An emaciated, sick white-tailed doe was seen in the town of Libby recently. The deer was killed and Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials said initial tests show the deer was infected with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) - the first case reported in Western Montana. Joleen Tadej of FWP said a second confirmation test will be conducted on the deer. In the meantime, the CWD response plan now designates hunting districts 100, 101, 103 and 104 as a Montana Initial Response Area - about a 10-mile radius from Libby. FWP officals will test samples from road-killed deer in those districts. Previous incidents have been reported on the southern and northern borders of the state.

CWD is a progressive, fatal disease in the nervous system of deer, moose and elk and is caused by mis-folded prion proteins. Almost all the states around Montana have reported CWD. Idaho and British Columbia still have no reports of Chronic Wasting Disease in their wild herds. CWD is among prion diseases being studied by the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton. Montana FWP website has more information about the disease.