Beware the Horrifying ‘Zombie Deer’ Disease in Montana
We are all aware of a neurological disease called CWD, or Chronic Wasting Disease. Biologists have been warning of the spread of the disease in bison and elk in Yellowstone Park. But, outside of the park, the disease is taking hold of deer and literally turning them into what appears to be zombies.
Basically, CWD is the wild animal version of "Mad Cow Disease." It is a neurological disease that affects deer, elk, and moose. The disease can go unnoticed for years, while the infected deer spreads the disease. The disease will eventually lead to extreme weight loss and loss of coordination. I have spoken with hunters that have seen a clearly infected deer. They say that it resembles something straight out of The Walking Dead. An animal that is literally just a bag of bones, shuffling aimlessly through the trees.
Now that we are in the 2021 big game season here in Montana, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks are asking that hunters that harvest deer voluntarily submit samples for testing. According to a recent article from The Flathead Beacon, this voluntary testing from Montana hunters makes up 94% of all the CWD monitoring in the state.
Thankfully, it seems the disease is being handled as much as it can be. There are some "high-priority" places, however. Places that you may want to be aware of if you plan to hunt. The Hi-Line, Phillipsburg area, South Eastern Montana, and the Libby area--these places seem to have a concentration of positive cases.