Special hunt for mule deer coming to an end - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Special hunt for mule deer coming to an end

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"What we're looking for right now is to see where it is in Carbon County, where it was spread out than where we originally thought which is that southern part of carbon county. And what percentage of the heard has chronic wasting disease," said information and education manager Bob Gibson.

During the first week of the special hunt Fish, Wildlife and Parks tested 87 mule deer and 40 white-tailed deer in central Montana.

Laboratory results during the opening weekend of the special hunt show two mule deer had tested positive for exposure for chronic wasting disease.

"The goal is to keep chronic wasting disease at below five percent of the herd. Statistics, science and studies have shown that if we can keep it below five percent then we can keep it in control," Gibson adds. "It's when it gets up to that 15 or 20 percent of the herd that we start having masses die off and the population declines."

Gibson says possible options to contain the disease below five percent include reducing the density of deer in specific areas to minimize deer to deer contact and fencing off hay fields. 

He also says over the next week there will be a series of meetings throughout central Montana to determine how the hunting season will be set up for the next two years.

"It may be too late by the time we have all of our statistics together at the end of this hunt to really change it for next year," said Gibson. "Any of the hunting part anyway, but we certainly will make some decisions on how we'll continue to monitor for chronic wasting disease in this part of the world."

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