Wyoming Finds CWD In New Elk Hunt Area

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) surveillance program has found the disease in a new elk hunt area. CWD is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose.

Staff at the Game and Fish Department’s wildlife disease laboratory in Laramie confirmed the presence of CWD in a bull elk harvested on Oct. 7 near Deep Creek, in elk hunt area 21, which lies about 15 miles northeast of Baggs. Elk hunt area 21 overlaps with deer hunt area 82 where Game and Fish documented CWD in 2002.

“We started surveillance of deer in this area in 1999, and after the discovery of CWD in the area in 2002, prevalence rates have remained low, about 1 percent. So, it was not unexpected to have a CWD positive elk come up in this area,” Green River Wildlife Supervisor Steve DeCecco said. “Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control we do not recommend people eat deer, elk or moose that test positive for CWD.”

Personnel in this region and statewide continue to collect samples of deer, elk and moose through hunter field checks and at CWD sampling stations. Game and Fish personnel collect and analyze more than 1,600 CWD samples annually throughout the state.

Hunters who wish to have their deer, elk or moose tested for CWD outside of the department’s CWD surveillance program can to do so by contacting the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab at (307) 766-9925. Hunters should be aware that it may take a few weeks after their animal is sampled to get their test results.