PIERRE – This year’s first report for game animals tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) recently arrived, and state Game Fish and Parks officials say one animal tested positive. Species being tested include elk, white-tailed deer and mule deer.

As of Nov.13, we have sampled 1,146 game animals from certain deer and elk management units in South Dakota for CWD,” said Wildlife Biologist Steve Griffin of Rapid City. “This year’s samples are being sent to the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Diagnostic Laboratory in Brookings, and results are getting returned faster than in the past. The samples are being collected from hunters who were contacted prior to the hunting season and asked to voluntarily submit heads of their harvested animals for testing.”

Griffin said the one positive test was for a cow elk harvested approximately two-miles south of the city of Pringle, and that hunter has been contacted.

The breakdown of tested animals is as follows:

  • 493 elk tested, 382 negative results, 1 positive result, 110 tests not yet returned.
  • 401 white-tailed deer tested, 167 negative results, 234 tests not yet returned.
  • 252 mule deer tested, 68 negative results, 184 tests not yet returned.

Griffin noted that all hunters who submitted a sample will receive a letter with the results of the CWD test after the results are returned to him. “We try and get them out on a weekly basis if possible,” he said.