CWD's Specter Haunts Montana Game Officials

CWD, Chronic Wasting Disease, has become a scourge across the western and central United States.  Since its appearance in Colorado in the 1980s, it has spread like a plague in some post-apocalyptic novel to decimate deer and elk herds.  It is now on the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department's radar.

While CWD is a significant problem for Montana's neighbors Wyoming and South Dakota, so far there are no confirmed cases in the Big Sky state, and FWP wants to keep it thus.  Montana stepped up CWD detection efforts when the general rifle season opened on October 21st.  One method they've chosen is to establish more game checkpoints, the latest in Billings, in hopes they will find any contaminated animals which have either been harvested on the eastern plains or brought in from infected states.

All hunters are required under Montana law to stop at any and all game checkpoints and present game carcasses for inspection.  So far, medical experts believe humans cannot contract CWD, which is similar to "mad cow" disease, from game but they caution hunters to avoid direct contact with an animal's bodily fluids, and central nervous system tissues (brain and spinal cord), in particular.

For further information about Montana's efforts to fight CWD, contact the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department at fwp.mt.gov.