Fish, Wildlife and Parks has set new operating hours for its chronic wasting disease check station at Chester, starting Feb. 5. The new hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
The check station was set up to take tissue samples from mule deer harvested during the Sage Creek CWD hunt in Liberty County designed to gather information about the distribution and prevalence of the disease.
The check station will remain open through Feb. 15 or until a quota of 157 mule deer has been reached. As of Jan. 29 hunters had harvested 111 mule deer.
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.
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.