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CWD sampling services in Sidney on Sundays

CWD - Region 7

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Once a week on Sundays beginning Nov. 17, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will collect samples from hunter-harvested deer and elk in Sidney and submit them for Chronic Wasting Disease testing.

A CWD technician will take samples in a bay at the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department, 300 12th Ave NW, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each Sunday through the close of general big game season on Dec. 1. There is no cost for this service. Hunters can bring the whole carcass or the animal’s head and four inches of neck tissue to the fire bay during these hours. A technician will collect the retropharyngeal lymph nodes from the throat area and gather information including harvest location from the hunter so FWP can follow up if an animal tests positive. Test results will be available online at fwp.mt.gov/cwd in about three weeks. FWP will contact hunters directly in the event of a positive result.

Although no cases of CWD have transferred from wildlife to humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not eating the meat of an infected animal.

FWP Region 7 is focusing sampling efforts on a Priority Sampling Area in the southern portions of Hunting Districts 702, 704 and 705 this year. However, FWP will take samples from anywhere in the region, and the Sidney area is of interest because in late October a deer tested positive for CWD in McKenzie County, N.D., which is just over the border from Sidney.

Another option for having your animal tested is to collect the sample yourself and submit it to the FWP lab (instructions at fwp.mt.gov/cwd). Hunters must cover shipping costs, but FWP will pay for testing on animals harvested anywhere in Montana. You can also bring your animal to the FWP regional office in Miles City Monday through Friday during business hours. If you are hunting in the Ashland, Hysham or Ekalaka area, CWD check stations operate on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to sunset, and on Monday from 8 a.m. to noon.