Wyoming Game and Fish To Host CWD Meetings in Bighorn Basin

Wyoming Game and Fish To Host CWD Meetings in Bighorn Basin

Written by on August 12, 2021

Bighorn Basin residents are being asked to join the discussion on chronic wasting disease by attending Wyoming Game and Fish meetings in Greybull and Worland.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department invites hunters, landowners, and other interested persons to attend one of two public meetings to discuss chronic wasting disease (CWD) and potential management options for several hunt areas in the eastern portion of the Bighorn Basin.

The discussion will focus primarily on three deer hunt areas.

  • 41, east of Worland to the Bighorn Mountains
  • 47, from Greybull and Basin east to the Bighorn Mountains
  • 164, south of Worland to the Hot Springs County line

Deer hunt areas 35, 37, 39, and 40 will also be discussed during the meetings. These areas are located in the southeastern corner of the Bighorn Basin, next to Thermopolis.

Meetings will be held on Monday, Aug. 23, at the Greybull Town Hall and Tuesday, Aug. 24 at the Washakie Co. Fairgrounds in Worland. Both meetings will begin at 6 p.m.

CWD was first detected 17 years ago and has spread across most of the Bighorn Basin. In addition, high prevalence rates of the disease are being documented in deer hunt areas along the Bighorn, Greybull, and Shoshone Rivers.

“Local Game and Fish managers are interested in beginning conversations about potential management options to hopefully slow the spread and reduce the prevalence of the disease,” said Bart Kroger, Worland area wildlife biologist. “We encourage anyone who is concerned about CWD to attend a meeting.”

During the meetings, wildlife managers will provide an overview of CWD, discuss the implementation of the statewide CWD management plan, and provide information on the prevalence of the disease in local deer herds and how it may be impacting local deer populations.

Mule deer doe

Courtesy Wyoming Game and Fish

Local participation is crucial for developing a long-term plan to control the spread of the debilitating disease affecting deer and elk across the western U.S.

Chronic wasting disease is slowly expanding its terrible presence throughout the state. During the last hunting season, the disease was found in mule deer Hunting Area 109 northwest of Cody and in one of the elk herds at Grand Teton National Park.

“The goal from these meetings is to gauge the public’s interest and concern for CWD locally,” Kroger said. “This is the beginning of a long-term management process that we hope will garner local interest and help guide future management decisions.”

During a recent process related to developing a statewide CWD plan, hunters voiced that doing nothing about CWD is unacceptable. Any management actions taken will be done with public buy-in and participation, so assistance from hunters, landowners, and the public is critically important.

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