Last fall, for the first time in western Montana, a bull moose tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This disease attacks the brain and nervous system of all deer species. 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 infected carcass, where the disease is thought to remain for a long period of time.
During the 2020 hunting season, carcass disposal is very important in preventing hunter spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). There are no transport restrictions within the state of Montana, as long as the carcass parts are safely dispose of in a landfill after processing. Do not dump your deer carcass in the woods, do your part to help protect our deer, elk and moose for future generations.
The CSKT Wildlife Management Program is asking all Tribal member hunters to participate in a statewide CWD study. Successful deer, elk and both on/off reservation moose hunters are strongly encouraged to submit their harvested animal within TWO days from the time of harvest. Tribal Wildlife Biologists or Tribal Game warden will need the head with the first and second vertebrae attached to pull a viable sample. Contact Shannon Clairmont, Wildlife Biologist for the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, at (406) 883-2888 ext. 7242, to arrange a meeting.
An afterhours drop off is location is also available at the Tribal Permit Office at 408 6th Avenue East in Polson, Mt. There will be a brief submission form that each hunter is required to fill out and attach to his or her sample. Testing is FREE to hunters and hunters will be notified when results return, this process generally takes two weeks. The hunters name and contact information, along with harvest location are required for testing and will assist biologists on who to notify with results.
Currently, there is no known treatment for CWD, which proves to be fetal 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.
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 The Tribal Wildlife Management Program at (406) 883-2888.