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This Week in Fish and Wildlife: FWP encourages hunters to test harvests for chronic wasting disease

Posted at 2:14 PM, Oct 11, 2023

General hunting season opens next weekend and Fish, Wildlife and Parks is asking for some research help. MTN's Chet Layman shares some tips for having your harvest tested for chronic wasting disease.

BOZEMAN — Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is here in Montana. Fish, Wildlife and Parks will continue to operate testing stations at numerous locations around the state, but they also could use your help as a hunter.

“So if you're hunting deer, elk, or moose this year, you can find a lot of information on how to take a sample for chronic wasting disease on our website and then submitting that sample is really easy. You can either drop it off at a CWD sampling station or any Fish, Wildlife and Parks office will take that and collect it, get it submitted for testing,” said Morgan Jacobsen, information and education program manager for Montana FWP, Region 3.

“Testing for chronic wasting disease will again be free for hunters this year. And so, it’s a really easy way to find out whether the animal you harvested was carrying chronic wasting disease,” he added.

Jacobsen notes that there is no known spread of CWD to humans. He stresses it’s still a good idea to be aware if your harvest has it. That helps you, but sending in your sample also helps FWP.

“The other thing that that testing does, it helps us better understand the prevalence and distribution of chronic wasting disease in Montana, which helps us from a management standpoint understanding where that disease is found and how concentrated or what that prevalence looks like,” Jacobsen said.

The FWP website has complete instructions you can follow to collect your own sample, and there are also videos on the website to show you as well.