Chronic Wasting Disease sampling mandatory for mule deer harvested in Laramie Mountains

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Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

Laramie, Wyoming — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department wants hunters to be aware of mandatory chronic wasting disease (CWD) sample submission for mule deer harvested in the Laramie Mountains. Hunters who harvest a mule deer in Hunt Areas 59, 60, 64, or 65 are asked to submit a lymph node sample for CWD testing. White-tailed deer harvested do not require mandatory sample submissions, but they are strongly encouraged. 

Mandatory sampling aims to gain an adequate sample size to accurately determine the prevalence of CWD in these areas, which will provide vital information for future management decisions.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department wildlife managers will host two presentations in the Sheridan region in September to update the public on the most current information and research on chronic wasting disease and discuss results from recent monitoring efforts in the region.

The first presentation will be held on Sept. 21 in Sheridan at the Sheridan College Mars Agriculture Center at 7 p.m. as part of the fall Science Lecture Series. The second presentation will be held on Sept. 22 in Gillette at 6:30 p.m. at the Campbell County Library at 2101 S. 4-J Road.

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The presentations will be led by Hank Edwards, Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor, who will give an overview of the disease and statewide monitoring efforts. Sheridan region wildlife biologists will also discuss regional CWD monitoring results and answer questions. 

CWD is a fatal nervous system disease of cervids (the deer family) caused by an infectious protein or prion.  The disease was first detected in Wyoming in 1985 and has since spread to 34 out of 37 mule deer herd units and 15 of the 36 elk herd units in the state. To date, the prevalence of chronic wasting disease has exceeded 65% in mule deer and 14% in elk in some hunt areas. Not all herds are experiencing high CWD prevalence, but wildlife managers are concerned about how this disease may affect cervid populations in the future. 

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