DNR: 17 Montcalm Co. Deer Suspected or Confirmed to Have CWD

FWP file

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will hold a public meeting in Joliet Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, to talk about chronic wasting disease, or CWD, and a special deer hunt this winter.

Most of the deer with the disease is in Montcalm County.

Until this year, CWD had not been found in Montana, though the disease exists in wild deer herds in Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The deadly disease was found in a deer shot on November 12 in hunting district 401 in Liberty County near the Canadian border.

"Hunters are our best ally in understanding the magnitude of chronic wasting disease in MI", said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist. FWP is in the process of putting together a team for the latest detection north of Chester. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals. As a result, FWP has proposed a special two-month hunt to gather information about the distribution and prevalence of CWD in south central Montana. The specifics of this hunt would be determined by the incident command team.

Opened and staffed additional deer check stations to better accommodate hunters within Core CWD Areas.

CWD can only be effectively detected in samples from dead animals.

High rates of CWD in a deer population could significantly affect the number of deer and could decrease the potential for older deer, especially more mature bucks. It is part of a group of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals.

There have been no reported cases of chronic wasting disease infection in humans.

The DNR says anyone who harvests deer in Montcalm County should have their deer tested by bringing them to a deer check station.

Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals.

Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when field dressing.

Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.

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