Attention Black Hills Elk Hunters!
By submitting your elk head for CWD testing you are entered for a chance to win a rifle donated by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation!
There are several methods to provide the requested samples, and they can be collected even if you plan to mount your trophy elk. Just call the South Dakota CWD Hotline at 605.877.2537 or 605.484.5493 for more information or assistance collecting your samples.
Collection Sites are distributed across the Black Hills, or you can visit any GFP office.
The easiest way to submit your Chronic Wasting Disease sample is:
1. Place your individual elk heads in a trash bag before placing it into the station barrel. Make sure the identification tag is securely attached to the elk head or trash bag.
2. Fill out map with location of harvest and requested information and place in Ammunition Can at the station.
3. Please submit elk teeth in the Ammunition Can or inside the designated station.
If you plan to European Mount or Shoulder Mount your elk, just call 605.877.2537 for assistance.
Why are we asking for CWD samples from elk this year?
The objective for collection of tissue samples from elk in the Black Hills is to determine Chronic Wasting Disease prevalence rates in various units throughout the Black Hills. We need to collect a large sample size from several areas across the Black Hills. We are asking for a harvest location to identify specific areas within each unit where CWD prevalence may be impacting the health of the elk population. SDGFP is interested in assessing any impacts that CWD may have to the health of the South Dakota elk population to enhance elk hunting opportunities into the future. Elk are a unique resource in this state that are sought after by many hunters. We are asking for hunter support in collecting as many samples as possible to protect elk hunting for future generations.
All hunters that submit samples for teeth and CWD sampling will be informed of the age of elk and the results of Chronic Wasting Disease testing. It is very important that the license number from your elk tag be written on all samples.
Call 605.877.2537 or 605.484.5493 - We can answer your questions!
Ways to Submit Your Elk Samples for CWD Testing:
- Place the entire elk head in the trash bag provided at the collection station.
- Fill out the identification card with Name, License Number and phone number.
- Attach the tag to the tied trash bag.
- Drop the tagged bag in the bin.
- Fill out the Elk Unit Map supplied at the station with the approximate location of your harvest.
- Put your elk teeth in the tooth envelope and place the sticker from your license on the tooth envelope
- Drop the tooth envelope and map in the Ammo Can at the station. If a hunter will not be doing a shoulder or European mount, the antlers can remain attached to the skull or removed using a V-cut method and placed in the collection barrel. Antlers left on the skull will not be returned.
- Call 605.877.2537 or 605.484.5493 to ask questions or to schedule a meeting to have your sample removed and submitted for testing at no cost.
- GFP staff can work directly with hunters to collect samples from elk that are to be European mounted or work with hunter’s taxidermist on elk to be mounted.
- For this sample request, we would like all samples to be run through a GFP office (if possible). If you want to collect the tissue samples on your own, please follow these instructions below.
- Collect only the retropharyngeal lymph nodes, located in the throat area, as demonstrated in the video found here. Extraction can easily be performed with a field knife. Place lymph nodes in a sealed bag (Ziploc® or similar).
- Collect one ear from the harvested elk if you will not be mounting the elk. Once removed, place ear in a sealed gallon sized bag (Ziploc® or similar).
- These samples can be frozen until contact can be made with a GFP representative. Call one of these numbers 605.877.2537 or 605.484.5493 to set up a meeting time and place for sample transfer. Fresh collected samples can also be tagged with identification and dropped off at designated check stations.