Elk hunters assisting with brucellosis surveillance

Elk hunters are helping with a brucellosis surveillance effort in the Bighorn Mountains by collecting blood samples from elk immediately after harvest. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department mailed blood sample kits to some elk hunters holding limited-quota licenses for hunt areas in the Bighorn Mountains. Hunters that did not receive a kit or will be hunting in a general area can obtain a blood sample collection kit at the Sheridan or Cody regional offices.

Game and Fish laboratory supervisor Hank Edwards, says, “The weather has made elk hunting in the Bighorns difficult over the past couple of weeks. As of Oct. 18, only 160 samples have arrived at the lab in Laramie. Of those, 89 are suitable for testing. A big thank-you goes to all hunters that help with these surveys.”

To collect a useable blood sample, hunters should follow these tips:

• Carry your sample kit with you in the field; collect the blood sample as soon as possible.

• Blood should be collected from the neck, heart, or chest cavity.

• The blood sample should never be frozen; it should be kept cool.

• Ship the sample as soon as possible (in one to two days) to prevent spoilage, or deliver it to the Cody or Sheridan regional offices in-person.

A video at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s website (wgfd.wyo.gov), demonstrates the proper collection of a good blood sample.