Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks did not detect chronic wasting disease in any of the 849 deer, elk and moose mostly collected during the 2011-2012 hunting season.
Montana’s detection program tests sick and road-killed deer, elk and moose, and has relied heavily on testing samples from hunter-harvested animals collected in "high risk" areas. CWD is a brain disease in deer, elk and moose that is always fatal.
Over the past 14 years FWP has tested more than 17,300 wild elk, moose and deer in Montana for CWD and has not yet found any evidence of it.
CWD was diagnosed in 1999 in nine captive elk on an alternative livestock facility, or game farm, near Philipsburg. All the animals there were destroyed and the facility was quarantined.
"It's always welcome news to learn that CWD hasn't been found in Montana wildlife populations, but we still think it is just a matter of time," said Neil Anderson, FWP’s Wildlife Laboratory supervisor. "The disease occurs in wild elk, deer and moose in adjacent states and Canadian provinces, so we expect it to turn up here some day."
FWP adopted a CWD Management Plan to help protect Montana’s wild deer and elk from infection and to manage the disease should it occur here. That plan is up for renewal and is currently under review.
If you should see sick, emaciated animals, please report them to the nearest FWP regional office, or the FWP biologist in your area.
For more information, visit FWP’s CWD Frequently Asked Questions at fwp.mt.gov and search "CWD".