MTPR

deer

Hunters harvested at least 107 deer in Carbon County, Montana, over the weekend to kick off a special hunt to gather data on chronic wasting disease, or CWD, in south central Montana.

The deer brought to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ check station at Joliet during the first three days of the special season included 73 mule deer and 34 white-tailed deer. The season opened Friday, and will run through February 15, unless hunters fill a quota of 200 deer of each species before that date.

CWD Bridger Hunt Map
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana wildlife managers have approved a special hunt to learn more about the prevalence of chronic wasting disease in south central Montana.  

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission voted Thursday to allow the hunt that will begin December 15. Licenses will go on sale December 11.

Mule deer.
(PD)

A mule deer buck harvested south of Billings in October has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, officials confirmed Wednesday. CWD is deadly and contagious to deer, elk and moose.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks says a sample collected from the hunter-killed deer 10 miles southeast of Bridger tested positive during an initial round of testing. A second, more thorough test is now being done on the sample at Colorado State University to confirm the presence of the infection.

At a ranch house in rural Montana, Rick White peels the bun off Arby's new venison sandwich.

"It looks like deer," he says. "Venison."

His dog, Finn, stares at the sandwich and whines.

"It's a gray meat," he says. "It doesn't look like a ground patty. It looks more like McDonald's style, but thicker."

Like a lot of people in Montana, White is a lifelong deer hunter. And he's just the kind of person Arby's wants eating their new venison and elk steak sandwiches.

While watching an evening newscast about Montana wildfires, I saw some TV footage of deer and elk fleeing burning areas and listened to speculation by the newscasters of how many animals might be killed during the fires. I was reminded of watching the movie Bambi as a child, and fearing for Bambi’s life as he fled that fictional wildfire many decades ago.

So how devastating are wildfires to deer and elk? Can most of them outrun or outflank a rapidly spreading fire? And what about the survivors when they return to a burned forest? Isn’t their habitat destroyed?

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