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:

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FOR NATIONAL REGULATIONS GO HERE

Testing Laboratories in Montana

Sorry, our records do not show any CWD testing laboratories in your state, if you find this to be in error, please contact us.

Locations Where CWD Was Found

Hunting district 510, south of Billings.

Most Recent CWD News

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  • 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
  • A chronic wasting disease sample collected by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in late October from a hunter-killed deer was found to be suspect for chronic wasting disease.

    The sample was collected from a mule deer buck harvested in hunting district 510 south of Billings.

    Read More
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks tested more than 1,300 deer, elk and moose collected during the 2010-2011 hunting season and did not detect chronic wasting disease in any of the animals.

    Montana’s detection program tests sick and road-killed deer, elk and moose, and has relied heavily

    Read More
    • 2
  • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks tested more than 1,300 deer, elk and moose collected during the 2009-2010 hunting season and did not detect chronic wasting disease in any of the animals.

    Montana’s detection program tests sick and road-killed deer, elk and moose, and hunter harvest samples

    Read More
    • 2
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Category Archives: Montana

Chronic Wasting Disease Yet To Be Found In Montana

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks tested more than 1,300 deer, elk and moose collected during the 2009-2010 hunting season and did not detect chronic wasting disease in any of the animals.

Montana’s detection program tests sick and road-killed deer, elk and moose, and hunter harvest samples collected in “high risk” areas along Montana’s borders with Wyoming, South Dakota, Saskatchewan and Alberta. CWD is a brain disease in deer, elk and moose that is always fatal.

Over the past 12 years FWP has tested more than 15,000 wild elk or deer in Montana for CWD and has not yet found any evidence of the disease.

CWD was diagnosed in 1999 in nine captive elk on an alternative livestock facility, or game farm, near Philipsburg. All the animals there were destroyed and the facility was quarantined.

“The good news is that we haven’t found CWD in Montana wildlife populations, but given the location of the disease in wild elk, deer and moose in adjacent states and Canadian provinces we’ll keep testing because it’s likely we’ll find it here at some point,” said Neil Anderson, FWP’s Wildlife Laboratory supervisor.

FWP adopted a CWD Management Plan to help protect Montana’s wild deer and elk from infection and to manage the disease should it occur here.

CWD has been detected in Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota, Utah, and Colorado among other states, and in Saskatchewan and Alberta. No one is sure where CWD came from. It was first detected in the wild in 1981. Since then it has been found in wild herds or alternative livestock ranches, or game farms, in 15 states and two provinces.

If you should see sick, emaciated animals, please report them to the nearest FWP regional office, or the FWP biologist in your area.

For more information, visit FWP’s CWD Frequently Asked Questions at fwp.mt.gov and search “CWD.”

Chronic Wasting Disease Not Found In 2009

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks tested about 2,000 deer, elk and moose collected during the 2008-2009 hunting season and did not detect chronic wasting disease in any of the animals tested.

Montana’s detection program tests sick and road-killed deer, elk and moose , and hunter harvest samples collected in “high risk” areas along Montana’s borders with Wyoming, South Dakota, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Over the past 11 years FWP has tested more than 14,000 wild elk or deer in Montana for CWD and has not yet found any evidence of the disease.

CWD was diagnosed in 1999 in nine captive elk on an alternative livestock facility, or game farm, near Philipsburg. All the animals there were destroyed and the facility was quarantined.

“Although we have not found CWD in wildlife populations of Montana, given the location of the disease in wild elk, deer and moose in adjacent states and Canadian provinces it is likely that we will find it at some point” said Neil Anderson, FWP’s Wildlife Laboratory supervisor.

“After CWD was detected in a moose near Jackson Hole in Wyoming, we are reviewing where we need to focus our efforts. Should CWD find its way into elk frequenting the feed grounds in Wyoming, it will only be a matter of time before we find it in elk populations of southwestern Montana,” Anderson said.

FWP adopted a Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan to help protect Montana’s wild deer and elk from infection and to manage the disease should it occur here. CWD, a chronic brain disease in deer, elk and moose that is always fatal, has not yet been found in wild herds in Montana.

“We are working to prevent CWD from entering the state, monitoring Montana’s wild game for the disease, and preparing, through research and planning, to manage it if it does occur,” said Tim Feldner, author of FWP’s Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan.

To review Montana’s new CWD management plan , or visit the CWD Frequently Asked Questions go to the FWP home page at fwp.mt.gov and use the search feature.

CWD has been detected in Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, and Colorado among other states, and in Saskatchewan and Alberta. No one is sure where CWD came from. It first showed up in the wild in 1981. Since then it has been found in wild herds or alternative livestock ranches, or game farms, in 15 states and two provinces.

If you should see sick, emaciated animals please report them to the nearest FWP regional office, or the FWP biologist in your area.

Hunters Urged to Help Protect Montana’s Wild Elk and Deer From CWD

Montanans who plan to travel out-of-state or to Canada to hunt deer, elk and moose, should know that it is now illegal to import heads and spinal cords from harvested game animals from a state known to have CWD in wild animals. Hunters can only bring back to Montana:

  • meat that is boned, cut and wrapped; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached

  • hides with no heads attached

  • clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached

  • antlers with no meat or tissue attached

  • upper canine teeth, also known as “buglers”, “whistlers” or “ivories”

  • finished head, partial body or whole body mounts already prepared by a taxidermist.

