CWD regulations in Wyoming

Due to the regular amending of regulations in Wyoming, it is recommended that before hunting you check these CWD regulations, as well as those of any other states or provinces in which you will be hunting or traveling through while transporting cervid carcasses. The contact information for Wyoming can be seen below:

Click a section to expand:


Testing Laboratories in Wyoming

Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory
1174 Snowy Range Road Laramie, Wyoming 82070
307-742-6638 or 800-442-8331

Locations Where CWD Was Found

Counties (Accurate as of 2/2016)

1. Albany 2. Big Horn 3. Carbon 4. Converse 5. Crook 6. Goshen 7. Hot Springs 8. Johnson 9. Laramie 10. Lincoln 11. Natrona 12. Niobrara 13. Platte 14. Sheridan 15. Washakie 16. Weston

Hunt Areas

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 22, 30, 33, 34, 35, 37, 41, 55, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 70, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 88, 89, 92, 98, 100, 112, 120, 125, 127, 158, 160, 167, 171. Accurate as of 3/2016

Most Recent CWD News

  • All
  • 2
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

News by Year

2018 (1)2016 (1)2013 (1)2012 (1)2011 (1)2010 (1)2009 (2)2008 (5)2007 (3)2006 (5)2005 (7)2004 (6)2003 (9)2002 (3)

Category Archives: Wyoming

CO /WY – Long-Term Research Shows Domestic Cattle Resist Oral Exposure to Chronic Wasting Disease

May 23, 2018

Cattle fed extremely high oral doses of chronic wasting disease (CWD)-infected brain material or kept in heavily prion-contaminated facilities for 10 years showed no neurological signs of the disease.

The University of Wyoming’s Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory (WSVL), the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) collaborated in the $1.5 million study. Results will be published in the July issue of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases. Details of the study are available at

As part of the experiment, 41 calves were randomly distributed to WGFD pens in Sybille Canyon in Wyoming, Colorado Division of Wildlife pens in Fort Collins, the WSVL and 18 to the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa.

“It was an elegant experiment in many ways,” says Hank Edwards, WGFD wildlife disease specialist. “You were taking cattle and housing them with heavily infected CWD elk and facilities. If CWD was going to jump the species barrier, it was likely you would see something in these cattle that had laid out in the pens for 10 years. That’s a big deal.”

The late Beth Williams, a veterinary sciences professor at UW, initiated the study. Authors of the article continued the research after she and husband, Tom Thorne, were killed in a motor vehicle crash in December 2004. Thorne had served as acting director of the WGFD and also had conducted CWD research.

Authors of the article are Donal O’Toole, a professor in the UW Department of Veterinary Sciences, which operates the WSVL; Michael Miller, a veterinary epidemiologist with the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife; Terry Kreeger, a wildlife veterinarian with the WGFD; and Jean Jewell, a molecular biologist with the WSVL. Williams is listed as lead author.

CWD is a contagious neurological disease affecting cervids: mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. An abnormal form of cellular protein, called a prion, in the central nervous system infects an animal by converting normal cellular protein into the abnormal form. Brains show a spongy degeneration, with animals displaying abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and emaciation. The disease is fatal. It is among a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). TSE in cattle also is known as mad cow disease.

The long timespan of the research is important, as CWD is a slow disease, says Mary Wood, state WGFD veterinarian.

Even in deer or elk, animals can take years to succumb to the disease, she says. If the disease were to move into a different species, such as cattle, the timeline could be even longer for infection to occur.

“Many people are used to diseases moving quickly, but CWD doesn’t do that,” Wood says. “Nothing happens quickly, which is what makes this disease so insidious. It creeps up on you. It’s subtle. By the time you realize there is a problem, the disease is so widespread and established, it’s difficult to try to address.”

Some cattle can get a form of TSE when CWD material is injected directly into their brains, particularly when it is of white-tailed or mule deer origin, O’Toole says.

He says a more important question is one Williams and collaborators asked, as it involved a more natural challenge.

“What happens in cattle when you use a more real-life scenario involving oral exposure?” O’Toole says. “Plus, we used high oral doses and heavily contaminated environments. Cattle coming out of endemic CWD areas and slaughtered for human consumption are likely to pose no risk to people, based on the 10-year study and several earlier surveillance studies.”

That should be good news to livestock producers, Wood says.

“Managing disease in animals can be incredibly challenging,” she says. “It is even more challenging when the disease infects wildlife and is shared between wildlife and livestock.”

Wyoming cattle share the range with CWD-infected cervids, with CWD seen across almost the entire state, Edwards says.

“This research indicated CWD doesn’t easily transmit to cattle. Cattle do not get the disease due to a big species barrier, which helps restrict the disease to cervids,” he says.

Some Wyoming deer populations have 20-30 percent infection rates.

“We have few tools in the toolbox to manage the disease,” Edwards says. “We are trying different management efforts to hold the prevalence level, if not reduce the spread. That’s the big thing coming up next for CWD. How do we control it in our wildlife populations?”

End of article.
Article can be found here:

Game and Fish opens up additional round of public comments on draft of updated CWD plan

After considering public comments and feedback and updating its draft chronic wasting disease plan the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is again seeking public comments. 

Cheyenne – After considering public comments and feedback and updating its draft chronic wasting disease plan the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is again seeking public comments.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk and moose, which was first detected in wild populations in Wyoming in 1987. Game and Fish is accepting public comments until April 1, 2016. The draft proposal will be presented to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission at their April 21-22 meeting in Casper.

