For 2022, samples are requested throughout Wyoming in major deer and elk hunting areas, and six deer hunting areas are required for samples.
Cheyenne – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department needs help from hunters again this fall to collect lymph node samples from deer and elk for chronic wasting disease screening. For 2022, samples are requested throughout Wyoming in major deer and elk hunting areas, and six deer hunting areas are required for samples.
The department has tracked the distribution and prevalence of chronic wasting disease since 1997 to better understand how it affects the health of Wyoming’s deer and elk populations. Samples submitted by hunters are essential for disease management in wildlife herds.
“Game and Fish is asking for samples from herds that we haven’t covered in a while, where we’re trying to get a meaningful sample size so we can accurately determine what the prevalence of CWD is in those herds. “said Hank Edwards, Game and Fish. Wildlife health lab supervisor.
For 2022, Game and Fish is asking hunters to submit samples from deer hunting areas 1-6, 59, 60, 64, 65, 66, 124, 130, 131, 134, 135, 138-146, 150- 156, 157, 165, 171. Deer hunting areas 59, 60, 64, 65, 157, and 171 are mandatory testing areas for chronic wasting disease. This means that hunters who hunt mule deer in these areas must submit a lymph node sample for analysis. Fields 157 and 171 are mandatory for mule deer AND white-tailed deer samples.
“Mandatory areas are suitable for places where it’s difficult to get enough samples,” Edwards said. “Last year’s compulsory areas went very well. The public complied very well and we were able to meet our monitoring objectives. We couldn’t have done this without the support of the public.
Target elk hunting areas for lymph node samples are 7, 19, 33, 34, 41, 45, 47-49, 67-71, 75, 77-85, 88-91, 93, 95, 96, 102-105, 120, 127.
Hunters outside of this year’s targeted surveillance areas can still submit a sample for analysis. Learn how to take a sample by watching a how-to video on the Game and Fish website and submit it along with the CWD datasheet. The service can take a sample at any open game control station, Game and Fish Headquarters or regional offices from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
As a thank you for their efforts, hunters who submit testable lymph node samples are entered into a raffle to win premium prizes.
CWD test results are available online within three weeks. The only way for hunters to get their deer or elk’s CWD test results will be to check online at the Game and Fish website. Hunters can expedite results within 10 business days for a $30 fee; contact the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab in Laramie at (307) 766-9925 for more information.
Continuous monitoring of chronic wasting disease over time is important to help Game and Fish understand the impacts of the disease on deer and elk. The samples also provide the department with information to inform future management actions, such as types of licenses offered, license quotas, seasons and future disease monitoring protocols. Chronic wasting disease has been detected in most deer hunting areas statewide.
Game and Fish has a rotating sampling program designed to monitor chronic wasting disease statewide by targeting specific hunting areas. The method provides the long-term data collection needed for chronic wasting disease without overwhelming the wildlife health lab with testing.
Hunters should also be aware of Wyoming carcass transport and disposal rules to prevent the spread of CWD in Wyoming and other states. Wyoming regulations require deer, elk, and moose hunters to carry only the following items into Wyoming:
- Deer, elk, and moose may be transported to a camp, private residence for processing, taxidermist, processor, or CWD sample collection site in Wyoming provided the head and all parts of the spine remain at the killing site or have such parts disposed of at a licensed landfill or licensed incinerator in Wyoming. A list of landfills that will accept processed game and whole carcass waste is available on the Game and Fish website.
- Meat cut and packaged
- Edible portions with no spine or head part attached
- Skin cleansed without the head attached
- Skull, skull plate, or antlers that have been cleaned of meat and brain tissue
- The teeth
- Finished Taxidermy Mounts
Whole carcasses of deer, elk, and moose cannot be transported out of Wyoming. The only parts approved to leave the state are edible portions with no spine or head parts; cleansed skin without the head; skull, skull plate or antlers that have been cleared of all meat and brain tissue; the teeth; or finished taxidermy mounts. All hunters should check with their home country for rules regarding importing deer, elk, or moose from Wyoming. Proof of sex, species and retention of horn or antler development is always required as per regulations.
More information and resources for hunters on chronic wasting disease are available at Game and fish web page.
(Sara DiRienzo, Public Information Officer – ([email protected]))