Montana approves special hunt to address disease - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Montana approves special hunt to address disease

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Montana will conduct a second special deer hunt - this one along the Canadian border - as wildlife officials scramble to gauge the prevalence of a newly-found disease that's fatal to deer, elk and moose.
  
State wildlife commissioners approved the hunt Thursday. Officials said they expect to issue about 335 licenses for hunters to harvest 135 mule deer in the Chester area.
  
Killed animals will be tested for chronic wasting disease.
  
The neurological disease first showed up in southcentral Montana this fall and near Chester on Dec. 4
  
In neighboring Wyoming, it's caused a 21 percent annual decline in mule deer populations. Researchers say it could drive the species to localized extinction.
  
Another special hunt is already underway in Carbon Count just north of the Wyoming border, where officials set a quota of 200 white-tailed deer and 200 mule deer.

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