Fish and Wildlife Commission approves deer hunt north of Chester

CLOSE

From 1998 to 2016, Montana tested more than 17,000 wild deer, elk and moose for CWD. There were no positive tests — until this fall. Wochit

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Thursday to OK a second deer hunt where chronic wasting disease has shown up in the deer population. 

The Sage Creek Special CWD Hunt area is about 226 square miles in size and just east of the Sweet Grass Hills and abuts the Canadian border.

The hunt area is primarily comprised of private land.

Licenses for residents will be $10. Licenses for non-residents are $20.

There will be 335 deer B licenses offered in an effort to harvest 135 mule deer.

Of those 335 licenses, 60 would be either sex and 275 would be antlerless.

Licenses would go on sale on Tuesday and the hunt begins Jan. 6 and continues through Feb. 15, but could close sooner should the quota be reached. 

Chronic Wasting Disease was found in a mule deer buck harvested in hunting district 401, which borders Canada.

This is the second area of the state where CWD was detected this year. 

During a CWD surveillance effort during the general big game season, six deer in southcentral Montana were found positive for CWD.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is currently holding a special CWD hunt south of Laurel in Carbon County in response to these detections.

The objective of special CWD hunts is determining disease prevalence and distribution.

Samples are taken from the animals and sent to the lab for testing.

All animals harvested in the hunt must be submitted for sampling. 

CWD is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that effects deer, elk and moose. It is not known to infect humans.

The Center’s for Disease Control recommends not consuming animals that test positive for CWD. The CDC also recommends getting deer, elk or moose from CWD positive areas tested prior to consumption. 

For more information

Each hunter who participates in the Sage Creek Special CWD Hunt should go online and obtain the hunt packet, which includes a map and rules for the hunt. These can be found online at fwp.mt.gov/CWD or at the FWP office in Havre, the check station at the Sage Creek Hutterite Colony or at the FWP region 4 office in Great Falls. All successful hunters must have their animal sampled either at the check station, which is open from 10 a.m. to one hour after sunset, or at the FWP Havre office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. five days a week. 

Read or Share this story: http://gftrib.com/2BVfHU3