CHESTER- A public information session regarding Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and a CWD hunt for the fall will be held September 9 in the Chester High School auditorium, 511 Main Street, beginning at 7:00 P.M.
Fish Wildlife and Parks discovered CWD in deer south of Billings and north of Chester two years ago and the meeting's focus will be on CWD updates in the region and a Moffat Bridge special CWD hunt.
Region 4, hunting districts 400 and 401, are designated as part of the Northern Montana CWD Management Zone.
CWD is almost always fatal to deer, elk and moose, and can cause significant population decrease over time if left unmanaged according to Fish Wildlife and Parks.
The CDC says it can take up to a year for an infected animal to show symptoms such as drastic weight loss, stumbling, lack of energy, and more.
It is currently unknown if CWD can infect humans as there has been no strong evidence, but the CDC has some tips for reducing your risk of exposure to the disease:
- Don’t shoot, handle, or eat meat from deer and elk that look sick, act strangely, or found dead like road kill.
- Wear latex or rubber gloves when dressing the animal or handling the meat, minimize how much you handle the animal’s organs, particularly the brain or spinal cord tissues, and don’t use household knives or other kitchen utensils for field dressing.
- Check state wildlife and public health guidance to see whether testing for CWD is recommended or required.
- Strongly consider having the deer or elk tested for CWD before eating the meat; hunters that commercially process deer or elk meat should consider asking that their animal be processed individually to avoid mixing meat from multiple animals.
- If the meat tests positive for CWD do not eat it.
You can read Montana’s regulations for CWD Management Zones on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Park’s website here.