CWD research continues in Bedford, Blair Counties

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Despite the cancellation of activities to reduce deer numbers in parts of Bedford and Blair counties, the Game Commission will continue to capture and tag deer for research.

Since 2018, the Game Commission has been capturing, marking, releasing, and tracking deer in both counties. So far, more than 100 deer have been captured, and many of these deer are equipped with GPS units that record their movements.

In 2018, nearly 300,000 deer locations were recorded.

In addition to tracking deer movements and the potential for CWD spread, marked deer also provide information on survival rates, population abundance and harvest rates.

These marked deer will be used to monitor the effects of hunter-related CWD management efforts.

The 2019 field to capture, mark, and track deer has been going on for over a month. The research will continue as the Game Commission maintains its dedication to learning about the effects of CWD and implementing CWD management actions.

“Since 2000, the Game Commission has employed recent college graduates from across the country to capture and mark deer each winter,” said Bret Wallingford, Game Commission deer biologist. “These young wildlife professionals have been critical to the Game Commission’s success in capturing nearly 6,000 deer for our research program.”

The research requires trained people as well as the public’s cooperation.

“The Game Commission’s deer research program has received tremendous support from hunters and landowners in all areas of Pennsylvania over the last two decades,” said Christopher Rosenberry, supervisor of the Game Commission’s Deer and Elk section. “The willingness of landowners to allow our capture crews onto their lands is important to learning more about our deer populations and effects of CWD.”

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