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Chronic Wasting Disease Management


CWD Positive Areas & Transport Restriction Zones in Montana

FWP has established within-state carcass Transport Restriction Zones (TRZ) to prevent humans from inadvertently spreading CWD. No brain or spinal column material from deer, elk, or moose harvested within a CWD Positive Area are allowed outside the TRZ. The boundaries of the TRZ have been established so that hunters have access to game processors, taxidermists and landfills for processing and disposing of waste from animals harvested in the Positive Area. The spinal column may be left in the field at the kill site.

Liberty County CWD Positive Area – The whole carcass, whole head, brain or spinal column from any deer, elk or moose taken in Liberty County North of U.S. Highway 2 may not be removed from Toole, Liberty or Hill Counties unless the animal has tested negative for CWD.

Carbon County CWD Positive Area – The whole carcass, whole head, brain or spinal column from any deer, elk or moose taken in Carbon County east of U.S. Highway 212 and the Roberts Cooney Road may not be removed from Carbon or Yellowstone Counties unless the animal has tested negative for CWD.

Management Zones

CWD Management Zones are areas where CWD is known to exist. To prevent the spread of CWD from infected areas of Montana to other parts of the state, the whole carcass, whole head, brain, or spinal column from any deer, elk, or moose harvested within a CWD Management Zone may not be removed from that Management Zone unless the animal has tested negative for CWD. See map above.

Animal parts that CAN be removed from a CWD Management Zone include:

  • Meat cut and wrapped or separated from the bone
  • Hides with no heads attached
  • Quarters or parts with no spine or head attached
  • Skull plates, antlers, or skulls with no tissue

Evidence of the animal’s sex does not have to be attached to any part of the carcass but cannot be destroyed and should accompany the animal from field to point of processing.

Northern Montana CWD Management Zone - Hunting Districts 400, 401, 600, 611, 640, 641, and 670 including the communities of Shelby, Havre, Malta, Glasgow, and others that are on the defined boundaries.

Southern Montana CWD Management Zone – Hunting Districts 502 and 510, that portion of HD 520 east of Highway 212, that portion of HD 575 north and east of Highway 78, that portion of HD 590 south of Interstate 90, that portion of HD 704 south of Hwy 212, including the communities of Billings, Broadus, and others that are on the defined boundaries.

Yellowstone County CWD Management Zone – All of Yellowstone County and the portion of Big Horn County north of Interstate 90 and west of the Big Horn River.

Libby CWD Management Zone - That portion of Lincoln County bounded on N by Barron, Pipe, and Seventeen Mile roads; on W by USFS Libby Ranger District Boundary; on S by Bear and Libby creeks and S boundaries of TWPs T29N, R29W and R30W; on E by Fisher River to Hwy 37, Kootenai River, and Lake Koocanusa.

The latest on CWD in Montana:

Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, was discovered in Montana in 2017. In 2018, FWP detected 26 new cases of CWD among wild deer, including 21 cases along the northern border in every county from Liberty County east to the North Dakota border, and five cases within the CWD-positive area south of Billings. In the spring of 2019, CWD was found in Libby. Special hunting regulations will be coming early fall.

In 2019, FWP will consolidate “CWD positive areas” and “Transport Restriction Zones” into the single moniker “CWD Management Zones.” The southern portion of FWP Region 7 will be included in the southern CWD Management Zone in anticipation of finding CWD positive deer in that area. CWD surveillance/monitoring during fall 2019 will be focused in southeastern Montana, around Philipsburg, and along the Hi-Line.

The following is the latest news on CWD in Montana, as well as information about the disease and ongoing surveillance efforts:

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