Cow elk shot in northeast Montana tests positive for chronic wasting disease

MALTA – Chronic wasting disease has been detected in a cow elk killed by a hunter in Hunting District 622, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reported on Wednesday.

This marks the first CWD detection in an elk in northeast Montana and only the second detection in an elk in the state.

However, the cow elk is the second CWD-positive animal detected in HD 622, the first being a mule deer buck that was harvested by a hunter in 2020. FWP has conducted rotating surveillance for CWD throughout the state for several years, and HD 622 is within this year’s priority surveillance area.

CWD is a contagious neurological disease that infects deer, elk and moose. It is always fatal, and there is no known cure. It was first detected in Montana’s wild herds in 2017. The disease is known to exist in other parts of north-central and northeast Montana, especially north of Highway 2, as well as in other areas of the state.

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Hunters play a significant role in CWD management by providing test samples from harvested animals. FWP has provided resources to help hunters collect and submit samples for testing

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