CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department confirmed a cow elk has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Elk Hunt Area 37 in the Bighorn Mountains near Sheridan.
The elk was harvested by a hunter in late December, according to a press release from the Wyoming Fish and Game Department. CWD has been previously documented in deer in overlaying Deer Hunt Area 24, but this is the first time an elk has tested positive.
To ensure that hunters are informed, Game and Fish announces when CWD is found in a new hunt area. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that hunters not consume any animal that is obviously ill or tests positive for CWD.
A map of CWD endemic areas is available on the Game and Fish website.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is concerned about CWD and how it may affect the future of Wyoming’s deer. The disease is fatal to deer, elk and moose. Recent research in Wyoming and Colorado shows that it may pose a threat to deer populations in areas with a high prevalence of the disease.
In 2018, Game and Fish personnel tested 5,280 CWD samples during this year’s hunting seasons, a significant increase from past years and continues to evaluate new recommendations for trying to manage the disease.
Wyoming Fish and Game Department