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Game and Parks Commission testing elk for CWD

LINCOLN, Neb. – With a couple of the elk seasons underway and more approaching, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is asking for elk hunters’ cooperation in testing for chronic wasting disease.

Todd Nordeen, Commission big game disease and research program manager, said staff at check stations will be asking elk hunters to allow removal of lymph nodes from elk to test for the disease, frequently referred to by its initials — CWD. 

The tests at the Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have about a two-week turn-around, and staff will notify hunters if their animals tested positive for CWD. As a new service this year all test results will be posted to links at the bottom of the Commission’s website devoted to the disease –outdoornebraska.org/cwd. The site contains a wealth of other information about the disease, which is caused by a deformed protein called a prion and passed from some animals to others.

Archery bull season for elk began Sept. 1, following the cow season for private land hunters Aug. 15. The harvest for cows on public land and firearm bull season begin Sept. 21.

Nordeen said staff also will be collecting lymph nodes from deer during the firearm season for that species in November.

About Justin Haag

Justin Haag has served the Commission as a public information officer in the Panhandle since 2013. His duties include serving as regional editor for NEBRASKAland Magazine. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing, hunting and other outdoor pursuits. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and have two children.

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