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Key reminders as the special CWD hunt progresses south of Laurel

Hunting - Region 7

Wed Dec 27 10:54:00 MST 2017

As the Bridger Special CWD Hunt continues, FWP wants to remind hunters to remember a few important points.

  • Know the hunt rules and regulations.

The Bridger Special CWD Hunt is only valid for a specific area delineated on a map available with the hunt packet online at fwp.mt.gov/CWD. Hunters should all have the hunt packet when they’re out in the field. Additionally, the hunt packet also includes the rules for the hunt. As a hunter is it your responsibility to know the rules and regulations. This includes knowing rules for hunting and access at all FWP fishing access sites and other public lands.

  • Hunt ethically and responsibly

Even though this is a special hunt, it is the hunter’s responsibility to behave in a legal and ethical manner. Know your target, and what’s behind it, before you shoot. Make sure you have a clean and ethical shot to ensure a quick and efficient kill. Don’t shoot from roads. Ethical hunting ensures the future of hunting for everyone.

  • Ask first to hunt private lands

The goal of the Bridger Special CWD Hunt is to determine prevalence of CWD within the hunt area. To do this FWP needs adequate samples. To achieve this goal, we need the help and cooperation of both hunters and landowners. Unethical hunters can lead to limited opportunities on private land for ethical hunters. Please keep this in mind as you hunt. And if you see illegal behavior, please call 1-800 TIPMONT to report it.

“For the most part hunters have conducted themselves ethically for this hunt,” said Barb Beck, FWP Region 5 Supervisor. “However, we’ve had a few concerns and we want to make sure hunters understand our expectations.”

While the hunt area has a mixture of private and public lands, private landowner participation in allowing hunters access to harvest deer will be critical to meeting the objectives of the hunt.

“Many landowners are great partners in both habitat conservation and hunting access,” Beck said. “We value the partnership and know our hunters do as well.”

The Bridger Special CWD Hunt is ongoing south of Laurel. CWD is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that effects deer, elk and moose. It was first found in wild deer in Montana this fall during the focused CWD surveillance in south central Montana. So far six deer, four mule deer bucks, one mule deer doe and one white-tailed doe, have tested positive for CWD within the hunt area.

Additionally, FWP has established a transport restriction zone, or TRZ, to limit the possibility of CWD positive carcasses moving outside the general area of the hunt. The TRZ will include Yellowstone and Carbon Counties. Whole carcasses, heads and spinal columns will not be allowed outside the TRZ. Hunters must bone out their deer, quarter it taking only the leg bones, or have it processed prior to it removing it from the TRZ. Spinal columns and carcass parts may be left at the site of the kill if allowed by the landowner. Carcass parts that may be removed from the TRZ include:

  • meat that is cut and wrapped or meat that has been separated from the bone;
  • quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached;
  • hides with no heads attached;
  • skull plates or antlers with no meat or tissue attached;
  • skulls that have been boiled and cleaned to remove flesh and tissue.

For more information, go online to fwp.mt.gov/CWD.

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