CWD regulations in Montana

Due to the regular amending of regulations in Montana, it is recommended that before hunting you check these CWD regulations, as well as those of any other states or provinces in which you will be hunting or traveling through while transporting cervid carcasses. The contact information for Montana can be seen below:

Click a section to expand:


FOR NATIONAL REGULATIONS GO HERE

Testing Laboratories in Montana

All samples are sent to Colorado: Colorado State University Diagnostic Laboratory
300 W. Drake St. Ft.Collins, CO 80523
970-491-1281 or 970-491-6143
www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/dlab/

Locations Where CWD Was Found

Hunting districts 5, 510 and 401

Most Recent CWD News

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  • Hunting

    Fri Nov 16 10:27:40 MST 2018

    CWD map updated 11-16-2018 CWD map updated 11-16-2018
    Test results from three deer harvested in Blaine County have tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The deer were harvested within the 2018 priority surveillance area, which includes the northern half of Blaine County.
    Read More
  • Hunting

    Thu Nov 01 16:28:14 MDT 2018

    A white-tailed buck harvested in southern Liberty County was found to be suspect for chronic wasting disease. In addition, a mule deer doe harvested within the CWD positive area in Carbon County was found to be suspect for
    Read More
  • Hunting - Region 4 Thursday, February 08, 2018 At the end of the fifth weekend of the Sage Creek Special Chronic Wasting Disease Hunt in northern Liberty County, hunters have checked in 113 mule deer. So far 109 of the deer have tested negative for CWD,
    Read More
  • A mule deer buck shot by a hunter Nov. 12 north of Chester on the Hi-Line near the Canadian border has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

    The deer was taken in hunting district 401 in Liberty County.

    The test results mark the fifth incident

    Read More
  • A second test on a tissue sample from a buck harvested in hunting district 510, south of Billings, has come back positive for chronic wasting disease.

    This buck was harvested Oct. 22 about 10 miles southeast of Bridger. Initial testing received by Montana Fish, Wildlife

    Read More
  • A second mule deer buck from hunting district 510 was found to be suspect for chronic wasting disease.

    This buck was harvested about 3 miles south of Belfry. A second sample from the buck is being tested by the lab at Colorado State University, with

    Read More
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Category Archives: Montana

MT – Deer in Blaine County test positive for CWD

Hunting

Fri Nov 16 10:27:40 MST 2018

CWD map updated 11-16-2018CWD map updated 11-16-2018

Test results from three deer harvested in Blaine County have tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The deer were harvested within the 2018 priority surveillance area, which includes the northern half of Blaine County.

As a result, the northern part of Blaine County — north of U.S. Highway 2 — has been designated a CWD-positive area. A previously existing CWD-positive area includes all of Liberty County.

FWP has notified the hunters who submitted the samples.

To prevent the spread of CWD to other portions of Montana, the brain and spinal column of deer, elk or moose harvested within either CWD-positive area cannot be transported outside of the associated transport restriction zone, or TRZ, which includes Toole, Liberty and Hill counties, and with this latest detection has been expanded to include Blaine and Phillips counties. Hunters are reminded not to leave this expanded TRZ with whole deer, elk or moose carcasses from either CWD-positive area but should consider processing the animal within the TRZ or only removing quarters and deboned meat with no spinal column or head attached.

Hunters also need to be aware that because of this new detection of CWD, FWP is relying on collecting more samples from the area to determine disease prevalence among the deer population and its potential distribution. This information is critical for FWP in developing a plan for managing the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hunters who harvest deer, elk and moose in CWD-positive areas have the meat tested before consumption. Although there is no known transmission of CWD to humans, the World Health Organization and the CDC recommend not consuming meat from an animal known to be infected with CWD.

