WGFD seeks hunter samples for brucellosis study
If you’re hunting elk in Wyoming this fall, you might be asked to submit a blood sample from your harvest. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) is seeking samples from key elk hunt areas for a brucellosis study as part of their surveillance efforts, according to the agency.
Brucellosis, which is a bacterial disease, impacts elk, bison and domestic cattle. It can cause animals to abort calves and is easily transmissible. For the upcoming 2021 season, WGFD has mailed about 8,500 kits to hunters who have tags for eastern elk hunt areas around the Wyoming Livestock Board’s designated surveillance area and the western edge of the Bighorn Mountains. These include elk hunt areas: 1-3, 6, 7, 25, 27, 28, 39-41, 45, 47-49, 54, 56, 58, 59, 61-64, 66, 100, 106, 107, 113, 116, 117, 122, 123, 126-127 and 129.
“You may have already — or will soon — receive a blood kit in the mail. Please bring this kit with you while hunting and collect a sample from your harvested animal and submit it to us. Take the sample soon after harvest and keep it cool until drop-off,” said Eric Maichak, WGFD wildlife disease biologist in the Cody region.
Once you submit your sample, you will be entered into a raffle. Over $9,000 in prizes is available, including a grand prize package consisting of a Benelli Lupo rife (winner’s choice of caliber in .243, .308, 6.5 Creedmoor, .270, .30-06 or .300 Win Mag), a Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 PST rifle scope and a Sig Sauer Oscar8 27-55x80 Spotting Scope. All items donated by the companies.
Other prizes include a Browning X-Bolt rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor (donated by the Cody Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation), a Badlands gear package (pack, pants, shirt, jacket, hoodie, thermals) (donated by Badlands), Maven C1 10x42 binoculars (donated by Maven) and a mystery prize TBA (donated by the Wyoming Sportsman's Group).
If you receive a sample kit, check out this video on how to collect a blood sample from a harvested elk.