Hunter-submitted CWD samples identify three new positive deer hunt areas

JACKSON, Wyo. — Chronic wasting disease continues its march westward in the state’s mule deer herd population.

Recent chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing identified three new Wyoming deer hunt areas as positive for the disease. Deer Hunt Areas 142, 117, and 96 are now confirmed CWD positive through hunter-harvested deer with lymph node samples submitted to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department earlier this month.

Deer Hunt Area 142, just north of Big Piney, is the sixth positive area West of the Continental Divide. Deer Hunt Area 117 is southwest of Cody, and Deer Hunt area 96 is northwest of Bairoil. All three hunt areas are adjacent to existing CWD positive areas.

“Hunters play a key role in helping us obtain samples for our CWD surveillance and monitoring program,” said Scott Edberg, deputy chief of wildlife. “Obtaining samples is important to further our understanding of where CWD is on the landscape so we can make management decisions as it relates to the disease.”

CWD sample collection has been a priority throughout the state to help monitor the disease. Over the past five years, 61 samples have been collected for Deer Hunt Area 142. Obtaining samples from Deer Hunt Area 117 has been difficult and over the past five years only one sample has been submitted for testing. Sixty-nine samples have been collected over the past five years in Deer Hunt Area 96, one of the targeted surveillance areas for 2020.

“The Department will continue to collect samples in these three deer hunt areas, and others throughout the state, to gain a better understanding of CWD presence and distribution,” Edberg said.

In 2019, Game and Fish personnel tested 5,067 CWD samples and continues to evaluate new recommendations to manage the disease in accordance with its CWD Management Plan.

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