CWD detected for first time in hunting district 311 near Cardwell
Wildlife health staff with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks recently detected chronic wasting disease in a white-tailed deer buck that was harvested by a hunter in hunting district 311.
The deer was harvested about 1 mile northeast of Cardwell on the south side of Interstate 90. This marks the first CWD detection in hunting district 311. However, the detection site was previously part of hunting district 333 but was added to hunting district 311 during FWP’s biennial season setting process last year.
CWD has been detected in hunting district 333 previously. The recent detection near Cardwell is a moderate expansion of the disease’s known distribution among white-tailed deer within the Jefferson River watershed.
CWD is a contagious neurological disease that infects deer, elk and moose. It is always fatal, and there is no known cure. It was first detected in Montana’s wild herds in 2017. The disease is known to exist in other parts of southwest Montana, including the Paradise, Gallatin and Ruby valleys, as well as in other areas of the state.
FWP has conducted rotating surveillance for CWD throughout the state for several years. Hunting district 311 is within this year’s priority surveillance area. Hunters play a significant role in CWD management by providing test samples from harvested animals. FWP has provided resources to help hunters collect and submit samples for testing on their own. These resources and others can be found at fwp. mt.gov/cwd.
CWD is not known to infect humans. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people not eat meat from infected animals and have their harvested animals tested before eating them if they were taken from an area where CWD is known to exist. For more information on CDC recommendations, please visit go.usa.gov/xAcnc.