Montana Public Radio

Tenth Libby Deer Likely Positive For Chronic Wasting Disease

Sep 23, 2019

State game managers say another white-tailed deer is likely positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Libby. If confirmed, this would be the tenth deer to test positive since the spring.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Monday that a doe found dead on a residential property on the west side of town tested positive for the fatal disease. A second test will be run to confirm the finding. This would be the tenth deer to test positive out of about 140 samples collected in and around Libby.

FWP spokesperson Dillon Tabish said the agency will use hunters this fall to collect samples outside of the urban area.

“Now that hunting season is underway and we’re establishing the Libby CWD management zone, we’ll be collecting samples from hunters in a bigger 10-mile radius,” Tabish explained. “That’s where we will really get a clear idea if CWD has spread outside of that urban area.”

FWP has already begun trapping deer in town and issued hundreds of additional tags this season in an effort to collect 400 samples. That will help managers determine whether prevalence is above 5 percent of the population. The agency’s CWD management plan aims at reducing deer densities to keep the disease below that threshold.

FWP is also asking hunters in the Libby CWD management zone to review new hunting requirements in the area.