Elk NetworkCWD Sampling Stations Replace Big Game Check Stations in Northwest Montana

General | October 26, 2020

Below is a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will provide chronic wasting disease sampling stations to assist hunters at select locations across northwest Montana during the upcoming general hunting season.

Historically, FWP regional staff and volunteers operated five mandatory big game check stations across the region on weekends during hunting season. This year, FWP is replacing those check stations in northwest Montana (Region 1) with CWD sampling stations where hunters can voluntarily stop for assistance collecting samples to submit for testing. The sampling stations will be open 11 a.m. to dusk on weekends, as well as Mondays at certain locations. The sampling stations will be located at U.S. Highway 2 West of Kalispell, Montana Highway 83 north of Swan Lake, Highway 200 west of Thompson Falls, and Highway 93 near Olney.

Near Libby, a sampling station will operate Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, 11 a.m. to dusk at the Montana Department of Transportation shop on U.S. Highway 2 south of town.

FWP will also operate a sampling station in Eureka at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds on Mondays from 11 a.m. to dusk and at Thompson Falls the sampling station will operate on Mondays from 11 a.m. to dusk.

FWP will also assist hunters with sample collection and submission at its office in Kalispell, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

FWP will hold an online CWD informational presentation on Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. The presentation will be streamed live online at http://fwp.mt.gov/regions/r1/ with opportunities for questions with FWP staff.

As a reminder, hunters who purchased the 199-20 either-sex white-tailed deer B license can only use that license within the Libby CWD Management Zone.

CWD sample submission is voluntary throughout Montana. Certain areas of the state are designated as Priority Surveillance Areas, including most of northwest Montana, where FWP is making a concerted effort to gather more samples. In those specific areas, hunters are encouraged to voluntarily submit a sample from their animal.

FWP will cover the cost of testing hunter-harvested animals for CWD. Results will be posted online at fwp.mt.gov/cwd as in past years, and hunters will be notified directly if they have a positive animal.

There are no carcass transport restrictions within the state. A carcass may be moved anywhere in the state regardless of where it was harvested as long as the carcass parts are disposed of in a landfill after butchering / processing. Carcass parts, such as brain, eyes, spleen, lymph glands, and spinal cord material, should be bagged and disposed of in a landfill or may be left at the kill site. Dumping carcasses is illegal, unethical and can spread diseases, including chronic wasting disease.

2020 CWD Sampling Stations in Northwest Montana (Region 1)

FWP Region 1 Office, Kalispell:

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


Montana Department of Transportation shop on US Hwy 2: Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays, 11 a.m. – dusk. (Canoe Gulch check station will be closed)

US Highway 2 west of Kalispell:

Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m. – dusk


Highway 83 north of Swan Lake: Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m. – dusk

Thompson Falls:

Highway 200 on the west end of Thompson Falls: Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays, 11 a.m. – dusk


Highway 93: Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m. – dusk


Lincoln County Fairgrounds, Mondays, 11 a.m. – dusk

(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)