With archery season now open and general rifle season coming up, hunters need to be aware of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and carcass Transport Restriction Zones (TRZ) in areas on the north and south boundaries of Montana. Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks has designated Priority areas following discovery of CWD in deer last year south of Billings and north of Chester, Montana. CWD is a fatal contagious neurological disease that infects deer, elk and moose. There is no cure.

The CWD positive areas have led to Transport Restriction Zones, where no brain or spinal column material from animals taken in the CWD area are allowed outside of the TRZ zone. A map of those areas is online at the Montana FWP site. This year, FWP will conduct CWD surveillance in high-priority areas in northern, western and southern Montana, starting with big game hunting season on October 20. Before that time, archery hunters can have their animals tested at FWP offices. The only Priority areas in Western Montana are districts 210, 217 and 212. Though CWD is not known to infect humans, FWP strongly recommends that humans not eat meat from infected animals.