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

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 - 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
  • 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
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Category Archives: Montana

Agency Seeks Hunters’ Help

MILES CITY – Wildlife officials have asked state hunters to help find chronic wasting disease in southeastern Montana deer.

Hunters should leave the heads of their kills in drop barrels located across the region. One or two vertebrae should be left at the base of the head for a more accurate analysis. Barrel sites include Miles City, Broadus, Ashland and Baker.

The Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department is asking hunters to fill out tags to be left with the animal head indicating where it was killed. The agency also wants hunters’ addresses and phone numbers for notification if the animal is diseased. Test results aren’t expected until at least six weeks after the end of big game hunting season.

Up to this year, officials tested 1,700 deer and elk from around Montana. None tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

Hunters Urged to Take Precautions With Out-Of-State Game

State wildlife officials are urging Montanans who will hunt big game in other states to take precautions to minimize the risk of bringing back animals with chronic wasting disease.

“While the chance is remote, our request is part of an ongoing effort to protect Montana’s wild elk and deer populations from CWD,” said Jeff Hagener, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Montana lawmakers and the FWP Commission recently considered precautionary game-import measures to impede the spread of CWD, but decided instead to encourage hunters to follow some common sense suggestions.

FWP urges hunters planning to visit states known to have CWD in wild animals to only bring home:

* 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; or

* tested and certified disease-free animals.

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

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.

FWP Commission Proposes Rule To Restrict Wild Game Imports From CWD States

The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking public comment on a proposal to restrict the importation of deer and elk parts into Montana from other states or countries with known cases of Chronic Wasting Disease.

The proposed rule would make it unlawful to import dead deer or elk into Montana from any other location that has diagnosed CWD in wild game. Some exceptions include:

– Meat that is cut and wrapped;

– Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached;

– Meat that has been boned out;

– 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; and

– Animals that have been tested in the state where harvested with documentation of the negative CWD test result.

For details on the proposed rule call: 406-444-4039. Comments may be emailed to: [email protected] or mailed to: FWP, Wildlife Division, 1420 East Sixth Ave., P. O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.

Ban on Carcasses From Sites With CWD Favored

HELENA — The state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission unanimously approved a preliminary rule that would ban the importation of deer and elk carcasses into the state from places where chronic wasting disease has been reported.

The new rule, which the commission is expected to make final in August, is designed to slow the spread of chronic wasting disease, an unusual brain-wasting disease of deer and elk that has hit some states hard.

Montana has never found a case of the disease in the wild, although a deer at a game farm near Philipsburg tested positive for the disease in 1999. The rule applies deer and elk shot in any state or country where chronic wasting has been confirmed in the wild.

It forbids the importation of any deer and elk part into the state except meat that is cut and wrapped; portions of uncut meat with no part of the spinal cord or head attached; meat that has been deboned; hides with the heads removed; antlers and a small part of the skull connecting the antlers with no meat or tissue attached; clean antlers; the back teeth of elk known as “ivories” or “buglers” that are used in making jewelry; a mounted head or stuffed animal.

The commission made just one change to the rule that Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff proposed. Commissioners agreed to let hunters bring in an entire carcass if they can prove it doesn’t have CWD.

“I’m pleased to see it,” said Larry Copenhaver with the Montana Wildlife Federation, which had backed a similar bill in the 2003 Legislature.

So far, the commission has not laid out what punishment for violating the new rule might be.

The public is invited to comment on the idea for the next two months.

Tests Indicate No CWD Infection in Montana Deer and Elk

Results of nearly 1,000 deer and elk tested for chronic wasting disease last winter indicate the deadly disease has not infected Montana’s wild, free-ranging herds, state wildlife officials announced today.

The tissue samples from a total of 997 deer and elk harvested by hunters in 2002, or collected by FWP, were sent to the National Veterinary Service Laboratory in Ames, Iowa for analysis. Due to the volume of testing for CWD nationwide, Montana’s results just became available last week.

While the testing indicates a clean bill of health for Montana’s wild deer and elk herds, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Director Jeff Hagener says the agency remains vigilant and plans to continue intensive testing during the fall hunting seasons. In addition, FWP will continue year-round testing of all animals that appear sick or emaciated.

“CWD has turned up in wild deer in Utah, South Dakota, Wyoming and Saskatchewan,” says Hagener. “With that proximity, it’s probably only a matter of time before it enters Montana. We need to have a large enough sample to more confidently say we do or don’t have it, or to pinpoint any herds that may be infected.”

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 called “transmissible spongiform encephalopathies,” which include mad cow disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD, in humans. The test for CWD is done by sampling a specific portion of an animal’s brain, tonsils or lymph nodes. There is no practical or reliable way to test live animals or meat. There is no known cure for CWD.

Public health officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control 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.

FWP has tested more than 2,700 wild deer and elk for CWD since 1996, most intensively in high-risk areas along Montana’s northeastern, eastern and southeastern borders. Intensive sampling has also been continued in the Philipsburg area, near the alternative livestock facility where CWD was detected in a captive elk in 1999, and near Hardin, where tuberculosis was detected in and around an alternative livestock facility in 1994.

“We would expect to find CWD first in these border areas, where it might enter from infected states and provinces, and around the facility where it was detected and, we think, eradicated, in the past,” said Keith Aune, supervisor of FWP’s wildlife laboratory in Bozeman. “We’re actively looking for the disease in animals harvested by hunters and through statewide testing of all symptomatic animals.”

In addition to the 2,700 free-ranging deer and elk tested by FWP, another 2,300 captive deer and elk from Montana’s alternative livestock facilities have been tested for CWD since 1996. All those captive animals, except for those at Phillipsburg, were free of the disease

This fall, FWP will collect more deer and elk tissue samples from animals harvested by hunters, again with emphasis in eastern Montana and other high-risk areas. In addition, the agency is seeking funding to cover additional tests and to help develop a statewide management plan to respond to CWD, if and when the disease is detected in Montana wildlife.

“We will provide opportunities for the public to learn about and comment on our management plans,” says Hagener. “We are taking this disease very seriously. We hope it never arrives in Montana, but we want to be ready in case it does.”

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