WYOMING – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed two new hunting areas where elk have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the Cody and Laramie areas.
CWD has been confirmed in Elk Hunt Zones 45 and 114 with positive tests of two adult cow elk harvested by hunters. Elk Hunt Zone 45 is found in the southwestern Bighorn Mountains and overlies Deer Hunt Zones 41 and 46 which were identified as CWD positive in 2003 and 2009, respectively. Elk Hunt Area 114 is north of the Snowy Range and covers Deer Hunt Area 74, which was MDC positive in 2003.
To ensure hunters are informed, Game and Fish announces when the CWD is found in a new hunting area. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that hunters not consume any animals that are obviously sick or test positive for CWD.
Continuous surveillance of CWD over time is important to help game and fish understand the potential impacts of the disease as well as to assess future management actions for deer and elk. A card 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 asks hunters to collect lymph node samples deer and elk for CWD testing in targeted hunting areas across Wyoming. Hunters are an important part of helping game and fish understand the disease and meet CWD surveillance goals.
Game and Fish targets deer hunting 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 target hunting areas include 55, 56, 58-61, 66, 75, 77, 79, 84, 85, 88-91, 97, 98 and 102-105.
In 2019, Game and Fish staff tested 5,067 MDC samples and continue to assess new recommendations in an attempt to manage the disease.
Please visit the Game and Fish website for more information on chronic wasting disease testing, transmission, and carcass transport and disposal regulations.