Elk hunters can help with CWD research

JACKSON, Wyo. — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is asking for help collecting lymph node samples from elk for chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing in targeted areas near Jackson.

Hunters are a critical component in helping Game and Fish understand the disease and achieve CWD monitoring goals. The Jackson Regional Game and Fish Office is asking hunters who harvest elk in hunt areas 88, 89, 90, and 91 to submit samples for testing. These areas are targeted for more intensive sampling this year with the goal 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.

Sampling is easy: either bring animals to any game check station this season, stop by the Jackson Regional Office during office hours, or learn how to do it yourself in this how-to video.

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
  • Teeth
  • 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; the 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.

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