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Protect Against CWD

Hunters Urged To Help Protect Montana’s Wild Elk And Deer From CWD

Photo of a mule deer buck.
Mule Deer Buck

Montanans who plan to travel out-of-state to hunt big game are urged to follow a few common sense steps if they bring wild meat back from a state known to have CWD in wild animals. Bring home only:

  • meat that is boned, cut and wrapped; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached;
  • hides with no heads attached;
  • clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached;
  • antlers with no meat or tissue attached;
  • upper canine teeth, also known as "buglers", "whistlers" or "ivories;"
  • finished head, partial body or whole body mounts already prepared by a taxidermist; or
  • tested and certified disease-free animals.

States where CWD is confirmed in wild deer or elk include Colorado, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, New York, West Virginia and Wyoming. CWD is also found in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. Some of the states have game-export regulations that Montana hunters must follow.

CWD is a rare brain disease that causes infected deer and elk to lose weight and body functions, behave abnormally and eventually die. The ailment belongs to a family of diseases that include mad cow disease in cattle, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans.

Public health officials have found no link between CWD in deer and elk and disease in humans and say there is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans. Scientific studies however, are still in progress to determine if CWD posses any risk to human health.

For more information, visit FWP's CWD Questions & Answers web page.

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