Hunters checked in an additional 35 mule deer at the end of the second weekend of the Sage Creek Special Chronic Wasting Disease Hunt in northern Liberty County, bringing the total number of deer sampled to 85.
Mule deer brought in for sampling Jan. 8-14 at the check station in Chester numbered 11 bucks and 23 does. An additional doe was checked in at the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Havre office.
So far, hunters have taken a total of 85 deer in the hunt, which stared Jan. 6. The hunt will run until either Feb. 15 or a 157-deer quota is reached.
Also, tissue samples removed from the 50 deer taken opening weekend have all tested negative for CWD.
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.
CWD is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that effects deer, elk and moose. It has been present for some years in states and Canadian providences 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 (CDC) 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.
(report via MT FWP)