Where Does CWD Occur?

Where is CWD found?

CWD was first described in a Colorado Division of Wildlife captive deer research facility in 1967 and a few years later in a similar Wyoming research facility.  CWD was first identified in South Dakota in 7 captive cervid herds in teh winter of 1997-1998. CWD was first found in free-roaming wildlife in a white-tailed deer in Fall River County during the 2001 big game hunting season. In South Dakota, CWD has only been detected in free-roaming wildlife in Lawrence, Pennington, Custer, and Fall River counties, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park. A map of the known distribution of CWD within free-ranging deer and elk can be found at the bottom of the page under "Related Maps".

How often does CWD occur?

Surveillance by hunter-harvest survey and testing of sickly deer and elk implies CWD is relatively rare in free-roaming cervids when the number of animals present is considered. Thus far, in South Dakota, twenty years of surveillance and testing of wild deer and elk have shown 203 CWD positive deer and 194 CWD positive elk out of 27,063 deer and elk tested. Of the 397 positive animals, Wind Cave National Park has discovered 126 elk and 10 deer that tested positive. Custer State Park has discovered 24 elk and 2 deer that have tested positive. In the 2017-2018 sampling period, 37 animals (12 deer, 25 elk) were found that were infected with CWD.