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Hunters kill 35 mule deer in hunt to test for disease


January 18, 2018

CHESTER (AP) — Hunters killed 35 mule deer in the second week of a special hunt in north-central Montana to test for the prevalence of a brain wasting disease.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said Tuesday that none of the 50 mule deer killed and sampled during the first week of the hunt north of Chester tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

Hunters killed 11 bucks and 24 does from Jan. 8-14. Test results will be available in about a week.

The hunt will continue until Feb. 15 or until 157 deer are killed.

The special hunt is meant to determine the distribution and prevalence of chronic wasting disease in Liberty County after a mule deer taken during the 2017 big game season tested positive for the disease.

The Sage Creek Special CWD Hunt area is about 226 square miles in size and just east of the Sweet Grass Hills. It abuts to the Canadian border. The hunt area is primarily comprised of private land. As outlined in the draft plan, FWP assembled an incident command team to respond to the discovery.

CWD is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that effects deer, elk and moose. It is not known to infect humans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend not consuming animals that test positive for CWD. The CDC also recommends getting deer, elk or moose from CWD positive areas tested prior to consumption.

If animals contract the disease, they might not show symptoms for more than a year. Symptoms can include drastic weight loss, stumbling, listlessness and other neurologic symptoms. CWD can affect animals of all ages and some infected animals may die without ever developing the disease. CWD is fatal to animals and there are no treatments or vaccines.


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