MTPR

Neil Anderson

Beau Albright and his girlfriend Chloe Quiambao scan mountains near Libby for white-tailed deer and elk, Oct. 26, 2019.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Both deer and elk rifle hunting seasons opened across the state Saturday and hunters hiked into the woods at the crack of dawn in the hopes of coming out with some fresh meat to stock their freezers. That ritual was a little different this year for hunters in the Libby area, where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in white-tailed deer.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' Neil Anderson demonstrates how to locate the lymph nodes of a white-tailed deer for CWD testing on Wednesday, September 25, in Libby.
Nick Mott / MTPR

State policy makers in Libby Wednesday got an intimate look at how Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is managing chronic wasting disease in the local white-tailed deer population. The visit comes after the tenth deer tested positive for the disease in the area since this spring.

White-tailed deer.
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It’s been two years since Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was detected in Montana’s deer herds, and in May the disease popped up in the northwest corner of the state in Libby. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has a plan to manage the fatal disease based on its prevalence, a strategy born from more than 20 years of trial and error across the country.

Hunter with a rifle.
iStock

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is wrapping up a series of public meetings on Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD. This week, the agency explained its initial management strategy for the Libby area where six white-tailed deer have tested positive for the fatal disease.

CWD was detected in Libby this spring. It’s the first case of the disease showing up in a wild herd in western Montana.

Glenn Schenavar leads a meeting of sportsmen concerned wolves are depleting elk and deer in Kalispell January 30, 2019.
Nicky Ouellet / MTPR

A meeting about Montana’s wolf population turned testy Wednesday night in Kalispell.

At one point, a man stood up amidst the sea of green camo, flannel and down and called out that he’s not advocating that everybody go out and buy poison. But, “If we have to kiss heiny to the Senate or whoever it is and get it done legislatively, maybe that’s what we ought to do.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is seeking comment on whether fishers deserve ESA protection.
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The Fish and Wildlife Service is revisiting whether fishers warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.

On Friday the Service announced it is seeking comment on the status of the fisher - a member of the weasel family - in its distinct northern Rocky Mountain population for potential listing as a threatened or endangered species.