Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are ramping up their surveillance for chronic wasting disease. FWP Spokeswoman Vivaca Crowser says they haven’t discovered CWD in Montana yet, but it has been found nearby.

“It can affect deer, elk and moose,” said Crowser. “If you look around the west and around the country, I think it has been detected in 21 states. It is to the north, south and east of us. Just basically not British Colombia and not Idaho so far, otherwise our neighboring states and providences do have the disease.”

According to Crowser, CWD is a progressively fatal symptomatic disease. She says there are some signs that hunters should look out for.

“I would say any deer that appears to be sick, that could be foaming at the mouth, kind of have balance issues, drooling, their head or their ears hung low, those are the typical symptoms of CWD,” Crowser said. “We would want to have those deer sampled no matter where you find them. Otherwise, the routine sampling is occurring at hunter check stations in the south central and Billings area.”

Crowser asks that hunters turn in any deer that exhibits these types of symptoms. She says in some cases, FWP will reissue another deer license to the hunter and that it is always better to be safe than sorry.

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