Hunters in select elk hunt areas are again being asked this fall to collect blood samples from their harvest to help in the department’s brucellosis surveillance efforts. 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.
Hunters in targeted elk hunt areas for the 2021 season are being asked to take a blood sample from their elk immediately after harvest with a Game and Fish sample kit, then storing it properly and submitting it in a timely manner. About 8,500 kits will be mailed to hunters this year.
Hunters in targeted elk hunt areas should receive kits about two weeks prior to the opening date of that particular hunt area and license type.
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.