Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Southwest Montana Stockman’s Association will hold an informational open house on elk-brucellosis surveillance efforts for the 2008 general big game season on Oct. 2 from 3-6 p.m. in the 4-H Building at the Dillon Fairgrounds.
Last year, cattle in a herd near Bridger tested positive for brucellosis. Another positive test for the disease was identified in cattle earlier this year near Emigrant. Because it was the second case of brucellosis found in Montana within a 12-month time span, the U.S. Department of Agriculture revoked Montana’s brucellosis-free status.
Elk have been identified as a possible source of the brucellosis infections.
In response, FWP will redouble efforts to collect blood samples from hunter-harvested elk in targeted areas in the Greater Yellowstone region, including Dillon area hunting districts 300, 302, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, and 330. FWP will seek to pinpoint the location of the disease in wildlife, complete wildlife and livestock risk assessments, and then determine if wildlife or livestock management practices need adjustments.
The open house will be focused on informing elk hunters, outfitters, and landowners who allow elk hunting on their property about the brucellosis surveillance efforts, distributing blood sample kits, and offering training in how to collect usable samples.
The elk-brucellosis surveillance effort will target additional hunting districts in the Madison and Paradise Valleys. For additional information or to get a blood sample kit and instructions, call the FWP Wildlife Laboratory in Bozeman at 406-994-6357.