- CWD is a contagious neurological disease that infects deer, elk and moose. It is always fatal and there is no known cure.
- It was first found in Montana in 2017.
- It is not known to infect humans, but it is strongly recommended that humans not eat meat from infected animals.
- CWD can cause large declines in deer and elk populations.
- Symptoms include poor body condition, excessive salivation and drooling, drooping head and ears and disoriented behavior.
What Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is doing about CWD
- In 2019, FWP will continue surveillance in high-priority areas in parts of northern, western and southern Montana, primarily from hunter-harvested animals.
- In other areas across that state, FWP will pay for sampling for hunters who send their samples to the FWP lab in Bozeman. For more information, visit fwp.mt.gov/cwd.
- Special CWD Hunts: Libby Special CWD Hunt and Moffat Bridge Special CWD Hunt in eastern HD 400.
- The import of heads and spinal columns of deer, elk and moose from states/provinces that have CWD is unlawful. Many other states have similar import restrictions for animals from Montana.
- To prevent the spread of the disease, heads and spinal columns from deer, elk and moose from CWD Management Zones may not be moved outside of the CWD Management Zones.
- In CWD-positive areas, FWP is taking action to manage and contain the disease. Potential management actions may include increased harvest, especially of antlered animals, targeted removal in limited areas around CWD detections, minimizing large groupings of deer by removing or fencing attractants, through hazing or dispersal hunts and transport restrictions.
What you can do
- Report any sick-looking deer, elk or moose to FWP.
- If you harvest a deer, elk or moose in a priority sampling area, stop at a check station to have your animal sampled. If you harvest an animal in one of the CWD Management Zones, have it tested before eating it.
- If you harvest a deer, elk or moose outside of a priority sampling area and are interested in knowing the CWD status of your animal, send your sample to the FWP lab in Bozeman. For more information, visit fwp.mt.gov/cwd.
- Take precautions: When field dressing your animal, wear gloves and eye protection and minimize handling brain and spinal tissue. For more information, go to fwp.mt.gov/cwd.