The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed a new hunt area where an elk has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).
CWD was confirmed in Elk Hunt Area 1 with a positive test from a targeted bull elk. Elk Hunt Area 1 is located in the Black Hills and borders Elk Hunt Area 117 where CWD was detected in 2008.
To ensure that hunters are informed, Game and Fish announces when CWD is found in a new hunt area. The Centers for Disease Control recommends hunters do not consume any animal that is obviously ill or tests positive for CWD.
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. A map of CWD endemic areas is available on the Game and Fish website. The disease is fatal to deer, elk and moose.
Throughout the fall, Game and Fish is asking hunters to collect lymph node samples from deer and elk for CWD testing in focused monitoring hunt areas across Wyoming. Hunters are an important component in helping Game and Fish understand the disease and achieve CWD monitoring goals.
Game and Fish is targeting deer hunt areas 7-15, 19, 21, 29-34, 61, 74-77, 88, 89, 96, 97, 105, 106, 109, 121-124, 132, 133, 157, 163, 165, 168, 169 and 171.
Elk focus hunt areas include 55, 56, 58-61, 66, 75, 77, 79, 84, 85, 88-91, 97, 98 and 102-105.
“Each CWD sample we receive from our targeted areas is valuable for wildlife and monitoring the disease,” said Hank Edwards, Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor. “We have not met our 2020 target sample goals for elk or deer, so please make an effort to submit a CWD sample of your harvest.”
For 2020 targeted areas, Game and Fish has collected 44% of mule deer and 28% of elk lymph node samples toward the targeted goal. The Department is also interested in samples from white-tailed deer and encourages hunters to submit samples from their harvested animal. Samples from any hunt area in Wyoming are accepted.
In 2019, Game and Fish personnel tested 5,067 CWD samples and continues to evaluate new recommendations for trying to manage the disease.