FWP would like hunters who harvest deer, elk or moose within the priority surveillance area, which includes the Hi-Line from the Blackfeet Reservation to the North Dakota border and HDs 210, 212 and 217 in western Montana, to submit the animals for CWD testing. This can be done by visiting surveillance area check stations, which are open on weekends, or by contacting or visiting the FWP regional office in Great Falls at 406-454-5840, Glasgow at 406-228-3700, Havre at 406-265-6177, Missoula at 406-542-5500, or Billings at 406-247-2940 during the week.

As a reminder, the head of the animal is needed for testing. The standard test is to look at an animal’s retropharyngeal lymph nodes or brainstem for evidence of CWD.

Check station locations that will sample for CWD:

  • Glasgow
  • Malta
  • Hunters can also bring animals into the Havre and Glasgow offices during the week
  • Laurel
  • Chester
  • Shelby
  • Great Falls office during the week
  • South of Hall
  • South of Phillipsburg

End of article
Article can be see on MT FWP Deer in Blaine County test positive for CWD.

MT – CWD samples from regions 4 and 5 come back suspect

Hunting

Thu Nov 01 16:28:14 MDT 2018

A white-tailed buck harvested in southern Liberty County was found to be suspect for chronic wasting disease.

In addition, a mule deer doe harvested within the CWD positive area in Carbon County was found to be suspect for CWD.

The lab at Colorado State University is running a confirmation test, with results expected next week.

The suspect deer in Liberty County was harvested in hunting district 400, but outside both the current CWD-positive area and the 2018 priority surveillance area, which includes the northern half of Liberty County.

As a result, the CWD-positive area has been expanded to include all of Liberty County and FWP is now including all of HD 400 in the 2018 CWD surveillance effort.

The suspect deer in HD 575 was harvested northeast of Joliet in a current CWD-positive area, which encompasses Carbon County, east of U.S. Highway 212 and the Roberts-Cooney Road.

FWP has notified the hunters who submitted the suspect samples. Though the samples are considered suspect at this point, it is very rare that a suspect sample isn’t ultimately found positive. Therefore, FWP is moving forward as if both deer will ultimately be determined positive for CWD.

“Though this is disappointing news, it’s not a surprise,” said Gary Bertellotti, FWP’s Region 4 supervisor. “By expanding our surveillance efforts to include all of hunting district 400, we’re really emphasizing the need to get animals sampled from this area and the rest of our surveillance area.”

What hunters need to know

With FWP establishing all of Liberty County as a CWD positive area, hunters who harvest deer, elk or moose within the county must adhere to the established Transport Restriction Zone (TRZ) rules, which means hunters cannot move brain or spinal column tissue outside of the TRZ. Hunters harvesting a deer within the expanded Liberty County positive area are also encouraged to have their animals tested prior to consuming the meat.

The TRZ for the Liberty County CWD positive area is all of Liberty, Hill and Toole Counties.

Hunters also need to be aware that by expanding the priority surveillance efforts to include all of HD 400, FWP is relying on collecting more samples from the area to determine CWD prevalence among the deer population and potential distribution of the disease. This information is critical for FWP in developing a plan for managing the disease.

HD 400 and neighboring HD 401 are unique in that they both have three-week deer seasons as opposed to the standard five-week season typical in the state.

FWP would like hunters who harvest deer, elk or moose within the priority surveillance area, which includes the Hi-Line from the Blackfeet Reservation to the North Dakota border and HDs 210, 212 and 217 in western Montana, to submit the animals for CWD testing. This can be done by visiting surveillance area check stations, which are open on weekends, or by contacting or visiting the FWP regional office in Great Falls at 406-454-5840, Glasgow at 406-228-3700, Havre at 406-265-6177, Missoula at 406-542-5500, or Billings at 406-247-2940 during the week.

