Hunters can help limit the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease this season by adhering to state regulations when disposing of big game carcasses, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) said Wednesday.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal nervous disease found in cervids such as deer or elk that can be transmitted from animal to animal through physical contact, saliva, feces, carcass parts from an infected animal and through soil contaminated with CWD-infected saliva or fluids, according to the Mule Deer Foundation.
Carcass disposal regulations are in place to limit or reduce the spread of CWD among Wyoming cervid populations, and hunters are required to adhere to them at all times when coming back in from the field with their harvests.
Essentially, per regulations, once all edible portions of the animal have been harvested, the remaining carcass can be legally disposed of in one of two ways: leaving it at the kill site or disposing of it in an approved landfill or incinerator.
Dumping carcasses along highways or on public land is illegal, WGFD says, and can create a negative perception of hunters.
For hunters that choose to move their harvest away from the kill site for processing, there are several opportunities in the Sheridan Region for them to properly dispose of their big game carcasses.
Locally, the Gillette landfill north of town accepts carcasses for a nominal, weight-based fee if Campbell County residents choose not to include disposing of carcasses as one of their 12 fee-waived dumps per year, per WGFD.
Landfills in Sheridan and Buffalo also accept carcasses, though Buffalo also charges a weight-based fee that ranges from $3 to $10.
Hunters may also dispose of carcasses in one of three dumpsters, spread across the Sheridan Region, free of charge.
One dumpster is located off U.S. Highway 16 at the Mosier Gulch Recreation Area while another is located at the Petrified Tree Education Area, west and east of Buffalo, respectively, WGFD states, adding that the costs of the dumpsters are covered by the Bureau of Land Management.
A third dumpster is also provided by Bowhunters of Wyoming and the Mule Deer Foundation at the pullout between Dayton and Ranchester on U.S. Highway 14.
For a statewide map of approved landfills and carcass dumpster locations, please click here.