Commission to hold call on north central Montana CWD hunt
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a conference call Thursday to make a decision on a Sage Creek Special Chronic Wasting Disease hunt north of Chester.
CWD was found in a mule deer buck harvested in hunting district 401, which borders Canada. This is the second area of the state where CWD was detected this year.
During the general big game season CWD surveillance effort, six deer in south central Montana were found positive for CWD. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is currently holding a special CWD hunt south of Laurel in response to these detections.
The objective of a special CWD hunt, as outlined in FWP’s draft CWD Response Plan, would be to determine disease prevalence and distribution. For the Sage Creek Special CWD Hunt, FWP is proposing to sell 335 deer B licenses in an effort to harvest 135 mule deer. Of those 335 licenses, 60 would be either sex and 275 would be antlerless. Licenses would go on sale on Dec. 26 and the hunt would begin Jan. 6 and last through Feb. 15 or until the sample objectives were reached.
The Sage Creek Special CWD Hunt area is about 226 square miles in size and just east of the Sweet Grass Hills. It abuts to the Canadian border. The hunt area is primarily comprised of private land. As outlined in the draft plan, FWP has assembled an incident command team to respond to the discovery.
CWD is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that effects deer, elk and moose. It is not known to infect humans. The Center’s for Disease Control recommends not consuming animals that test positive for CWD. The CDC also recommends getting deer, elk or moose from CWD positive areas tested prior to consumption.
All animals harvested in the hunt must be submitted for sampling.
The call with the Fish and Wildlife Commission will be at 1 p.m. Dec. 21. Audio of the call will be available at regional offices, FWP headquarters in Helena and online at fwp.mt.gov.
For the agenda and background information, go to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov; under “Quick Links” click “Commission.”
– Fish and Wildlife Commission