Chronic wasting disease found in deer near Chester

FWP file

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will hold a public meeting in Joliet Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, to talk about chronic wasting disease, or CWD, and a special deer hunt this winter.

Four deer tested positive for infection this fall in south-central Montana - more than 250 miles from the latest case.

The mule deer buck was shot by a hunter November 12 north of Chester on the Highline, in hunting district 401.

CWD is deadly in deer, and can significantly hurt deer populations.

Ten other CWD suspected or confirmed deer were found this year and last year in Clinton and Ingham county. FWP is in the process of putting together a team for the latest detection north of Chester.

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All counties have a quota of at least 15 samples, with higher quotas in portions of northeast and Eastern Iowa near Minnesota, Wisconsin and IL; in counties bordering the Missouri River west of Interstate 29; and south-central Iowa near Missouri - areas where CWD has been detected.

Though there is no evidence that it is transmissible to humans, officials recommend never eating meat from a CWD-infected animal. The specifics of this hunt would be determined by the incident command team. Currently, there is no general deer hunting season open near where the deer was harvested in HD 401. It is very rare that a CWD suspect will not be confirmed as a CWD-positive animal, but it is possible.

Chronic wasting disease can only be effectively detected in samples from dead animals.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose.

The DNR strongly recommends hunters who harvest deer in Clinton, Ingham, Kent or Montcalm counties have their deer tested by bringing them to a deer check station. TSEs are caused by infectious, mis-folded prion proteins, which cause normal prion proteins throughout a healthy animal's body to mis-fold, resulting in organ damage and eventual death.

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