From CSKT Natural Resources Department

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, for the first time in western Montana, a moose has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  A successful state hunter harvested a bull moose west of Quartz Creek, north of Troy late this October, and submitted his sample for testing.  

This moose harvest occurred less than half a mile west of the existing Libby CWD Management Zone.  Currently, CWD has been positively detected in 30 deer sampled within this management zone, since testing began this spring.  

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a disease that attacks the brain and nervous system of infected deer, moose and elk.  CWD is believed to be spread directly, through nose-to-nose contact, most commonly via saliva, urine and feces, blood and antler velvet from infected animals.  Researchers also believe the disease may be spread indirectly, via contaminated soil from an infected carcass, where the disease is thought to remain for a long period of time.       

Currently, there is no known treatment for CWD, which proves to be fatal to an infected animal.  There is no evidence CWD can infect humans, or other animals.  The Centers for Disease Control recommend not consuming meat from an animal that tests positive for CWD.  They also suggest having your deer, moose and elk tested prior to consumption if you harvested from a known CWD-positive area.

The Tribal Wildlife Management Program has begun surveillance efforts again on the Flathead Indian Reservation, due to recent detection in Libby.  They are requesting participation from successful deer, elk and both on/off reservation moose CS&KT Tribal member hunters.  It is very important that you get your harvested animal (head with first and second vertebrae attached) to the Tribal Wildlife Biologists with TWO days from the time of harvest, so a viable sample can be collected.    

FWP Carcass Restrictions

To reduce the spread of CWD, whole carcasses, whole heads or spinal columns cannot be taken out of the Libby CWD Management Zone unless the animal has tested negative for CWD. Hunters are strongly encouraged to dispose of hides, bones and trimmings at approved landfills such as the such as the Lincoln County Landfill. The spinal column may be left at the kill site but require landowner permission if on private land. If the carcass is processed within the CWD Management Zone, any brain and spinal parts must be discarded in the Lincoln County Landfill.  

Do not attempt to disturb, kill, or shoot an animal that looks sick.  Report these animals and last known location to Tribal Dispatch at (406) 675-4700.  For more information, please contact Dale Becker, Tribal Wildlife Management Program Manager at (406) 883-2888, ext 7278.

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