BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has set new operating hours for its chronic wasting disease check station at Joliet. The new hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
The check station was set up to take tissue samples from deer harvested during a special hunt in Carbon County designed to gather information about the distribution and prevalence of chronic wasting disease, or CWD, in south central Montana.
The hunt and check station will remain open through Feb. 15 or until predetermined quotas have been met and the special season closes. As of Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, hunters had harvested 115 white-tailed deer toward the quota of 200. A quota of 200 mule deer were harvested earlier and that part of the season closed Jan. 7.
Hunters are required to submit deer harvested during the special season to FWP for sampling within three days either at a check station at Joliet or at FWP’s Region 5 headquarters in Billings Heights. The Region 5 headquarters is open during normal business hours.
CWD is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that effects 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 during focused CWD surveillance throughout south central Montana.
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. The CDC also recommends that hunters have deer tested if they were harvested in areas where CWD is known to be present.
More information about CWD and the special hunt is available online to http://fwp.mt.gov/cwd.
(Report via MT FWP)