Hunters asked to help collect samples for CWD research
by Wyoming Game & Fish
October 5, 2019
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department needs help from hunters this fall to collect lymph node samples from elk for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing in targeted areas near Pinedale. Hunters are a very important component in helping Game and Fish understand the disease and achieve CWD monitoring goals.
The Pinedale Regional Game and Fish Office is asking hunters who harvest elk in hunt areas 97 and 98 to submit samples for testing. These areas are targeted for more intensive sampling this year with the aim of determining CWD prevalence and providing insight for future management decisions. Hunters outside of this year’s focused surveillance areas can still submit a sample for testing.
Hunters can have animals sampled at any game check station this season or by stopping by the Pinedale Regional Office. If you visit the Regional Office outside of normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday), or if personnel are unavailable, there will be a drop box for you to leave the elk head for sampling. When leaving a head in a drop box, hunters are asked to document their license number, date of harvest and hunt area where the animal was taken. Hunters can also learn how to take a sample by watching a how-to video on the Game and Fish website.
Results from CWD testing are available online within three weeks. Hunters can expedite results within 10 working days for a $30 fee; contact the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab in Laramie at (307) 766-9925 for more information.
Hunters also need to be aware of Wyoming carcass transport rules to prevent the spread of CWD within Wyoming and other states. Wyoming’s regulations require deer, elk and moose hunters transport only the following items within Wyoming:
• Deer, elk and moose can be transported to a camp, private residence for processing, a taxidermist, a processor or a CWD sample collection site in Wyoming provided the head and all portions of the spinal column remain at the site of kill or such parts are disposed in any approved landfill or approved incinerator in Wyoming. A listing of landfills that will accept waste from processed game animals and whole carcasses is available on the Game and Fish website.
• Cut and wrapped meat
• Edible portions with no portion of the spinal column or head attached
• Cleaned hide without the head attached
• Skull, skull plate or antlers that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue
• Finished taxidermy mounts
Whole deer, elk and moose carcasses cannot be transported out of Wyoming. The only parts approved to leave the state are edible portions with no part of the spinal column or head; cleaned hide without the head; skull, skull plate or antlers that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue; teeth; or finished taxidermy mounts. All hunters need to check with their home states for the rules about importing deer, elk or moose from Wyoming.
More information and resources for hunters on CWD is available on the Game and Fish CWD webpage.