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Big game quartering workshop offered in Glasgow on Oct. 19

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With the detection of chronic wasting disease in the state of Montana in 2017, the way hunters approach the hunting and processing of big game animals in the deer family is changing; especially with hunting and processing an animal in a CWD management zone.

At a free workshop in Glasgow at the FWP Region 6 Headquarters on Oct. 19 starting at 12:30 p.m., hunters will learn all about hunting in a CWD management zone, including information on CWD, how to extract lymph nodes for testing, and how to quarter a big game animal using the gutless method. FWP plans to use recently harvested deer for the demonstration.

The workshop will be held regardless of weather (there will be an indoor option), and all ages are welcome. The Hi-Line Sportsmen conservation in group in Glasgow is sponsoring door prizes, and beverages and light snacks will be available.

CWD Management Zones are areas where CWD is known to exist. In Region 6, the Northern CWD Management Zone includes all districts north of Highway 2. To prevent the spread of CWD from infected areas of Montana to other parts of the state, the whole carcass, whole head, brain, or spinal column from any deer, elk, or moose harvested within a CWD Management Zone may not be removed from that Management Zone unless the animal has tested negative for CWD.

One way to effectively remove the harvested animal from a CWD Management Zone is by quartering it and removing all required consumable parts, which leaves the rest of the carcass in the field. Not only is this an effective method to limit possible transmission of CWD, it is a very efficient way to carry an animal out of the back country. 

CWD is a progressive, always fatal disease affecting the nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is spread primarily through animal-to-animal contact or animal contact with infected materials and tissue. Infected tissue can also be spread by humans, often by dumping animal remains outside of approved landfills.

There is no known transmission of CWD to humans or other animals, including pets or livestock. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that hunters harvesting a deer, elk, or moose from an area where CWD is known to be present have their animal tested for CWD prior to consuming the meat, and to not consume the meat if the animal tests positive.

Hunters who want to have samples tested from outside FWP established survey areas can have them tested and FWP will cover the costs. Prior to the general season hunters can collect samples themselves and mail them to the FWP Lab in Bozeman — instructions and a video are available on the FWP website. Starting with the general season, hunters can still submit samples themselves or take the samples or a deer/elk/moose head to CWD sampling station or regional offices for assistance.

For more information about this free workshop, call FWP Region 6 Information and Education manager Marc Kloker at 406-228-3704, email mkloker@mt.gov, or call the Glasgow office at 406-228-3700.

This article originally ran on billingsgazette.com.

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