Chronic Wasting Disease Found for First Time in Montana Deer

Further testing is pending on the deer killed about 10 miles southeast of Bridger

By Molly Priddy
A white-tailed deer at the National Bison Range in Moiese. Beacon File Photo

BILLINGS — Montana wildlife officials say they suspect a deer killed by a hunter in southeast Montana was infected with a potentially fatal disease.

Further testing is pending on the deer killed about 10 miles southeast of Bridger near the Wyoming border.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Wednesday that if confirmed, it would be the first time chronic wasting disease has been detected in the state.

Officials are considering a special hunt in the area to help determine how far it’s spread.

The contagious disease affecting deer, elk and moose is caused by infectious proteins that can lead to organ damage and eventual death. It’s present in numerous states, including Wyoming.

There’s no evidence it can harm humans, but wildlife officials recommend animals killed in areas with the disease be tested prior to consumption.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.