CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed two new hunt areas where elk have tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the Cody and Laramie Regions.
CWD was confirmed in Elk Hunt Areas 45 and 114 with positive tests from two hunter-harvested adult cow elk. Elk Hunt Area 45 is in the southwestern Bighorn Mountains and overlays Deer Hunt Areas 41 and 46 which were identified as CWD positive in 2003 and 2009, respectively. Elk Hunt Area 114 is the northern Snowy Range and overlays Deer Hunt Area 74, which was CWD positive in 2003.
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.
In 2019, Game and Fish personnel tested 5,067 CWD samples and continues to evaluate new recommendations for trying to manage the disease.
Please visit the Game and Fish website for more information on chronic wasting disease testing, transmission and regulations on transportation and disposal of carcasses.