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Wasting disease meeting to be held in Polson

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News from CSKT

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will host a chronic wasting disease public information meeting in Polson on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at Kwataqnuk Resort beginning at 6 p.m.  

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 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 after 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 has collected samples from 62 animals, and six positive CWD results have been reported, with one more suspect sample waiting for a second test 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 reservation due to recent detection in Libby. They are requesting participation from successful deer, elk and both on/off reservation moose 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 their last known location to Tribal Dispatch at 406-675-4700. For more information, please contact Dale Becker, CSKT Tribal Wildlife Management Program manager at 406-883-2888, ext. 7278.  

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