Let's ask Lucky... Is CWD 100%, invariably fatal? No, no it is not. I do not understand the motivations which continue to cast this dire, fatalistic message. We do know… clinical CWD disease is progressive and invariably 100% fatal. Clinical disease occurs when the brain is affected developing sponge-like holes and neurological damage. Clinical deer have typical symptoms we’ve all heard about. It can progress to death within as little as a few days, but more often over a few months, with few lasting a year or more. Rarely are tests being conducted to identify definitive CWD clinical diagnosis by histological examination of brain tissue. We do know… exposure to CWD is NOT 100% fatal. In 2002, 39 elk calves were captured from wild herds and transferred to a highly contaminated CWD wildlife research facility in Wyoming. One elk cow, aptly named Lucky, has resided, unaffected, having long outlived pen mates who all perished within 10 years. A rare photo in 2015, showed Lucky, CWD survivor, at 13 years of age, 600lbs and healthy. A 2017 report stated Lucky, rare genotype LL, was to be a part of an upcoming CWD study. The good news, Lucky is not a sole survivor, several additional cases have been documented in elk, mule deer and whitetails which give cause for hope. Understanding genetic factors which clearly contribute toward resistance and survival is a key area of important research.