Public comment sought for 2021 deer hunting in HDs 400, 401, 403 and 406
By angelamontana

Posted: December 18, 2020

GREAT FALLSMontana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is requesting public review and comment on the deer season structure in HDs 400, 401, 403 and 406 for the 2021 season. 

In February 2020, the Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted a biennial season structure for deer hunting throughout most of Montana. Due to differing public perceptions regarding the implementation of the department’s proposal in these hunting districts, the commission approved deer hunting season structure in these hunting districts for a single year and asked the department to bring back two proposals for the commission’s consideration: the season structure as approved for 2020 and the season structure as approved for 2019.

Deer hunting in these hunting districts during the 2019 season was a three-week general license season.  In 2020, the three weeks general license season was followed by two weeks of limited entry white-tailed deer and mule deer antlered buck permits. 

The primary goal of the 2020 season structure was to maintain a low prevalence and slow the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease among white-tailed deer and mule deer. CWD was first detected in HD 401 in 2017 when a mule deer buck tested positive, and in 2020, a white-tailed buck tested positive.  In HD 400, a white-tailed buck tested positive during the 2018 season. Since then, three additional mule deer bucks have tested positive for the disease.  

CWD is a contagious neurological disease that infects deer, elk and moose. It is always fatal, and there is no known cure. 

CWD is not known to infect humans. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people not eat meat from infected animals and have their harvested animals tested before eating them if they were taken from an area where CWD is known to exist. For more information on CDC recommendations, please visit https://go.usa.gov/xAcnc.

To make a comment or for further clarification or additional materials, you may call the Wildlife Division office at 406-444-2612 or email at fwpwld@mt.gov. Comments will be accepted online by using the following link http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/publicComments/2020/region4Deer.html; in writing sent to MT FWP, Wildlife Division, PO Box 20070, Helena, MT  59620-0701; and by email to fwpwld@mt.gov.

Public comments will be accepted until Monday, Jan. 11, at 5 p.m., with final adoption at the February 2021 Commission Meeting.

-fwp-