Hunting Season Opens Saturday. FWP’s CWD Sampling Stations Do, Too.
Big game hunter check stations will be in operation across Montana beginning this weekend and continue through the general rifle season.
Hunters must stop at check stations that they pass, even if they have not harvested any animals. For hunters without game, the check station process will be very quick and simple.
Additionally, in northwestern, northcentral, southwestern and southcentral Montana, FWP will be operating CWD sampling stations. In Region 4, CWD Sampling Stations will be set up at the following locations:
- BELT: Pull-out at the intersection of Highwood Rd. and State Highway 331, 9 miles north of Belt. Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am - Sunset
- CHESTER: Lions Park Rest Area. Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am - dark
- SHELBY: I-15 Southbound Weigh Station, 3 miles north of Shelby, MT. Hours: Saturday- Monday, 10am - 1 hour past dark
- SUN RIVER: Parking lot on the corner between US-89 and HWY 200, off Dracut Hill Rd. Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am - sunset; Mondays 9am - 1pm; Friday 12 - sunset
- Great Falls: FWP Region 4 Hqtrs Office, 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls. Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please call for an Appointment 406-836-7109
To view a list of sampling station locations statewide, click here.
- Check FWP’s CWD Management webpage or the Hunt Planner Map to see if the area you’re planning to hunt is in a CWD priority or surveillance area.
- If it is or you just want to take a sample, these same tools can be used to locate sampling locations and carcass disposal sites.
- If you plan to take a sample yourself, follow the steps on the Montana CWD Submission Guide and bring the proper instruments including rubber gloves, scalpel, tweezers or pliers, and a small sealable bag for storing the samples.
- Have a plan for carcass management:
- Carcass parts, such as brain, eyes, spleen, lymph glands, and spinal cord material, should be left at the kill site when possible.
- If the animal is transported for taxidermy or meat processing, the brain and spinal tissue must be bagged and disposed of in a Class II landfill.
If your animal tests positive
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you do not eat the meat.
- With a CWD suspect or positive test result, FWP authorizes the disposal of the meat. You must ensure all carcass waste (meat, bones, trimmings, hide, etc.) is disposed of in a landfill.
- If you have already sent your animal to a commercial processor or donated it to a foodbank, contact the Wildlife Health Lab at: 406-577-7883, 406-577-7895, or 406-577-7881.
- If you choose not to consume the meat and wish to request a new license for this year or next year, call your local FWP Regional Office or the Licensing Call Center (406-444-2950) to coordinate the next steps. You will have to properly dispose of all remaining parts in a landfill, and turn in any antlers associated with your harvest, if you request a replacement license.