Fish, Wildlife, & Parks announces special hunt seasons to manage - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Fish, Wildlife, & Parks announces special hunt seasons to manage Chronic wasting Disease

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Fish, Wildlife, & Parks has a mammoth task on their hands as they attempt to get a handle on how widespread Chronic Wasting Disease is in Montana. FWP is working to stage a special hunt next month to help them fine tune their numbers.

The organization is also hitting the road to help educate the public about the dangers of chronic wasting disease. There were two public meetings FWP held Wednesday night. One was in Red Lodge and the other was held in Bridger.

Bob Gibson from Fish, Wildlife, & Parks was asked why they were holding public meetings in these areas. He said the bulk of where FWP will be hunting for chronic wasting disease will be between Red Lodge and Bridger. He said the meeting explained what CWD is, where it was found, what course of action FWP will be taking, the cost of this operation, and when they will respond. Gibson explained why these public meetings are important.

"Well, it's important because we need to start communicating with land owners as well as hunters about our upcoming reaction and response to the fact that we found chronic wasting disease in Carbon County," Gibson said.

Dozens of people attended the public meeting Wednesday night to hear about FWP's plans to manage Chronic Wasting Disease in Montana.

FWP said they will have a special hunt soon within Carbon County. They said exactly 368 mule deer will have to be sampled and they're hoping hunters will be able to help.

FWP said this special hunt will have two seasons. The first one will begin on December 15th and end January 14th. The second will begin on January 15th and end February 15th. They also said that hunters will be authorized to have seven B licenses total. KULR 8's Briana Monte spoke with some of the people who attended Wednesday night. Here's what some attendees said.

"We are concerned because one of the deer we harvested was from that area so we are concerned what the effect might be if we eat the meat," Carbon County Resident Bruce Jacobsen said. "Also, we have livestock and know a lot of people who have livestock and are interested about the impact may be."

"I do a lot of hunting in and around this area I harvest a lot of the game meant," Hunter Seth Ebel said. "It's what my family survives on and I want to know if its safe for us to consume, how prevalent this disease is and how it's going to affect our hunting in the future since my kids are just coming to that age to hunt."

FWP said they are officially going to be advising people to have their harvest tested from now on. They also say that it is not recommended to eat the harvest until the test results come back.

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