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FWP: Decrease in chronic wasting disease samples reported in Northwest Montana

CWD Sign
Posted at 12:41 PM, Nov 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-30 14:41:35-05

KALISPELL - The general big game hunting season in Montana ended on Sunday with more than 9,200 hunters appearing at four check stations in Northwest Montana.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Regional Manager Neil Anderson says overall harvested elk numbers were slightly up across the region.

Although Anderson says mule and white-tailed deer harvests were slightly down in Northwest Montana compared to the last few years.

He says final harvest numbers won’t be counted until harvest surveys are completed over the next couple of months.

Anderson says an encouraging note is the overall decrease of positive chronic wasting disease (CWD) samples in Northwest Montana this season, particularly in the Libby area.

CWD is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that infects members of the deer family, such as mule and white-tailed deer, elk, and moose.

“In general, over the last few years the prevalence in the town of Libby, the urban area has actually gone down, it’s actually one of the few places in the state where we have actually seen reduction in CWD prevalence, and we hope that’s attributed to some of our management actions we’re doing on the ground.” - FWP Regional Manager Neil Anderson

Anderson says final CWD samples from the general season are still being tested.