MISSOULA – Although there’s been no evidence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) impacting Western Montana deer populations, state biologists are going to be watching closer for any signs of CWD during the fall hunting seasons.
So far, the only evidence of CWD has been last year in deer south of Billings, and north of Chester in north-central Montana. But because the neurological disease can infect and kill not only deer — but also elk and moose, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is turning up their surveillance program to watch for CWD statewide.
This year, there will be restrictions on transporting harvested deer from those areas where CWD has been found and FWP will be conducting additional checks in several hunting districts through the fall.
Additional stations will be set up by FWP in Hunting District 210 in the Sapphire Mountains, District 212 in the Flint Mountain Range east of Deer Lodge, District 217 in the Northern Flint Mountain Range between Drummond and in Garrison in the Upper Clark Fork Valley.
FWP biologists and staff will hold a public meeting to explain the changes to stop the spread of CWD on Monday, September 17th at the FWP office on Spurgin Road in Missoula starting at 6:30 p.m.
FWP will also be implementing CWD information into Hunter Education programs this year to help educate the next generation of hunters.
FWP says that there is no known transmission of CWD to humans. However, the World Health Organization and the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommend not consuming meat from an animal known to be infected with CWD. Furthermore, the CDC recommends that hunters strongly consider having their animals tested before eating the meat when hunting in areas where CWD is known to be present.
For more information about CWD and the new restrictions visit FWP’s website.
Reporting by Dennis Bragg for MTN News