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Bighorn Basin has the chance to comment on CWD management near Worland and Greybull

Buck deer walks in a grass field
USDA photo by Scott Bauer

The Bighorn Basin will have a chance to give their two cents on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management for two deer herds in the area next week. CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says they are diligently working on trying to reduce the prevalence of the disease in deer herds throughout the state.

Part of that plan is targeting local herds with different strategies to see what works. The Bighorn Basin plans to manage two deer herds near Greybull and Worland.

Eric Maichak, the wildlife disease biologist for Wyoming Game and Fish Cody region, said the public will have the opportunity to comment on management concerns.

"There's a pretty large support for later hunting seasons, targeting Buck deer and targeting hotspots. So, particularly areas where we are finding concentrations of CWD," he said.

Proposed management plans come from a couple of studies that have come out recently. Maichak said they have been looking at one specifically from Colorado that was an interstate study, which included data from Wyoming.

"And Colorado, what they had done. And they'd spent many years doing this, in some instances, upwards of two decades, increasing the number of licenses and extending their seasons later, to focus more on male deer during the rut," said Maichak. "And so they had seen with these increases in tags, and targeting male deer later into the season and doing this for many, many years, they were actually able to suppress prevalence, in some cases, taking it from 20 percent, down towards five percent."

During the public meetings, wildlife managers will provide information on current CWD prevalence and the management strategies. The hope is to pick a strategy for the two herds that will go into effect this coming hunting season. Both meetings will be held at 6 p.m. in Greybull and Worland on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. She has won a regional Murrow award for her reporting on mental health and firearm owners. During her time leading the Wyoming Public Media newsroom, reporters have won multiple PMJA, Murrow and Top of the Rockies Excellence in Journalism Awards. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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