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Wildlife Disease Testing To Continue This Hunting Season


Fri Oct 30 00:00:00 MDT 2009

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials are asking hunters, outfitters, landowners, and others in portions of southern and north-central Montana to help with studies of two serious wildlife diseases.

For brucellosis testing, elk hunters in the southern part of the state are asked to place a blood-collection kit in their pack prior to going afield and to collect a blood sample shortly after harvesting an elk. The small, lightweight kits and instructions are available at FWP offices in Bozeman, Billings, and Helena. Kits can also be found at many trailhead kiosks in southern Montana hunting districts that surround Yellowstone National Park.

For a chronic wasting disease study, elk, deer and moose hunters in southern Montana, and in areas in and near the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge, are asked to donate heads from their harvested game. Hunters can drop off heads at hunter check stations, FWP offices and at some meat processors.

FWP has tested elk for brucellosis exposure for more than 20 years. Of the more than 7,000 elk tested, the only evidence of the disease in elk has occurred in the Greater Yellowstone Area north and west of Yellowstone National Park.

A total of nearly 16,000 wild deer, elk and moose have been tested for CWD in Montana since 1998. None have tested positive for the brain disease.