Wyoming asks hunters to help them gather samples for brucellosis testing.

The Wyoming Game and Fish have boosted efforts to collect elk blood samples as a part of their brucellosis surveillance program.

“Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that is widespread and common in elk and bison in the Greater Yellowstone area. Cow elk, bison, or cattle exposed to large numbers of bacteria in aborted materials may in turn abort and further transmit the disease. Brucellosis has been shown to slightly reduce pregnancy rates but not limit the population size of elk. Hunting seasons are designed to end before the risk of disease transmission is elevated after early February. We encourage hunters to wear latex gloves and avoid opening the reproductive tract or extremely swollen joints when dressing elk. These are areas where bacteria may exist.” – Game and Fish Cody Region Wildlife Disease Biologist Eric Maichak

Hunters that help have a chance to win prizes

Elk hunters from certain Wyoming Elk Areas who successfully harvest an elk and return their blood sample to the Game and Fish Department will automatically be entered into an incentive raffle.

The units will be listed below:

  • Starting with the southeastern units of 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, and 19, 21, 110, 114, 125, 130.
  • Then the central units of 25, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, 47, 48, 49, 64, 108
  • The list continues with the north-central units of 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 45.
  • Then the northwestern units of 54, 58, 61, 62, 63, 66.
  • Then lastly the southwestern units of 100, 106, 107.

The Prizes

Hunters have the chance to win the following:

  • The Grand Prize Package that includes a Weatherby Weathermark V rifle in 6.5 x 300 Weatherby, donated by the Wyoming Sportsman’s Group of Gillette, with a Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA rifle scope, donated by Vortex Optics, and Sig Sauer Oscar8 27-55×80 Spotting Scope, donated by Sig Sauer.
  • a Weatherby Weathermark V rifle in 6.5 x 300 Weatherby, donated by the Wyoming Sportsman’s Group of Gillette.
  • Browning X-Bolt rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor, donated by the Wyoming and Cody Chapters of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
  • Maven C1 binoculars (8×42 or 10×42), donated by Maven and the Wyoming chapter of The Wildlife Society.
  • Game and Fish sweatshirts and hats.

Hunters are entered into the raffle for EACH blood sample kit they return.

“Hunters who draw multiple elk licenses and receive multiple kits will be entered into the raffle for each kit returned. The raffle drawing will be held in March 2021.” – Wyoming Game and Fish press realese

Successfully harvesting the blood sample is important. The department explains how hunters should collect blood samples:

  • Carry your blood tube or the entire sampling kit with you in the field.
  • Collect blood from the neck, femoral artery (rear leg), or chest cavity immediately after harvest.
  • Do not allow the blood sample to spoil or freeze, keep it cool.
  • Fill in the data section on the instruction card with specific information.
  • Return the kit to any Game and Fish field personnel, regional office, or sample cooler.
  • Kits may also be returned via mail with a return mail sticker included in the kit.

Collection kits have been mailed out at random to limited quota area license holders. However, kits can be picked up at Game and Fish Field Offices or at a number of convenience stores in the area.

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