Wyoming Hunting Season Leads to 4800 Samples of CWD Collected from Deer and Elk

by Jonathan Howard

In Wyoming, the battle against Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk continues. Hunting season has led to 4,800 lymph node samples being submitted. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department are collecting the samples. Hopefully, it will help experts further understand CWD and the effects it could have on the populations.

As of right now, CWD has been detected in the majority of hunting areas in the state of Wyoming. Game and Fish are collecting samples, however, this season has produced less so far. Those 4,800 samples fall short of last year’s total, 6,496. Officials are encouraging hunters to send more lymph nodes in from later hunts this year.

Wildlife Health Laboratory supervisor Hank Edwards commented on the program. “We’ve had good participation in our CWD sampling program this year. But, we still need more samples to meet our goals, so please submit from your later-season elk and deer harvests.”

The state of Wyoming has shifted the focus of its program in recent years. Since the spread of the disease is so prevalent, a chance is needed. The Game and Fish Department has put out resources showing hunters how to harvest the lymph nodes. Also, hunters can submit samples from outside the focus areas as well as get animals sampled at any game check station this hunting season. The Game and Fish Headquarters and regional offices can perform checks as well.

This program has been going on since 1997, the same year this Outsider writer was born. In the last 24 going on 25 years, the understanding of the disease has developed. However, there is much more work to do. Wyoming officials are dedicated to this issue.

Deer Hunting Saved in Iowa

During the 19th century and the time of expansion in the United States, folks got more than a little carried away with hunting. Elk, bison, deer, and more suffered at the hands of over-harvesting. However, after 100 years of work and dedication, Iowa revived its hunting season for deer.

The most important thing is that the deer population was able to come back at all. In the mid-1800s, the population of bison and elk drastically fell. Deer were almost wiped out from the state completely. That led to the state enacting its first conservation laws. Although these did little to help the damage that had already been done. However, it was a step in the right direction.

When the early 1900s came around, deer hunting season was not a thing in Iowa. Hunting deer was completely prohibited. With deer from other states and even some captive herds, the state began to rebuild the population. By 1952, deer season was back in Iowa. Now, there are 445,000 deer in the state and hunters are able to harvest 100,000+ in a single season.