Montana FWP confirms CWD in HD 405


Photo credit: Dreamstime

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has spread to Montana’s hunting district 405. Last week, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) confirmed the first case of the fatal disease in a mule deer buck since the agency began statewide testing over three years ago, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

“Out of the 100 deer sampled there over the past three hunting seasons, none tested positive for CWD,” said FWP. “FWP has conducted rotating surveillance for CWD throughout the state for several years, and HD 405 is within this year’s priority surveillance area.”

The disease is already prevalent within the state and across the West. In fact, FWP has held special CWD hunts as part of its active management strategy. 

“Hunters are our best tools to manage CWD,” said wildlife biologist Ryan Rauscher. “Sampling is completely voluntary, so when we ask, please do.” 

If you are hunting in Region 4 and would like to have your harvest sampled for CWD testing, here are the check stations to visit:

  • Belt: Located at pull-out at the intersection of Highwood Rd. and State Highway 331, nine miles north of Belt; open Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to sunset.   
  • Chester: Located at Lions Park Rest Area; open Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to dark.     
  • Fort Benton: Located at pull-out one mile west of Fort Benton at the intersection of State Highway 386 and US Highway 87; open Mondays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Fridays, 1 p.m. to sunset.     
  • Grass Range: Located at pull-out 1/2 mile west of the intersection of US-87/ HWY 200 and HWY 19; open Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to sunset; Mondays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Fridays, noon to sunset (closed Nov. 11).  
  • Shelby: Located at I-15 Southbound Weigh Station, three miles north of Shelby; open Saturday to Monday, 10 a.m. to one hour past dark. 
  • Great Falls: Located at FWP Region 4 Office 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls; open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not consuming CWD-infected meat.

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