The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has diagnosed chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a cow elk that was found dead in southeast Washakie County. The elk was found about 30 miles southwest of Kaycee. The dead elk was part of the Bighorns elk movement study. This study is evaluating the migrations and behaviors of elk in the Bighorn Mountains.
CWD is less common in elk than it is in deer, and CWD has been documented in this part of the state in deer, for elk it has previously been detected to the northeast of Elk Hunt Area 48, where this recent cow elk was found, in Elk Hunt Area 34.
“We have many means of monitoring for CWD and following its movement across the state. The disease moves very slowly, especially in elk, but this research and data is necessary as it will guide our future management decisions,” said Scott Edberg, deputy division chief of the Wildlife Division. “We will continue our increased level of monitoring and ask for those who hunt to help by submitting harvested animals for testing. We also ask that those who see a sick animal to report it to Game and Fish.”
Last year, Game and Fish personnel collected and analyzed more than 3,350 CWD samples throughout the state, a significant increase from past years. This year Game and Fish will sample a similar number.
Please visit the Game and Fish website for more information on chronic wasting disease transmission and regulations on transportation and disposal of carcasses.