Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be conducting mandatory chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing during the 2020 hunting season in specific game management units (GMU) as part of efforts to control the spread of CWD with its Colorado Chronic Wasting Disease Response Plan.

Beginning in late September, CPW will be sending out letters to Colorado rifle season deer (buck and doe) hunters who have been selected for mandatory CWD testing. Eighty-nine GMUs, the majority on the Western Slope, are included in the 2020 mandatory sample.

Mandatory and voluntary sampling is critical for data collection on this disease that impacts the long-term health of our herds. For a complete list of this year’s mandatory GMUs, see pages 20 — 34 of the 2020 Colorado Big Game Brochure.

CWD is a prion disease that affects Colorado’s deer, elk and moose. The disease course generally lasts 2 — 3 years and is always fatal. Although there has been no evidence that CWD has yet been transmitted to humans, the Center for Disease Control, along with CPW, recommend that hunters not eat the meat of a CWD-infected animal.

CPW is continuing the use of temporary CWD submission sites (in mandatory testing units) to assist those who are hunting in more remote locations. You can find a complete list of CWD testing submission sites along with hours and locations on CPW’s website: cpw.state.co.us/cwd.

As in the past, CPW will reimburse costs incurred from processing CWD-positive animals. The standard rate will be up to $100 for animals non-commercially processed and up to $200 for deer and elk that are commercially processed. The maximum reimbursement for commercial processing moose is $250.

In order to be reimbursed for processing costs, you must have:

1. Hunting license showing CID number;

2. CWD Head Tag;

3. Proof of payment: Credit card slip; copy of both the front and back of canceled check; receipt showing cash payment; itemized invoice (if processor can provide one).

CPW does not offer a replacement license or refund license fees to hunters that harvest a CWD-positive animal. This is in line with other states’ CWD regulations and helps ensure the testing program maintains adequate funding.

Hunters whose deer tests positive for CWD will get a letter mailed to them by CPW explaining what we know about CWD, disposal recommendations, as well as public health information. It will also provide links to online sources for additional information. In addition to this letter, each hunter with a CWD-positive animal will be notified once by phone and email.

Updated information on CWD and the 2020 mandatory sample will be posted on CPW’s website at cpw.state.co.us/cwd.

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