The Wyoming Game and Fish has confirmed that an elk has tested positive for CWD. The bull elk that was tested came from Elk Unit 1. Elk Unit 1 sits in the Black Hills and borders Elk Unit 117 and the South Dakota border. This is the first positive elk from Unit 1. However, Elk Unit 117 has had positive cases on and off since 2008. To help keep hunters and other state officials informed the WGFD announces whenever a species tests positive in a new Hunt Unit. There has been a concern for quite some time about CWD in the Black Hills. As a result, the WGFD has worked closely with the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Department. Every time there is a positive test in either state, near the border, they contact each other.
More Aggressive Testing
As apart of a more aggressive management strategy WGFD officials have stepped up CWD testing this year. However, this positive test came from one of the areas that they didn’t have listed as a priority. The Elk Units that were apart of the increased testing plan as follows. Elk Units 55, 56, 58-61, 66, 75, 77, 79, 84, 85, 88-91, 97, 98, and 102-105. Currently, the WGFD is only 28% of the elk lymph node sample test toward their targeted goal number.
The Department is also continuing its push to test mule deer. Likewise, the WGFD is reminding hunters that they are interested in whitetail deer samples as well. Please contact the WGFD if you have an animal you would like to be tested. In 2019, Game and Fish personnel tested 5,067 CWD samples and would like to test more than that this year.
“Each CWD sample we receive from our targeted areas is valuable for wildlife and monitoring the disease. We have not met our 2020 target sample goals for elk or deer, so please make an effort to submit a CWD sample of your harvest.” – Hank Edwards, Game and Fish Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor
Hunters can help by collecting lymph node samples from deer and elk. Likewise, hunters can also take their kills to testing sights throughout the state. Hunters are an important part of the WGFD’s testing plan. Without hunters willing to have their animals tested the WGFD will not be able to reach its testing goals. The Centers for Disease Control recommends hunters do not consume any animal that is obviously ill or tests positive for CWD.
What are your thoughts on another elk testing positive for CWD? Have you ever taken an animal that has tested positive for CWD? Let us know in the comments!