Wyoming Game and Fish asking hunters to submit deer, elk lymph node samples - Casper, WY Oil City News
Oil City News Logo

Wyoming Game and Fish asking hunters to submit deer, elk lymph node samples

(Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

CASPER, Wyo. — With hunting season approaching, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said on Tuesday that it needs help from hunters in collecting deer and elk lymph node samples.

The samples are needed for chronic wasting disease monitoring and the department is asking hunters in specific hunt areas to collect lymph node samples.

In two deer hunt areas, hunters for the first time are required to collect and submit lymph node samples. Those areas are Deer Hunt Areas 96 and 97.

Article continues below...

Collecting and submitting samples is not required, but is encouraged in the following areas:

  • Deer Hunt Areas 1-6, 19, 24, 25, 27-33, 41, 46, 47, 50-53, 61, 66, 74-77, 124, 130, 131, 134, 135, 138-146, 150-157, 163, 165, 169 and 171
  • Elk Hunt Areas 13, 15, 21, 41, 45, 67-71, 75, 77-85, 88-91, 97, 98, 102-105, 108, 127 and 130

“We are asking hunters in these hunt areas to please submit a lymph node sample from their harvested deer or elk for testing,” Wildlife Health Laboratory Supervisor Hank Edwards said. “The samples hunters submit are critical to monitoring CWD within Wyoming’s deer and elk populations.”

People hunting in areas outside of the focused surveillance areas can still submit lymph node samples for testing.

“Hunters can learn how to take a sample by watching a how-to video on the Game and Fish website and submit it alongside the CWD data sheet,” Game and Fish said. “Hunters can also have animals sampled at any game check station this season or by stopping at the Game and Fish Headquarters or regional offices from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.”

The chronic wasting disease testing provides results within three weeks.

“Hunters can expedite results within 10 working days for a $30 fee; contact the Wyoming State Veterinary Lab in Laramie at (307) 766-9925 for more information,” the department said. “Continued monitoring of CWD over time is important to help Game and Fish understand the potential impacts of the disease as well as evaluate future management actions for deer and elk.”

“Game and Fish has a rotational sampling program designed to monitor CWD throughout the state by targeting specific hunt areas. The method provides the long-term data collection needed for CWD while not overwhelming the Wildlife Health Laboratory with testing.”

Game and Fish added that there are carcass transport and disposal rules hunters need to follow to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease. These regulations apply to deer, elk and moose hunters. Only the following can be transported in Wyoming:

— Deer, elk and moose can be transported to a camp, a private residence for processing, a taxidermist, a processor or a CWD sample collection site in Wyoming provided the head and all portions of the spinal column remain at the site of kill or such parts are disposed in any approved landfill or approved incinerator in Wyoming. A listing of landfills that will accept waste from processed game animals and whole carcasses is available on the Game and Fish website.

— Cut and wrapped meat

— Edible portions with no portion of the spinal column or head attached

— Cleaned hide without the head attached

— Skull, skull plate or antlers that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue 

— Teeth

— Finished taxidermy mounts

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

“Whole deer, elk and moose carcasses cannot be transported out of Wyoming,” the department adds. “The only parts approved to leave the state are edible portions with no part of the spinal column or head; cleaned hide without the head; skull, skull plate or antlers that have been cleaned of all meat and brain tissue; teeth; or finished taxidermy mounts. All hunters need to check with their home states for the rules about importing deer, elk or moose from Wyoming.”

“Hunters are reminded they must abide by the evidence of sex, species and horn or antler development retention requirements as per regulations.”