Manitoba recently confirmed its first-ever chronic wasting disease. Wildlife officials say they observed an unhealthy mule deer buck, euthanized it, tested it and discovered the disease. It happened near Lake of the Prairies in southwest Manitoba near the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border
The Manitoba government responded by immediately implementing a temporary hunting ban on deer, elk, moose and caribou in the immediate area in Game Hunting Area (GHA) 22.
Among other measures, additional sampling will likely be required in the near future to determine disease prevalence. At this time, by law, hunters are required to submit biological samples (head, upper neck and lungs) of elk and deer taken in the areas of GHA 22 west of PTH 83, as well as GHAs 5, 6, 6A, 11, 12, 13, 13A, 18 and 18B (west of PR 366), 18A, 18C, 23, 23A and 27 to drop-off depots.
CWD has been known to infect animals in Saskatchewan, Alberta and 24 states. Manitoba maintains rigorous reporting and testing requirements for CWD, including making it illegal to bring certain unprocessed meat into Manitoba.
Approximately 1,000 miles to the south and west, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department confirmed the presence of CWD in three new elk hunt areas in the state. Biologists confirmed the disease from lymph node samples from three hunter-harvested bull elk.
In the Pinedale Region, CWD was confirmed in Elk Hunt Area 98. This hunt area overlays Deer Hunt Area 138 where CWD was confirmed in January.
Additionally, in the Sheridan Region, Game and Fish has identified two new CWD-positive elk areas. CWD was also confirmed in Elk Hunt Area 36 and 129. Elk Hunt Area 36 is surrounded on three sides by Elk Hunt Areas 37, 46, and 35 which have been CWD-positive since 2019, 2020 and 2009, respectively. Elk Hunt Area 129 overlays nine CWD positive Deer Hunt Areas (8, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 26, 29) and one CWD negative Deer Hunt Area (31).
To ensure hunters are informed, Game and Fish announces when CWD is found in a new hunt area. The Centers for Disease Control recommends hunters do not consume any animal that is obviously ill or tests positive for CWD.
(Photo credit: Wyoming Game & Fish Department)