Caribou Gear

CWD found in SW MT

Mthuntr

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Just got an email from FWP. They found CWD in a whitetail from the Ruby River Valley (District 322).

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Dec. 18, 2019

White-tailed deer in southwest Montana tests positive for CWD

A white-tailed deer harvested by a hunter in the Ruby Valley in southwest Montana during the general hunting season tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The buck is one of 24 samples that came back positive for CWD in the latest batch of test results.

The other new positive samples were from deer harvested within CWD Management Zones elsewhere in the state where the disease is known to exist.

The Ruby Valley deer was harvested on private land about a mile west of Sheridan, within Hunting District 322. This case is the first detection of CWD in southwest Montana.

This year Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks conducted CWD surveillance in parts of northern, western and southeastern Montana, primarily from hunter-harvested animals. In addition, hunters in all parts of the state were able to submit their own samples for testing. All samples are sent for testing to Colorado State University and those results were reported on a weekly basis to FWP. This is the last round of results from animals harvested during the general rifle season. Hunters who submitted animals for testing, can check online for their results at fwp.mt.gov/CWD.

This year, more than 7,000 animals have been sampled statewide, and 115 have tested positive for CWD. CWD has been detected across much of Montana, including the northwest, northeast, southeast and southwest.

With the general hunting season now closed, FWP will review management strategies, testing results and other collected information to make plans for the next necessary steps in managing the disease. CWD cannot be eradicated once it infects a herd.

CWD is a fatal disease that can affect the nervous system of deer, elk and moose. Transmission can most commonly occur through direct contact between animals, including urine, feces, saliva, blood and antler velvet. Carcasses of infected animals may serve as a source of environmental contamination as well and can infect other animals that come into contact it.

The disease was first discovered in the wild in Montana south of Billings in 2017. There is no known transmission of CWD to humans. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hunters harvesting an animal in an area where CWD is known to be present have their animal tested. If the animal tests positive, CDC advises against eating the meat.
 

WillDean

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This is seriously depressing. Can anyone provide a glimmer of hope? I'm imagining all kinds of nightmare scenarios unfolding in the coming years as CWD prevalence increases throughout the state.
 

Southern Elk

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This hits close to home. I thought it would get here one day, but not so soon. Makes me think it’s much more wide spread than everyone thought.
 

Hunting Wife

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Given the pattern of brucellosis seroprevalence that occurs down there, it seems that at least elk in that area have a pretty significant exchange with populations in Wyoming. I was wondering when it would pop down there. If I was to wager, I would put money that there are positives in eastern Idaho right now.
Here's a thought, CWD has been here a lot longer than most realize it. Most species on earth have some sort of chronic wasting disease. It's been here, we are just testing for it now.

Nope. We tested like crazy all over Montana until funding went away in 2012, with no positives. That was right around the time it was knocking on the door at the Wyoming border and Saskatchewan was taking off. We really should have been ramping up more testing then, but Congress had better things to spend money on. We probably had our first positives shortly after we stopped testing.
 

8andcounting

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Here's a thought, CWD has been here a lot longer than most realize it. Most species on earth have some sort of chronic wasting disease. It's been here, we are just testing for it now.
^^^^^^^ bingo
 

HSi-ESi

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I sent in a sample and am still waiting on results. The kids want to brain-tan the hide, so all is in the freezer until the results are in.
 

neffa3

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Given the pattern of brucellosis seroprevalence that occurs down there, it seems that at least elk in that area have a pretty significant exchange with populations in Wyoming. I was wondering when it would pop down there. If I was to wager, I would put money that there are positives in eastern Idaho right now.


Nope. We tested like crazy all over Montana until funding went away in 2012, with no positives. That was right around the time it was knocking on the door at the Wyoming border and Saskatchewan was taking off. We really should have been ramping up more testing then, but Congress had better things to spend money on. We probably had our first positives shortly after we stopped testing.
Damn those facts always getting in the way of a good conspiracy theory
 

Doublecluck

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I mean, the first deer in Libby was visibly sick and killed by Fwp. Which means cwd was present there for a minimum of 16-24 months prior to the public being aware unless I’m missing something.

