The Wyoming Game and Fish are asking hunters in select elk hunt areas to collect blood samples from their harvest to help in the department’s annual brucellosis surveillance efforts. New surveillance target areas this year include the western Bighorns and the eastern side of Wyoming.
Brucellosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Brucella abortus. Elk, bison and domestic cattle are susceptible to brucellosis, which may in turn cause animals to abort calves and further transmit the disease, according to the Game and Fish.
As an incentive to hunters to collect samples, the department is partnering with several leading outdoor gear companies in a raffle for hunters who provide a useable blood sample from their harvested elk. Over $9,000 in prizes are being offered.
The Game and Fish reports, since 2016, 2,445 such samples were collected by hunters in the Bighorn Mountains with no elk testing seropositive. For 2021, the surveillance area will shift to target Wyoming’s most eastern elk hunt areas, within and around the Wyoming Livestock Board’s designated surveillance area, as well as the western edge of the Bighorn Mountains.
For more information and a list of prizes, click here.