Reducing Deer Numbers Will Not Be Part PA. Chronic Wasting Disease Management

Too few landowners gave permission, Game Commission will continue work to educate public about CWD.

Chronic Wasting Disease In Deer
Chronic Wasting Disease In Deer

Pennsylvania – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Pennsylvania Game Commission has not received the necessary support from landowners in Bedford and Blair counties to move forward with plans to reduce the deer population in a 100-square-mile area as part of a pilot project on chronic wasting disease (CWD).

Reducing deer numbers was part of a strategy to reduce the effect and spread of CWD.

Other phases of the project, including placing GPS collars on deer to study their movements and survival, will continue. And it’s hoped that, by next year, increased awareness about CWD and the threat the disease poses to deer and elk statewide will bring about the support necessary locally to begin the phase of the project that has been put on hold.

While deer will not be taken in the pilot project this year, the Game Commission still is working to coordinate isolated targeted-removal operations in other areas where a solitary CWD-positive deer has been detected.

The pilot project and the response plan to conduct targeted-removal operations when a solitary CWD-positive deer is detected both were explained in detail at the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners meeting Jan. 28 and are available to view at the agency’s YouTube channel.

Targeted removal of deer to combat CWD always takes place following the close of hunting seasons, ensuring that hunters always have the first opportunity to take deer in a given area.

But where targeted removal of deer must occur on private land, it is done with landowner permission.

In recent weeks, staff with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) began seeking landowner permission for targeted removal of deer to occur as part of the pilot project within Deer Management Assistance Program Unit 2874 in Bedford and Blair counties. Few permissions were secured.

“While the lack of access to private land is unfortunate, it could well demonstrate there is work to do when it comes to educating the public about CWD, and we will be ramping up our efforts to bring the facts about this disease and its potential impacts on Pennsylvania to light,” said Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management Director Matthew Schnupp. “As it is now, CWD has been detected only in a few parts of the state. Our pilot project in Bedford and Blair counties is being conducted where the problem is worst, but hunters in most areas of the state have not had to deal with CWD in the deer that they hunt, or abide by the regulations intended to slow its spread.

“While CWD is here in Pennsylvania, we can manage the disease to limit its spread and protect as many of the state’s deer as we can,” Schnupp said. “And we will continue to work hard to implement disease-control measures that benefit Pennsylvania’s deer and deer-hunting tradition.”

CWD is an always-fatal, incurable disease affecting deer and elk. In recent years in Bedford and Blair counties, the disease has been detected with increasing regularity. For more information on CWD, visit www.pgc.pa.gov.

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    William Russell WaiteDave in Fairfaxwilly dScotty GunnThe Big Boo Recent comment authors
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    William Russell Waite
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    William Russell Waite

    NDA Urges Caution when Considering CWD Research Claims February 18, 2019 | by National Deer Alliance [​IMG] Please consider the following research, which is related to the claim currently receiving a good deal of publicity that Spiroplasma bacteria are the causative agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) like chronic wasting disease (CWD). We are encouraged that researchers continue to seek answers about this very complicated disease, and are hopeful that what is learned can help us make prudent decisions about how to manage it for the long-term health of wild deer, hunting, and industry. A statement from experts is being… Read more »

    willy d
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    willy d

    Dave in Fairfax: you are right about Bambi Lovers, when any of the states NJ or Pa they want to set up special hunts and here they all come out to say NO!!!!!!! A lot of the problems are in the park systems and in counties that are so populated standard hunts can’t be done! I delivered to a Nursery in Morris County years ago, they had a 12′ fence around their property with gates jut as big, I had to line the truck up with the gate then they came out with 10 people to fend off the deer… Read more »

    Dave in Fairfax
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    Dave in Fairfax

    Tell me about it. We have critters go up and down our street at night. Everything from tree rats to black bears and very few of us see them. I seriously think you could go from the coast to WV under fairly good cover without much of a problem, and only breaking cover for streets and rare areas, and I suspect the animals do just that. We lose pets around here routinely, but our gov won’t let us do anything about it. I asked, and I’m not allowed to do anything to a coyote attacking a neighbor’s cat (it happened).… Read more »

    Scotty Gunn
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    Scotty Gunn

    What ever makes sense and will solve the problem you can count on the PA game commission going in the opposite direction.

    William Boyd
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    William Boyd

    If things in PA are the same as here in Virginia, then to some degree they are bailing water from a sinking vessel while ignoring the repair of a very large hole in the same vessel. While game regulations forbid the feeding of deer (except for crop growth), the sporting goods store shelves are full of all of the products and blocks that are meant for the attracting and feeding of deer. The deer come to a central place to feed from these products and, through their saliva that is left on the attractant, they transfer the disease (prion). The… Read more »

    Walter Goddard
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    Walter Goddard

    All you game biologists and avid hunters be nice to me here please?
    I’m ignorant, so pardon my question, but is CWD the fall out from too few wolves removing the weak from the herd?
    I am wondering if that’s how it started.. I see how man has artificially boosted the population, and takes only the biggest and the best during hunting season.
    .. Just the opposite of a healthy eco system, that’s thinned out nature’s way!

    Dave in Fairfax
    Editor
    Dave in Fairfax

    No, it’s the result of the Bambi lovers not allowing enough deer to be culled, resulting in over crowding. Read Malthus, that always has bad results.

    Vanns40
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    Vanns40

    Well, sort of but that’s really just the spreading of it. It’s caused by a malformed prion in the brain that isn’t flushed from the body. The CWD is very contagious and the over population of deer, due to non-culling of herds, leads to rapid spreading of the disease, which is always fatal.

    Property owners must be educated to the fact that if the deer population isn’t thinned dramatically CWD may, in the near future, decimate the entire deer population in the State.

    Dave in Fairfax
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    Dave in Fairfax

    Absolutely, I was just annoyed, so I didn’t give a thorough answer.
    The cause of rapid spread is the overcrowding brought on by the lack of culling. The prions are the initial cause of the disease, as it is with cows and and other species. It’s also an issue if nervous tissue that is contaminated is eaten. That’s why feeding it to our other meat sources is an issue. It’s also a problem with cannibalism. ‘Course that has other issues as well. %-)

    The Big Boo
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    The Big Boo

    Overcrowding by deer can accelerate the spread of the disease as it is transmitted through saliva. Deer groom each other and eat the same food sources. Thus feeding and baiting bans are always a first step. Regardless of CWD, trying to balance deer with habitat is always a goal of game management. Extensive culls however have been shown not to be always effective in slowing the spread of CWD. Game managers lose hunter support as they seem to try anything, regardless of success, because of the excuse “we have to do something”. The fact is there is no known way… Read more »