The Wyoming Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is partnering with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to host a chronic wasting disease (CWD) workshop on Aug. 20 in Cody. The all-ages, …
The Wyoming Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is partnering with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to host a chronic wasting disease (CWD) workshop on Aug. 20 in Cody. The all-ages, public event is set to run from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Game and Fish’s Cody office.
Eric Maichak, a disease biologist for the Game and Fish, will be present to discuss anything and everything wildlife disease-related and to walk attendees through the process of removing lymph nodes from deer and elk.
Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, affects deer and elk herds; it’s fatal to the animals and there is currently no treatment or cure for the disease. CWD has been spreading across Wyoming in recent years. A quick look at the Game and Fish Department’s interactive CWD map shows it has been detected in most hunt areas around the state.
CWD is spread through body fluids, such as saliva or urine, and can be contracted by direct contact with an infected animal or environmental exposure. Elk and deer in Wyoming congregate, especially during winter months, which increases the likelihood of CWD spreading. The result of increased CWD spread is a decrease in deer and elk numbers, “which should be of utmost concern to Wyoming hunters,” Backcountry Hunters and Anglers says.
Recent research has shown that both white-tailed and mule deer populations have decreased near Douglas due to CWD. However, a major knowledge gap related to CWD — and one that prevents effective management decision making — is the prevalence of CWD in areas that are under-sampled. Under-sampled hunt units typically have earlier season hunts, with most animals found in the backcountry, making it hard for personnel with WGFD to obtain samples from hunter-killed animals.
“This is where you, the hunter, can play a vital role in CWD management in the state of Wyoming! How? By taking and submitting samples from deer and elk you kill in the backcountry,” Backcountry Hunters and Anglers said, adding, “We, as hunters, have a unique opportunity to help actively support CWD management in Wyoming so let’s make it happen!”
Attendance at the event will be capped at 50 people and participants will need to bring and wear masks. Those who want to attend are asked to RSVP by visiting www.backcountryhunters.org/chronic_wasting_disease_workshop.