Tracking CWD, what hunters need to know

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Since 2012 cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have been detected in three locations in Pennsylvania. Free-ranging deer in Blair and Bedford counties have tested positive, alerting the Pennsylvania Game Commission to keep a close eye on the situation. 

Robert (Bert) Einodshofer works for the Game Commission as the Wildlife Conservation Officer Supervisor, for the South Central Region. One of his big goals is to inform the public about CWD. 

“Keeping deer numbers in a manageable level is the ultimate goal, to still sustain a huntable deer population for hunters satisfaction yet still limit the spread of those animals who disperse to a larger population,” he told us.  
 
CWD affects the brain and nervous system of infected deer, elk and moose, eventually resulting in death. 
 
“There is no known cure for this disease and no known cure for any live type testing,” Einodshofer said. That’s why hunter participation is key to keeping a close eye on the disease. 
 
Wyatt Knepp is a Wildlife Biologist. His job is to test the tissue in dead deer to see if they are infected. The tissue is pulled from the deer’s head and then sent off to the State Vet Lab in Harrisburg. 
 
Hunters can help by dropping of their deer head so it can properly be tested. 
 
Drop of locations: 
PGC Building located at 373 Replogle School Rd., New Enterprise, Pa.
PGC Building located at 128 Seldom Seen Rd., Martinsburg, Pa.
 
According to the Game Commission, “in order to drop off a deer head for sampling at these locations, hunters must ensure the harvest tag is completely filled out, legible and physically attached to the deer’s ear. We ask that hunters put the deer head with tag attached in a plastic garbage bag prior to putting it into the barrel.”
 
The service is free and hunters in DMA 2 are encouraged to participate. 
 
The Game Commission list DMA 2 as of parts of 8 counties and has “determined it is critical to obtain additional hunter harvested deer samples” in 11 core townships located within the following Blair and Bedford County townships:
 

Blair County Townships: Frankstown; Blair; Freedom; Taylor; Greenfield.

Bedford County Townships: Kimmel; Bloomfield; King; South Woodbury; East St. Clair.

You can find more information about CWD, by clicking here

 
 
 
 

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