Game and Fish to focus CWD sampling efforts in specific hunt areas in the Big Horn Basin

Posted 9/2/21

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department needs help from hunters this fall to collect samples from mule deer and elk for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing in target hunt areas. 

In the Big …

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Game and Fish to focus CWD sampling efforts in specific hunt areas in the Big Horn Basin

Posted

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department needs help from hunters this fall to collect samples from mule deer and elk for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing in target hunt areas. 

In the Big Horn Basin, the Game and Fish aims to collect samples from at least 200 adult mule deer bucks harvested from Hunt Areas 41, 46, 47, 50-53, 124 and 165, and adult elk harvested in Hunt Areas 41 and 45.

Samples from targeted areas help Game and Fish track the disease as part of a long-term, state-wide monitoring plan. CWD is widely distributed across Wyoming and is fatal to deer, elk and moose.

“Our goals with collecting samples and monitoring CWD are to protect the health of wildlife,” said Corey Class, Cody area wildlife management coordinator. “Hunters and volunteers are very important to helping us understand the disease and achieve our goals.”

While the Game and Fish is asking hunters who harvest mule deer bucks or adult elk in those specific hunt areas to submit samples for testing, samples from mule deer does, white-tailed deer, elk and moose throughout the Big Horn Basin will be tested if requested by hunters.

To help better understand prevalence (the proportion of animals positive versus all animals tested), impacts to deer herds and possible management options, Game and Fish is monitoring prevalence of CWD over many years.

Strategically focusing on specific herd units within a given year will help Game and Fish obtain more samples, which allows changes in CWD prevalence to be detected over time. As CWD monitoring goals are obtained within targeted herd units, new herd units are added for targeted surveillance using a scheduled rotation.

Hunters can have animals sampled at any game check station this season, or stop by the Cody regional office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Additional options for testing include select processors and taxidermists throughout the Basin. Drop barrels for heads are located at the Cody regional office and at Northwest College in Powell, on the south side of the Science and Math Building on Sixth and Division streets. Hunters can also call the Northwest College CWD hotline at 307-754-6018 to schedule a time during regular business hours for a sample to be collected from a harvested deer, elk or moose.

Hunters can learn how to take a sample with a how-to video on the Game and Fish website or attend in-person training on Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. at the NWC Science and Math Building.

    

Hunters who submit CWD samples can win outdoor gear

New this year, hunters who submit a usable sample will be entered into a raffle for an opportunity to win outdoor gear. Hunters can win prizes for samples submitted from targeted (Tier 1) and non-targeted (Tier 2) areas. Targeted samples include adult male mule deer or any adult elk from targeted CWD monitoring hunt areas. Non-targeted samples include all other CWD samples regardless of what hunt area they came from. Winners will be drawn in March 2022. 

Tier 1 prizes include:

• Special edition Nosler model 48 in .28 Nosler with a Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44 rifle scope, both
donated by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

• Weatherby Vangard High Country in 6.5 Creedmoor, with a Maven RS.1 2.5-15x44 FFP  rifle scope, donated by Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation, Weatherby and Maven

• Maven S.1S 25-50x80 spotting scope, donated by Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation and Maven

• First Lite Catalyst softshell jacket, Obsidian merino wool pants, and Kiln 250 Aerowool hoodie,
donated by First Lite

Tier 2 prizes include:

• Weatherby Vanguard Weatherguard rifle in .270 Winchester, donated by Wyoming Wild Sheep
Foundation and Weatherby

• Maven B.1 (8x42 or 10x42) binoculars, donated by Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation and Maven

• KUIU Valo Camo, Pro 3600 full kit backpack, donated by Muley Fanatics

   

CWD testing in target hunt areas

In the Big Horn Basin, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department aims to collect samples from at least 200 adult mule deer bucks or adult elk this fall in the following areas:

Mule deer, adult bucks: North Bighorns, Hunt Areas 50-53

Mule deer, adult bucks: Paintrock, Hunt Areas 41, 46 and 47

Mule deer, adult bucks: Greybull River, Hunt Areas 124 and 165

Elk, adult cow or bull: Medicine Lodge Elk, Hunt Areas 41 and 45

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