The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed a hunter-harvested cow elk has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Elk Hunt Area 113. Elk Hunt Area 113 is located in the Sheridan Region and borders CWD-positive Elk Hunt Areas 123 to the north and 129 to the west, where CWD was detected in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
To ensure hunters are informed, Game and Fish announces when CWD is found in a new hunt area.
“Elk Hunt Area 113 is the fifth new elk area confirmed as CWD-positive this year,” said Hank Edwards, Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor.
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 100% fatal to deer, elk and moose that have been infected.
Throughout the fall, Game and Fish has been asking hunters to collect lymph node samples from harvested 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. When hunters submit samples, they are entered into a prize raffle.
“Each CWD sample we receive, especially from our focus surveillance areas, is valuable for monitoring and understanding the disease,” Edwards said. “Please make an effort to submit a CWD sample of your harvest.”
Game and Fish has conducted surveillance for CWD in Wyoming for more than two decades. Based on the past, wildlife managers know CWD will be documented in additional deer and elk hunt areas within Wyoming.
In 2020, Game and Fish personnel tested 6,496 CWD samples and continue to evaluate new recommendations for trying to manage the disease. So far, over 5,600 samples have been tested in 2021.
Please visit the Game and Fish website for more information on chronic wasting disease testing, transmission and regulations on transportation and disposal of carcasses.
(Rebekah Fitzgerald, Communications director – firstname.lastname@example.org)
– WGFD –