(Montana FWP photo)

HELENA – Fish, Wildlife and Parks reported Tuesday afternoon that a second sample came back suspect for chronic wasting disease.

The sample was taken from a mule deer buck found in the hunting district 510 about three miles south of Belfry and just north of the Wyoming state line.

This is the second suspected case reported in the last week..

The first positive sample came from an animal harvested about 10 miles south of Bridger.

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FWP says recently CWD was confirmed in northern Wyoming, so the agency began actively looking for the disease in an area south of Billings this hunting season. In a release FWP said they’ve created an incident command team to address the detection of CWD

FWP recommends contacting the agency immediately if you suspect an animal to have CWD and not to ingest the meat. The disease is not transmissible to humans, however, FWP says not to ingest the meat if the animal has shown signs of CWD.

FWP also notes that hunters should have their animals tested before eating the meat if they come from known infected areas.

CWD is fatal and affects the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. Despite the disease being slow moving, if left unmanaged, FWP says it could result in long-term population declines within the affected herds.

FWP offers some simple precautions to take when field dressing deer, elk or moose:

  • Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when field dressing.
  • Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.
  • Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.
  • Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning out of a carcass will essentially remove all of these parts.)

For more information on CWD and what to do if you suspect an animal is infected click here.