Game wardens, wildlife biologists and other Wyoming Game & Fish Department personnel hope to collect 4,000 chronic wasting disease (CWD) samples from harvested deer and elk this fall.

“Collecting samples from hunters allows the department to document the distribution and prevalence of the disease,” says Bob Lanka, Laramie Regions wildlife coordinator. “This is one piece of the puzzle managers use when making decisions about the best way to manage CWD in Wyoming.”

Laramie Region CWD sampling sites are listed in the table below. Check stations typically operate from 10 a.m. until dusk.

  • Oct. 1- 2 – Torrington – Roy’s Cold Storage; 236 E. 20th Avenue
  • Oct. 3 – Wheatland – Sybille Creek Processing, 1810 North 9th Street
  • Oct. 1 – 3 – Cheyenne – Crow Creek Meat Processors, 2502 Ridge Road
  • Oct. 1 – 3 – Encampment Meats, 201 4th Street
  • Oct. 1 – 3 – Saratoga – USFS Office South of Town on WY Hwy 130
  • Oct. 1 – 3 – East of Centennial, WY Hwy 130 – Jack’s Place
  • Oct. 1 – 3 – Overland Trail Historic Marker – WY Hwy 230
  • Oct. 1 – 3 – Arlington – Jct. USFS Road 111 and WY Hwy 13
  • Oct. 15 –17 – Wheatland – Sybille Creek Processing, 1810 North 9th Street
  • Oct. 15 –17 – Medicine Bow – Maddox Meat Processing, US Hwy 30
  • Oct. 15 –17 – Rock River Processing, US Hwy 30

Participation in this effort is voluntary, but hunters who participate will be provided with the results of the test free of charge. Results will be available on the Department website about 6 weeks after samples are submitted.

“Testing is for surveillance of CWD only and not for meat quality assurance,” says Lanka. Hunters who opt to submit samples on their own may submit their deer heads to the Wyoming State Vet Lab in Laramie. Hunters opting for this method of testing will need to pay lab fees and other sampling and shipping costs.

After a review of available scientific data, the World Health Organization in December of 1999, stated, “There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans.” In a more recent article (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 epidemiologic investigations,…suggest that the risk, if any, of transmission of CWD to humans is low.” Nonetheless to avoid any risk, both organizations say parts or products from any animal that looks sick or tests positive for CWD or other TSEs should not be eaten.

When presenting a deer for sampling, the hunters name, address, phone number, hunt area/license type, license number, harvest date, specific harvest location, (GPS or Township, Range, Section) sex, age and species of deer is required.

Research has yet to identify all of the potential modes of CWD transmission. Recently it has been determined that intact carcasses from deer that have died of CWD, can spread the disease to healthy deer. If this is true, hunters may reduce the spread of CWD by properly disposing of deer carcasses that are harvested from areas where CWD has been found. Transport and disposal recommendations are printed in red in deer and elk regulations.

For more information on chronic wasting disease visit the Department’s website at http://gf.state.wy.us