Mule deer CWD hunt

Hunters in Liberty County have killed 94 deer so far in a special chronic wasting disease hunt.

BRETT FRENCH, Gazette Staff

Hunters checked in nine more mule deer at the end of the third weekend of the Sage Creek special chronic wasting disease hunt in northern Liberty County, bringing the total number of deer sampled to 94 since the hunt started Jan. 6

So far, none have tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

Six mule deer does and one buck were brought in for sampling Jan. 15-21 at the check station in Chester. Hunters checked in two additional bucks at the Fish, Wildlife & Parks Havre office.

The hunt will run until either Feb. 15 or the 157-deer quota is reached.

The special hunt is designed to gather information about the distribution and prevalence of CWD in deer in an area of Liberty County, where a mule deer taken during the 2017 general big game season tested positive for CWD.

Hunters are required to submit their harvested deer at either an FWP check station at the rest stop on U.S. Highway 2 in Chester, 314 E. Washington Ave., or the FWP office in Havre.

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CWD is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. It has been present for some years in states and Canadian provinces north, east and south of Montana, but was first found in wild deer in the state this fall.

CWD has not been shown to spread to people, pets, livestock or wildlife outside of the deer family. However, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend not consuming meat from an animal known to be infected with CWD.

More information about CWD and the special hunt is available online to http://fwp.mt.gov/cwd.

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