Wyoming Game And Fish Encourages CWD Testing

Oct 2, 2019

CWD effects both mule deer and white-tailed deer, elk and moose.
Credit wgfd.wyo.gov

As hunting season begins, Wyoming Game and Fish (WGF) officials encourage hunters to have their animals tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a deadly brain disease that effects deer, elk and moose. It's almost impossible to spot, and spreads easily between animals. The Centers for Disease Control recommends against eating meat from an infected animal.

CWD is found across Wyoming, and certain hunting areas are under surveillance and monitoring for the disease. Hunters in these areas are notified when they receive their tag and are highly encouraged to get their harvested animals tested but all hunters are still recommended to have their animals tested.

"To test for Chronic Wasting Disease, you need to remove the lymph nodes. And if you need to know how to do that you can watch a video on the Game and Fish website. Or you can drop your animal off at a Game and Fish regional office and they can help you," said Rebekah Fitzgerald, communications director with WGF.

Fitzgerald said the tests help give biologists an idea of the prevalence of the disease and build a map of where it can be found in the state. There are some other simple ways hunters can help with disease control.

"So as it relates to hunters and what they can do, we ask them to leave the nervous system and spleen in the field at the site of the kill. Or, if they remove the whole animal, then we ask them to dispose of the carcass in an approved landfill," said Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald said this helps stop the spread of the disease across the state.

For more information on CWD and what you can do as a hunter, visit the Wyoming Game and Fish website.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Ivy Engel, at iengel@uwyo.edu.