At this point I just assume any deer in MT could have it. Which to me doesn’t mean much.

Seems like in MT this is making some pretty big geographical leaps. Anyone know if this was typical in progression in other states?

Has there ever been a study of the economic impacts of cwd in CO or WY deer/elk herds?
 
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theat

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NW Montana
Given the pattern of brucellosis seroprevalence that occurs down there, it seems that at least elk in that area have a pretty significant exchange with populations in Wyoming. I was wondering when it would pop down there. If I was to wager, I would put money that there are positives in eastern Idaho right now.


Nope. We tested like crazy all over Montana until funding went away in 2012, with no positives. That was right around the time it was knocking on the door at the Wyoming border and Saskatchewan was taking off. We really should have been ramping up more testing then, but Congress had better things to spend money on. We probably had our first positives shortly after we stopped testing.

FWP was doing CWD surveillance and testing along the northern border during the winters of 2014-2016. During the winter of 2014-2015 we caught mule deer bucks within a couple miles of the border between Havre and Malta. The next winter we focused on the area around the Sweet Grass Hills. We primarily focused on bucks since they tend to travel more and some were known to summer quite a ways up into Canada and winter in Montana.

A couple of the better bucks we caught while on that project.
DSCN0323.jpg

DSCN0308.jpg
 

MTGomer

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Around 2001 an elk came down to the neighbors yards skin and bones and only able to turn in a circle. Seemed like it had some sort of nervous system problem. My parents and the neighbor called FWP several times. Nobody ever came.
It finally died or was shot by the neighbor depending on the statute of limitations on that.
We always wondered if that was CWD. The only reason we had even heard of CWD was because of the Kessler game farm in Philipsburg.
 

Magnum Sherpa

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This is really depressing news. It’s pretty much been found on all sides of Yellowstone now. Makes me think it’s probably into those elk herds too.
 

Hunting Wife

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FWP was doing CWD surveillance and testing along the northern border during the winters of 2014-2016. During the winter of 2014-2015 we caught mule deer bucks within a couple miles of the border between Havre and Malta. The next winter we focused on the area around the Sweet Grass Hills. We primarily focused on bucks since they tend to travel more and some were known to summer quite a ways up into Canada and winter in Montana.

A couple of the better bucks we caught while on that project.
View attachment 123202

View attachment 123203

Hey, I remember that study! Reviewed iterations of that proposal a couple of times the years prior. Small world. You guys were nearly the only ones actively collecting samples then IIRC. Looks way more fun than cutting heads at a check station at least!

This is really depressing news. It’s pretty much been found on all sides of Yellowstone now. Makes me think it’s probably into those elk herds too.

It is almost certainly there, but without any hunting I’m guessing the sampling intensity is much too low to detect it at any reasonable prevalence. I would assume they collect samples opportunistically, but don’t know anything about what testing NPS might be doing there. WAG on my part.
 

406LIFE

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with 7000 samples, I am pleasantly surprise only 115 tested positive. I expected a great number more and for more areas to be added.
 

Husker hunter

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The sad reality is that cwd is here to stay and will only get worse. Here in Nebraska I believe it was first detected in 99 way in the western part...20 years later it's basically the whole state. Our practice has done nothing to really combat the spread other than testing. So figure in 25 years it can spread 400+ miles in open country with medium deer density. I'm sure some of this was accelerated by hunters i.e., improper carcass disposal. The only real question left is can it spread to humans? We as hunters need to demand this answer sooner rather than later. My crazy solution...pay death row inmates a small salary to consume venison from positive animals regularly and find out what happens!
 

tjones

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of My crazy solution...pay death row inmates a small salary to consume venison from positive animals regularly and find out what happens!


I guarantee a lot less people would illegally cross the border if hunters started trying to shoot them.


Some of the posts I’m seeing leave me shaking my head.
 

tzone

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I have a feeling it's been in most states that it's being found in...all along. Just not been tested for until recently. Recently being, what, the last 10 years or so? Obviously, I have no factual info, just giving my opinion. That may be $.01 in this case.
 

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