From CSKT Natural Resources Department 

POLSON — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will host a CWD public information meeting in Polson on Wednesday, August 21 at Kwataqnuk Resort beginning at 6 pm. This meeting is one of seven public meetings scheduled to take place in Northwest Montana. See fwp.mt.gov/news for a complete list of public meetings and locations. 

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) attacks the brain and nervous system of infected deer, moose and elk. CWD was first detected in eastern Montana within wild deer populations in October of 2017. Prior to this, the only animals within the state to test positive for CWD, were nine elk from an alternative livestock facility (game farm) in Phillipsburg in 1999. 

Currently, CWD has been detected in Carbon, Liberty, Hill, Blaine, Phillips, Valley, Daniels, and Sheridan Counties in Montana. Lincoln County was also added to this list, when CWD was detected in the spring of 2019. Making this the first time CWD has been detected in the wild, west of the Centennial Divide in Montana.

Since May, FWP have collected samples from 62 animals, six positive CWD results have been reported, with one more suspect sample, waiting for a second test to be ran for confirmation. 

CWD has not been found on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The Tribal Wildlife Management Program plans to begin surveillance efforts again on the FIR 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 hunters bring their harvested animal (head with first and second vertebrae attached) to the Tribal Wildlife Biologists within TWO days from the time of harvest, otherwise the sample cannot be collected. 

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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