By Jeff Rebitski, Staff Writer

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has asked fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts to report any dead Grouse they may come upon while fishing and hiking in the majestic wilds of Wyoming. Annually, the Department asks for notice of dead birds to test for West Nile Virus. West Nile virus (WNV) is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. WNV has been detected in every county in Wyoming, so it is important to reduce your risk of being infected with WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.

With Grouse being highly susceptible to the West Nile Virus, dead ones can be an early warning that the virus is active in an area. Grouse are a natural resource in Wyoming and hunters come from all over the country to try their hands at the elusive birds. With Wyoming’s exceptional wildlife management, the population explodes each year, bringing revenue to our state through the purchase of hunting licenses. Protecting this bird is of tremendous importance, but protecting the people of this great state is essential. 

Our thanks to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for their contribution and information for the article.