Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been confirmed in a fourth elk near the Wyoming feedgrounds. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) confirmed the positive CWD test results in a cow elk on Dec. 26, according to WyoFile. The elk was found in Hunt Area 92, which includes parts of the Hoback River basin, Wyoming Range and Upper Green River basin.
“The cow elk appeared to be in good body condition and based on examination of the carcass it is likely the elk was wounded by a hunter and succumbed to its injuries,” said WGFD spokeswoman Breanna Ball.
Specifically, the cow elk was found in the Fisherman Creek drainage, a tributary of the Hoback River near the Dell Creek and McNeel Feedgrounds. As GOHUNT has previously reported, feedgrounds are used to help elk survive severe winters by providing supplemental feed as needed. It has been a concern for years that CWD will infiltrate these areas, but biologists have continued to stress the need for supplemental feeding, especially during the past consecutive winters when animals were starving due to lack of forage and deep snow.
Unfortunately, a recent U.S. Geological Survey predicted the likelihood of CWD infecting elk in the feedground herds in western Wyoming to be at a rate of 42% over the next 20 years, according to WyoFile. Other confirmed cases of CWD in the feedground region occurred in 2020 in Hunt Area 75 and in Hunt Area 98 in 2021 and 2022.