RAPID CITY – Game, Fish and Parks’ major efforts on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) sampling of deer and elk ended with the close of hunting seasons, and results indicate the disease is still present in the same isolated areas as past years.
“We again concentrated our CWD surveillance efforts in areas were the disease had been found in the past,” Steve Griffin, GFP big game biologist, said. “These areas included Fall River, Custer and Pennington counties in southwestern South Dakota and in the Black Hills area. But we also sampled any sick elk or deer that was found anywhere in South Dakota.”
GFP collected 3,245 deer and elk samples for CWD testing since July 1, 2005. These samples included 766 elk, 865 mule deer and 1,614 white-tailed deer.
A total of four elk, four mule deer and four white-tailed deer were found with the disease. Of these, seven were found in Fall River County, two in Pennington County, one in Custer County and two in Wind Cave National Park.
Griffin said that over 12,000 deer and elk have been tested in South Dakota since the CWD surveillance program began in 1997.
There have been a total of 45 cases of CWD detected, 32 in deer and 13 in elk.
“Testing will continue on all sick deer and elk that are located in South Dakota,” Griffin said. “If any individual sees a sickly looking elk or deer, please report it to a local GFP conservation officer or office as soon as possible with specific information on where it is located and how it appeared.”
Information on CWD and results of the GFP testing program is available on the GFP website at www.sdgfp.info. Highlight the link to “Wildlife, Hunting, Fishing,” then click on the link to “Hunting.” Under “Big Game Seasons” there is a link to “Chronic Wasting Disease.”