Check station locations that will sample for CWD:

  • Scobey (first half of season)
  • Glasgow (second half of season)
  • 223 at the Teton River (Nov. 3, 7 and 11)
  • Malta
    • Hunters can also bring animals into the Havre and Glasgow offices during the week
  • Laurel
  • Chester
  • Shelby
  • Great Falls office during the week
  • South of Hall
  • South of Phillipsburg

Background

CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is part of a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs are caused by infectious, mis-folded prion proteins, which cause normal prion proteins throughout a healthy animal’s body to mis-fold, resulting in organ damage and eventual death.

CWD is a slow-moving disease. However, left unmanaged, it could result in long-term population declines within affected herds. All the states and provinces that border Montana, other than Idaho and British Columbia, have found CWD in their wild deer, elk and moose. The closest positive to Montana was in Wyoming, about 8 miles south of the Montana border and less than 50 miles southeast of where Montana’s suspect deer was harvested.

Though there is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans, it is recommended to never ingest meat from animals that appear to be sick or are known to be CWD positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters who have harvested a deer, elk, or moose from a known CWD-infected area have the animal tested prior to consuming it. If hunters harvest an animal that appears to be sick, the best thing to do is contact FWP and have the animal inspected.

Some simple precautions should be taken 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.)

CWD was discovered in Montana in 2017. FWP is carrying out surveillance and management of the disease according to the agency’s CWD management plan.

For more information, including maps, detailed information on the disease and to look at test results, go online to fwp.mt.gov/CWD.

Montana – Sage Creek CWD Hunt at 113 Deer

Hunting – Region 4

Thursday, February 08, 2018

At the end of the fifth weekend of the Sage Creek Special Chronic Wasting Disease Hunt in northern Liberty County, hunters have checked in 113 mule deer.

So far 109 of the deer have tested negative for CWD, test results from the remaining deer are pending.

The hunt started Jan. 6 and will run until either Feb. 15 or a 157-deer quota is reached.

The special hunt is designed to gather information about the distribution and prevalence of CWD in deer in an area of Liberty County where a mule deer taken during the 2017 general big game season tested positive for CWD.

Hunters are required to submit their harvested deer at either an FWP check station at the rest stop on U.S. Highway 2 in Chester, 314 E. Washington Ave, or the FWP office in Havre.

CWD is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that effects deer, elk and moose. It has been present for some years in states and Canadian providences north, east and south of Montana, but was first found in wild deer in the state this fall.

CWD has not been shown to spread to people, pets, livestock or wildlife outside of the deer family. However, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend not consuming meat from an animal known to be infected with CWD.

More information about CWD and the special hunt is available online at http://fwp.mt.gov/cwd.

News release can be found here: http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/hunting/nr_2742.html

Montana – Chronic Wasting Disease Found in Deer north of Chester

A mule deer buck shot by a hunter Nov. 12 north of Chester on the Hi-Line near the Canadian border has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The deer was taken in hunting district 401 in Liberty County.

The test results mark the fifth incident of CWD discovered in Montana wild deer this fall. The other four deer came from south of Billings. Until this year, CWD had not been found in Montana, though the disease exists in wild deer herds in Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In anticipation of the disease coming to Montana, FWP recently updated its CWD response plan, and FWP director Martha Williams has assembled an incident command team to respond to the detection near Billings. FWP is in the process of putting together a team for the latest detection north of Chester.

 An incident command team will define an initial response area (IRA) around where the infected animal was harvested, and may recommend a special CWD hunt. The specifics of this hunt would be determined by the incident command team.

FWP is currently organizing a hunt to respond to the detections in south central Montana. This hunt will come before the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission at their meeting Thursday in Helena for final approval.

It has not been determined yet if a special CWD hunt will occur at the site of the latest detection north of Chester. Currently, there is no general deer hunting season open near where the deer was harvested in HD 401.

CWD can only be effectively detected in samples from dead animals. CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is part of a group of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs are caused by infectious, mis-folded prion proteins, which cause normal prion proteins throughout a healthy animal’s body to mis-fold, resulting in organ damage and eventual death.  