“In an effort to better manage ungulates we want to continue to improve our understanding of  this disease,” said Scott Edberg, Deputy Chief of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Division. “The public and partner agencies gave us some good suggestions to make sure we have a strong plan and we appreciate that feedback. We hope people will be involved as we finalize the CWD plan.”

The CWD plan focuses on disease management, research, public information and funding. The draft calls for the continuation of robust surveillance and public involvement, as well as continuing to invest in research here in Wyoming. The latest draft includes the stated goal of ultimately eradicating CWD, it has more of an emphasis on research, includes additional language about coordination with other agencies like the US Forest Service and with nongovernmental entities, recognizes the role of predators in diseased animals and adds actions to be taken if CWD is found at an elk feedground.
The public can view the draft plan on the Game and Fish website. Comments will be accepted online or by mail.

For more information on chronic wasting disease transmission and regulations on transportation and disposal of carcasses please visit the Game and Fish website at:

Game and Fish Begins Study to Evaluate Chronic Wasting Disease Vaccine

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has begun a multi-year study at its Thorne-Williams Wildlife Research Unit (formerly Sybille) near Wheatland to evaluate the efficacy of a vaccine against chronic wasting disease.

Chronic wasting disease is a neurological disease of elk, deer, and moose. The disease appears to be invariably fatal to the animal, but it is not thought to affect humans.

The vaccine was developed in Canada by the Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT), a partnership of three leading infectious disease centers. PREVENT works closely with academia, industry, government, and not-for-profit sectors to accelerate vaccine development so that promising vaccines can move readily into clinical development and production.

In January, researchers trapped 50 elk calves at Game and Fish’s South Park feedground (south of Jackson) and transported them to the research unit. There, calves were split into two groups. One group was vaccinated and one was an unvaccinated control group. “Previous research has demonstrated that elk will naturally contract chronic wasting disease by being housed at the unit,” said Game and Fish Chief Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Terry Kreeger. “We predict that the vaccinated group will live longer than the control group. It’s important to understand that even if the vaccine does not provide lifelong protection from chronic wasting disease, every extra year of survival the vaccine provides will mean increased production in an affected population.”

The vaccine is administered by hand at the research unit, which would not be practical for vaccinating wild elk. However, if the vaccine is found to be effective, future research will focus on delivery methods more appropriate for wild elk, such as baits. At a minimum, an effective vaccine administered to elk raised on private ranches could greatly reduce the spread of the disease. Chronic wasting disease is thought to have been primarily spread throughout parts of the United States and Canada by the unintentional movement of infected deer and elk among private game ranches.

“We figured that research over time would start providing wildlife managers with tools that could be used to combat this disease,” said Kreeger. “This is just the start of a long journey to evaluate and perfect these tools.”

A parallel vaccine study is being conducted on deer in Colorado.

Deer Hunt Area 132 Near Green River Added to CWD List

GREEN RIVER – Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose, has been discovered in deer hunt area 132.

Green River Wildlife Management Coordinator Mark Zornes said this case involved a mule deer doe that was collected within a half mile of the Green River Game and Fish Regional Office because it was emaciated and in poor body condition. The doe was euthanized and submitted for testing.

“This is the first time we have found CWD in this hunt area,” Zornes said. “However, the occurrence of CWD in Green River is not a huge surprise. CWD has been documented in Utah near the Wyoming border, about 40 miles to the south.”

CWD is not known to be a disease of humans and presents no known public health significance at this time. Nonetheless, to avoid risk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people avoid eating meat from deer and elk that look sick or that test positive for CWD.

The Game and Fish continues to collect samples through hunter field checks and at CWD sampling stations. More than 4,000 CWD samples are collected annually throughout the state.

“There are no methods that have been proven effective in stopping the expansion of CWD, although a number of things have been tried in other states,” said Eric Keszler, Game and Fish assistant Services Division chief. “Recent research in Wisconsin and Colorado has shown that large-scale culling of animals is ineffective in stopping the spread of the disease or reducing its prevalence. Currently, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is monitoring the disease, conducting various research projects to understand more about CWD, and educating the public on the presence of the disease and what it means for wildlife and people. The department is committed to using the best available science to manage this disease in a manner that makes sense for the wildlife and people of Wyoming.”

For more information about CWD in Wyoming, visit the Game and Fish website at: For more information about CWD in North America, visit the CWD Alliance website at:

White-Tailed Deer Harvested Near Cody Tests Positive for CWD

CODY – A white-tailed deer harvested on Oct. 15 in deer hunt area 165 in the Bighorn Basin has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a brain disease known to affect some deer, elk, and moose. The deer was harvested near the Greybull River.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose and with the discovery of the deer in this hunt area, 15of the 39 deer areas in the Big Horn Basin are known CWD areas.

Personnel at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Laboratory analyzed samples taken as part of the department’s annual CWD survey and discovered positive results for the deer. To date this is the only new area that has had a positive CWD test this year.

WGFD wildlife disease specialist Hank Edwards said the discovery of CWD in that area was not unexpected since there have been positive tests in animals in surrounding areas 122 to the north and 124 to the east.

After a review of available scientific data, the World Health Organization in December 1999 stated, “There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans.” In 2004, Dr. Ermias Belay of the Center for Disease Control said, “The lack of evidence of a link between CWD transmission and unusual cases of CJD, [Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a human prion disease] despite several epidemiological investigations, suggest that the risk, if any, of transmission of CWD to humans is low.” Nonetheless to avoid risk, both organizations say parts or products from any animal that looks sick and/or tests positive for CWD should not be eaten.

For more information on chronic wasting disease visit the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance website at

Subscribe to our Newsletter!