Elk NetworkArizona’s Elk, Deer Populations Remain CWD-Free

General | March 7, 2024

Below is a news release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) announced that Arizona continues to be clear of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal wildlife disease that affects the nervous system of deer and elk.

Department officials did not find any cases of CWD in the 1,235 deer (mule and white-tailed) and elk that were sampled in 2023. AZGFD collected 431 samples from animals that were harvested and voluntarily submitted by hunters, and another 732 samples through partnerships with game processors and taxidermists. An additional 72 samples were obtained from animals involved in vehicle collisions or subject to other fatalities.

AZGFD has been testing for the disease in Arizona since 1998. While CWD has been found in the neighboring states of Utah, New Mexico and Colorado, the disease has not been detected in Arizona. CWD has not been documented to cause disease in people.

AZGFD appreciates the assistance of hunters who submit deer and elk heads for testing, as well as the cooperation of game processors and taxidermists.

(Photo credit: Arizona Game and Fish Department)