KDWP to collect deer in vicinity of state’s first chronic wasting disease occurrence

ST. FRANCIS – Kansas Department Wildlife and Parks staff will conduct additional sampling of deer in Cheyenne County this month, in response to the recent confirmation of the state’s first occurrence of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a wild deer. A total of about 50 deer will be taken within a 15-mile radius of the site where a Cheyenne County hunter shot a white-tailed doe, which tested positive for the disease.

Tissues from deer collected in the follow-up sampling will be submitted to Kansas State University for analysis to help monitor any potential additional occurrence of CWD. KDWP biologists and other staff are contacting landowners in the affected area to coordinate access for the sampling effort. KDWP staff plan to kill the deer and extract tissue samples in a field lab February 13-17. The plans were announced in a public meeting in St. Francis Thursday, February 2.

“We appreciate the cooperation and concern of the landowners and citizens of Cheyenne County in this effort,” said KDWP Regional Supervisor Steve Price, who reviewed the sampling plans to an audience of about 100 persons Thursday evening. “We’ll keep them informed of sampling results and the implications.”

On January 23, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa verified Kansas’ first occurrence of CWD in a wild deer. CWD has been documented in 10 states, including the neighboring states of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska.

CWD attacks the central nervous system of infected animals and is within a group of similar diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). While CWD can spread among deer and elk, it is not known to transmit to humans, livestock or other animals.

The department will post updated information on its website as further sampling and evaluation occur. Contact Bob Mathews at KDWP’s Operations Office in Pratt, (620) 672- 5911, for more information. Additional information on CWD is also available on the internet at