Though there is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans, it is recommended to never ingest meat from animals that appear to be sick or are known to be CWD positive. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters who have harvested a deer, elk, or moose from a known CWD-infected area have the animal tested prior to consuming it. If hunters harvest an animal that appears to be sick, the best thing to do is contact FWP and have the animal inspected.

Some simple precautions should be taken 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 these parts.)

For more information on CWD and FWP’s response, please look online at fwp.mt.gov/CWD. You can email CWDresponse@mt.gov.

Testing confirms CWD in mule deer buck from south central Montana

A second test on a tissue sample from a buck harvested in hunting district 510, south of Billings, has come back positive for chronic wasting disease.

This buck was harvested Oct. 22 about 10 miles southeast of Bridger. Initial testing received by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks last week showed the animal was suspect for CWD. A second sample from the buck was sent to Colorado State University for follow up testing.

“These were the results we expected,” said Barb Beck, FWP Region 5 supervisor and CWD incident command team lead. “Fortunately, we have a well-thought out response plan that will guide our steps moving forward.”  

The first test of a sample from a second buck was reported back as suspect on Tuesday. This buck was harvested on Nov. 5 about 3 miles south of Belfry, also in HD 510. A second sample from the animal is currently undergoing confirmation testing. Those results are expected next week.

In response to these detections, FWP director Martha Williams established an incident command team on Nov. 7. The team is comprised of FWP staff and representatives from the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, Montana Department of Livestock, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and Crow Nation.

The incident command team is implementing a response outlined in FWP’s CWD Response Plan, which is currently out for public comment. The plan calls for establishing an initial response area for the purposes of a Special CWD Hunt. This hunt, should it occur, would need to be approved by the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission and would be held after the general hunting season. The goal of the hunt would be to harvest enough mule deer to establish disease prevalence and distribution.

For Hunters

Though there is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans, it is recommended to never eat meat from animals that appear to be sick or are known to be CWD positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters who have harvested a deer, elk, or moose from a known CWD-infected area have the animal tested prior to consuming it. If hunters harvest an animal that appears to be sick, the best thing to do is contact FWP and have the animal sampled.

Some simple precautions should be taken 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 these parts.)

Montanans need to remember that Montana law prohibits the import of heads and spinal columns of deer, elk or moose harvested in states or provinces that have CWD in wild or captive populations.

Out of state hunters should check their state’s carcass transport restrictions since Montana is now a CWD-positive state.  Hunters should also dispose of carcass waste in a Class 2 landfill. A class 2 landfill accepts all solid waste, except regulated hazardous waste. Most major landfills in Montana are class 2. However, if you have any questions, contact city or county public works director. Disposing of carcass waste on the landscape is considered littering and it may facilitate the spread of CWD.

Additionally, hunters who are concerned about whether the deer, elk or moose they harvest is infected with CWD should have the animal tested. If the animal was harvested in the priority surveillance area, the sampling can be done at one of the check stations operated in Big Timber, Billings, Columbus, Laurel, or Lavina on Saturdays and Sundays during the general season or at the FWP Region 3 office in Bozeman or the Region 5 office in Billings. If the animal is harvested outside the priority surveillance area, hunters can follow the directions on the web at fwp.mt.gov/CWD to take and submit their own samples for testing. 

Background

The area where the suspect and positive samples were discovered is part of the FWP priority CWD surveillance area. FWP staff are collecting samples from hunter-harvested deer in south central Montana hunting districts. Most samples are collected at check stations and hunters receive a card with a sample number used to check test results. FWP is encouraging hunters who harvest deer within the priority CWD surveillance area, and especially hunting districts 502 and 510, to submit their animals for testing. If this is not done at a check station, hunters can call or come to the FWP Region 5 office on Lake Elmo Drive in Billings at 406-247-2940 from 8-5 weekdays.

CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is a slow-moving disease. However, left unmanaged, it could result in long-term population declines within affected herds.

For more information, look online at fwp.mt.gov/CWD.

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