States where CWD is confirmed in wild deer or elk include Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. CWD is also found in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada.

Some states or provinces also have game-export regulations that Montana hunters must follow.

In addition, all Montana hunters and meat processors are advised to properly dispose of waste, including heads and spinal columns, from any harvested deer, elk, or moose by sealing them in plastic bags and depositing them in a waste facility known to transport to a sanitary landfill facility.

These measures will help to limit the potential introduction or unknowing spread of CWD in Montana.

CWD is a rare brain disease that causes infected deer and elk to lose weight and body functions, behave abnormally and eventually die. The ailment belongs to a family of diseases that include mad cow disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans.

Public health officials have found no link between CWD in deer and elk and disease in humans and say there is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans. Scientific studies however, are still in progress to determine if CWD poses any risk to human health.

Hunters Urged To Protect Montana’s Wild Elk And Deer From CWD

Montanans who plan to travel out-of-state or to Canada to hunt big game, including deer, elk and moose, should know that it is now illegal to bring heads and spinal cords from harvested game animals back with them from a state known to have chronic wasting disease. CWD is a brain disease in deer and elk that is always fatal.

Bring home only:

  • meat that is boned, cut and wrapped; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached

  • hides with no heads attached

  • clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached

  • antlers with no meat or tissue attached

  • upper canine teeth, also known as “buglers”, “whistlers” or “ivories”

  • finished head, partial body or whole body mounts already prepared by a taxidermist.

States where CWD is confirmed in wild deer or elk include Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. CWD is also found in Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. Some of the states or provinces also have game-export regulations that Montana hunters must follow.

In addition, all Montana hunters and meat processors are advised to properly dispose of waste carcass parts, including heads and spinal columns, from any harvested deer, elk, or moose by sealing them in plastic bags and depositing them in a waste facility where it is known that it will be transported to a sanitary landfill. These measures are intended to prevent the introduction of CWD to Montana, or the spread of CWD if it is found in Montana.

CWD is a rare brain disease that causes infected deer and elk to lose weight and body functions, behave abnormally and eventually die. The ailment belongs to a family of diseases that include mad cow disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans.

Public health officials have found no link between CWD in deer and elk and disease in humans and say there is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans. Scientific studies however, are still in progress to determine if CWD posses any risk to human health.

FWP Announces Prevention And Management Plans For Chronic Wasting Disease

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has adopted a Chronic Wasting Disease management plan to help protect Montana’s wild deer and elk from infection and to manage the disease should it occur here. CWD, a chronic brain disease in deer and elk that is always fatal, has not yet been found in wild herds in Montana.

“We have worked with the best scientific knowledge available and representatives from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Montana Department of Livestock and the public to come up with a flexible but comprehensive plan to help prevent CWD and to manage it if it occurs in Montana,” said Tim Feldner, FWP’s CWD plan coordinator.

CWD has been detected in Wyoming, South Dakota, Utah, and Colorado among other states, and in Saskatchewan and Alberta. No one is sure where CWD came from. It first showed up in the wild in 1981. Since then it has been found in wild herds or alternative livestock ranches, or game farms, in 13 states and two provinces.

“We are working to prevent CWD from entering the state, monitoring Montana’s wild game for the disease, and preparing, through research and planning, to manage it if it does occur,” Feldner said.

Prevention measures now being implemented include:

  • prohibiting all baiting and feeding of wild game animals;
  • prohibiting transport into Montana of heads and spinal cords of deer, elk and moose harvested in states or provinces where CWD infected wildlife have been found;
  • discontinuing the rehabilitation of orphan deer fawns and elk calves at the Helena wildlife rehabilitaiton center where an infected animal could spread the disease to others that might then be released back into the wild;
  • preventing potential contamination of the environment by proper disposal of heads and spinal columns from private and commercial butchering; and
  • a critical re-examination of policies on the import and movement of captive wild game within the state.

Feldner said it is essential to properly dispose of waste from wild game to avoid unknowingly contaminating the environment. Research in other states has demonstrated that the CWD prion that causes the infection may remain viable in the soil for years.

“Effective management of CWD once it occurs depends on quick actions and on a high level of cooperation among state, federal and tribal agencies, hunters, landowners and others,” Feldner said. “The longer CWD exists in an area, the more potential there is for exposing more animals and expanding the area of infection.”

Feldner said Montana’s detection program tests road-killed animals and hunter harvest samples collected in “high risk” areas along Montana’s borders with Wyoming, South Dakota, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Over the past 8 years, FWP has tested more than 9,300 wild elk or deer in Montana for CWD and has not yet found any evidence of the disease. CWD was diagnosed in 1999 in nine captive elk on an alternative livestock facility near Philipsburg. All the animals there were destroyed and the facility was quarantined. Montana voters passed an initiative the following year that prohibits transfer of existing alternative livestock licenses, ends new licensing, and prohibits shooting captive elk for a fee.

“It appears from the way the disease has spread in the past several years in adjacent states, that it is highly likely CWD will appear here in wild deer and elk herds at some point,” Feldner said. “We’re preparing now to manage that situation as effectively as possible.”

To learn more about CWD or to review Montana’s new CWD management plan, go to the FWP home page at fwp.mt.gov and look under Hot Topics.

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