally concentrated in elk herds that surround, but do not use, state or federal feedgrounds.  Nearly a quarter of the state is surveyed each year, eventually providing coverage over the entire state.  Elk of the GYE (Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem) that do not utilize feedgrounds have an average prevalence of 20%, yet there is no evidence that brucellosis has noticeable impacts on populations. The primary management concern is the possible transmission of brucellosis from elk or bison to domestic cattle. 

Approximately 8,000 - 9,000 blood collection kits are assembled (by the Wyoming Department of Corrections, starting in 2020) and mailed to hunters successful in acquiring limited quota elk licenses within target surveillance areas.  Over the past 5 years, an average of 32% of those successful hunters who were selected to participate in our surveillance effort returned a blood sample from their harvested animal.  Of those returned samples, an average of 60% were deemed useable/testable.   Elk hunt areas for the 2023 targeted surveillance can be found on the interactive brucellosis map.  Not all hunters possessing a license for those areas will receive a kit. 

Entering the Brucellosis Surveillance Raffle

In an effort to recognize hunter’s contributions to brucellosis monitoring and encourage more participation in this program, the department is holding a raffle.  Hunters will be  entered into the raffle by returning a useable blood sample and a completed data card from the blood kit that they received via mail or handout.  The raffle is limited to those hunting in an area included in this year's targeted surveillanceHunters that successfully draw multiple tags, and receive multiple kits, will be entered for each kit returned.  The raffle drawing will be held in March 2024. Increasing our sample size can provide more statistically powerful estimates of brucellosis prevalence at finer scales (e.g., Hunt Area vs. Herd Unit) and further help WGFD and researchers understand spread, prevalence, and possibly management actions that control brucellosis.  

Thanks to our partners, whose donations are greatly appreciated, and who this raffle couldn't be possible without.  Thanks also to all the hunters whose participation is critical to the surveillance of brucellosis in free ranging elk in Wyoming.  Good luck with your hunt and the raffle!  All prizes must be shippind within the US only.

2023 Raffle Partners




Grand Prize Package

Benelli Lupo rifle (Caliber winner's choice, donated by Benelli)

Vortex Strike Eagle 3-18x44 FFP rifle scope (Donated by Vortex Optics)



 Additional Prizes

Sig Sauer Oscar8 27-55x80 Spotting Scope (Donated by Sig Sauer)


Maven C1 10x42 Binoculars (Donated by Maven)

Game and Fish Sweatshirts (Donated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

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