Elk Hunters Submit Over 1,000 Brucellosis Samples in 2020

Elk Hunters Submit Over 1,000 Brucellosis Samples in 2020

CHEYENNE  — Elk hunters stepped up in 2020 to help the Wyoming Game and Fish Department with brucellosis research. Elk hunters submitted 1,130 blood samples from the bulls, cows and calf harvested this season to help Game and Fish monitor the disease.

In an effort to increase participation, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, entered participants in a raffle.

Game and Fish has seen an increase each year in the proportion of samples returned by successful hunters since the raffle began.  

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“We’re glad to encourage hunters to submit blood samples to help Game and Fish monitor brucellosis in Wyoming,” said Eric Maichak, Game and Fish disease biologist. “Thank you to our generous sponsors who provided the prizes and to each hunter who submitted a sample. You truly make a difference for the health of wildlife.”

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease found in elk and bison throughout the area surrounding Yellowstone in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. A state/federal eradication program has almost eliminated the disease in cattle, but infected elk and bison pose a continuing threat. 

“Voluntary hunter participation is fundamental for the program’s success, and Game and Fish appreciates hunter efforts to submit samples,” Maichak said.

As a thank you to hunters who submitted blood samples and other information from targeted areas, each complete submission was entered into a raffle to win high-quality outdoor equipment. Game and Fish is happy to announce the winners of the 2020 brucellosis monitoring raffle. 

The winners of the gear prizes are:

  • Red Brickman, Iowa: 6.5 Creedmoor Weatherby Weathermark bolt-action rifle donated by the Sportsman’s Group Wyoming, Gillette; Vortex 6.5-20×50 rifle scope donated by Vortex Optics; and Sig Sauer Oscar8 27-55×80 spotting scope donated by Sig Sauer
  • Randy Day, Wyoming: 6.5 Creedmoor Weatherby Weathermark bolt-action rifle donated by the Sportsman’s Group Wyoming, Gillette
  • Tanner Eastman, Wyoming: 6.5 Creedmoor Browning X-Bolt bolt-action rifle donated by the Wyoming and Cody Chapters of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • Sam Stephens, Wyoming: Maven C.3 10×50 binoculars donated by Maven and the Wyoming chapter of The Wildlife Society

Winners of the Game and Fish sweatshirt and hat combo are:

  • Calvin Jones, California
  • Kaio Uhing, Nebraska
  • Dan White, Wyoming
  • Jeff Sandvik, Wyoming
  • Joshua Fink, Wyoming
  • Brian Pardue, Oregon

Elk hunt areas targeted for surveillance in 2020 can be found on the interactive brucellosis map on the Game and Fish website.