HARRISBURG, PA – A CWD-positive deer recently detected in Jefferson County has led to new regulations to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission today announced the expansion of Disease Management Area 3 (DMA 3) and the creation of a new DMA (DMA 6).
Detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a road-killed deer on the northern boundary of DMA3 prompted these changes. The adult male was collected as part of ongoing CWD surveillance efforts.
CWD affects deer, elk, and other members of the deer family. The disease is fatal to any deer or elk infected with it, and CWD has no treatment or cure.
When a new CWD-positive is detected in either a wild or captive deer or elk in Pennsylvania, a Disease Management Area (DMA) is established. DMAs are created to reduce risk of human-assisted spread of CWD.
This new CWD detection is within 2 miles of Pennsylvania’s elk management area. The short distance to the elk management area required creating DMA 6 within the elk management area. DMA 6 will prevent high-risk parts from the entirety of DMA 3 being moved into the elk management area.
“If a CWD-positive animal is found within any elk hunt zone, all elk hunt zones will become a DMA due to the behavior and longer distance movements of elk,” said Andrea Korman, Game Commission CWD wildlife biologist. “If this were to occur, the impact on deer and elk populations, hunters, and the public will be significant. Although this has not occurred yet, this newly found positive deer shows how close it is.”
DMA 6 was created to restrict movement of high-risk parts into the elk management area and to restrict human activities known to increase disease risk.
Within all DMAs, it is unlawful to:
- Remove or export any deer or elk high-risk parts (e.g., head, spinal column, and spleen) from a DMA. This also prevents movement of high-risk parts between adjacent DMAs
- Use or possess deer or elk urine-based attractants
- Directly or indirectly feed wild, free-ranging deer. It is already illegal to feed elk regardless of DMA location
- Rehabilitate wild, free-ranging deer or elk
To increase surveillance around the detection, a new DMAP Unit (#4760) was also created. Over 1,300 permits have been made available for this unit and allow hunters to take up to two additional antlerless deer. Hunters can get DMAP permits by providing the unit number (4760) online or at license-issuing agents.
In conjunction with the additional hunting opportunities, hunters are asked to provide samples for CWD testing. Submitting harvested deer heads for CWD testing helps determine the extent of CWD infection.
The Game Commission offers free CWD testing within the DMAs. Hunters should deposit the heads of deer they harvest with properly filled out and legible harvest tags in one of the head-collection containers the Game Commission provides within DMAs. Locations of head-collection containers can be found at http://bit.ly/PGC-CWDMapOpens In A New Window. Antlers should be removed from bucks before the double-bagged head is placed in a collection container. Hunters can check for their test results online or by calling the CWD hotline (1-833-INFOCWD).
For deer hunters in DMAs – especially those who live outside the DMA – it’s important to plan their hunt and know ahead of time what they will do with any deer harvested. Since high-risk cervid parts can’t be removed from any DMA, even if they share a boundary like DMAs 3 and 6, successful hunters cannot transport whole deer outside the DMA.
Hunters can take deer they harvest to a processor within the DMA or on the list of approved processors for the DMA where they harvested the deer. The list of approved processors and taxidermists is available at www.pgc.pa.gov/CWD. Approved processors properly dispose of the high-risk parts. Hunters can also dispose of high-risk parts in trash that is destined for a landfill or quarter the animal and leave the high-risk parts at the kill site. The meat, antlers (free of brain material) and other low-risk parts then can be transported outside the DMA.
Deer hunters getting taxidermy mounts also must take their harvests to a taxidermist within the DMA or on the list of approved processors and taxidermists for the DMA in which they harvested the deer available at www.pgc.pa.gov/CWD.
Although CWD has not been documented in humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends never eating the meat of a CWD-positive deer.
Much more information on CWD is available at www.pgc.pa.gov/CWD.
DMA 3 boundary has been expanded and is as follows:
Beginning at the southernmost point at the intersection of State Highway 403 and State Highway 286 in the town of Clymer, proceed east on State Highway 286 for 4.9 miles to State Highway 240. Follow in State Highway 240 east for 8.5 miles to the intersection of US Highway 219. Follow US Highway 219 north for 2.4 miles to Sylvis Road. Follow Sylvis Road east for 5.8 miles to the intersection of State Highway 36. Follow State Highway 36 east for 8.8 miles to the intersection of La Jose Road (SR-3016) in Newburg. Follow La Jose Road east for 3.6 miles becoming Cherry Corner Road (SR-3005) for another .3 mile to the intersection of Marron Road (SR-3016). Turn left onto Marron Road and follow northeast for 2.7 miles to the intersection of State Road 729. Follow State Road 729 east for .9 miles to the intersection of Old Station Road. Follow Old Station Road (SR-2012) east for 2.4 miles to the intersection of Douglas Road (SR-3007). Continue east on Douglas Road for .3 miles to the intersection of Zion Road (SR-2012) near New Millport. Follow Zion Road east for 4.5 miles to the intersection of Faunce Road (SR-2012). Turn right and follow Faunce Road east for 3.1 miles becoming Sanborn Road (SR-2012) in Woodward Township. Continue east on Sanborn Road for 2.5 miles to the intersection of State Highway 153. Follow State Highway 153 north for 5 miles to the intersection of Valley Road (SR-2027). Follow Valley Road north for 2.1 miles becoming Hogback Hill Road (SR-2027). Continue north on Hogback Hill Road for 1 mile to the intersection of Main Street in Mineral Springs. Turn right on Main Street for .2 miles to the intersection of Bigler Cutoff Road. Turn left on Bigler Cutoff Road for .1 miles to the intersection of US Highway 322. Follow US Highway 322 east for .7 miles to the intersection of State Highway 970. Follow State Highway 970 north for 1.5 miles to the intersection of Interstate Highway 80. Follow I-80 west for 26.4 miles to the exit for State Highway 219 north. Follow State Highway 219 north for 21.2 miles to Boot Jack becoming State Route 948. Follow State Route 948 for 4.2 miles to the Clarion River in Ridgway. Follow the Clarion River for 28.3 miles to Bridge Road. Continue south on Bridge Road for 0.05 mile to the intersection of State Highway 949. Turn right on State Highway 949 and continue west for 16.3 miles to the intersection of US Highway 322 in Corsica. Follow US Highway 322 east for 0.3 miles to the intersection of State Highway 949. Follow State Highway 949 south for 4.2 miles to the intersection of State Highway 28. Follow State Highway 28 south for 13.2 miles to the intersection of State Highway 839 in New Bethlehem. Follow State Highway 839 south for 21 miles to State Highway 85. Follow State Highway 85 south for 11.7 miles to the intersection of US Highway 119 in the town of Home. Turn left on US Highway 119 and follow 3.4 miles to the intersection of State Highway 403 in Marion Center. Follow State Highway 403 south for 8.5 miles to Clymer at the place of beginning.
DMA 6 is in portions of Clearfield, Elk, and Jefferson Counties and its exact boundary is as follows:
Beginning at the northeast corner at the intersection of Chicken Hill Road and State Route 948 in the town of Kersey, proceed south on Chicken Hill Road for 0.9 mile becoming South Kersey Road. Follow South Kersey Road south for 1.4 miles. Continue straight onto Boone Mountain Road for 6.5 miles to the intersection with State Route 153. Turn left onto State Route 153 and continue south 4.9 miles to State Route 255. Turn right on State Route 255 and continue south for 9.5 miles to Interstate Highway 80. Turn right on Interstate Highway 80 and continue west 4.4 miles to State Highway 219. Turn right on State Highway 219 and continue north 21.1 miles to State Route 948. Turn right on State Route 948 and proceed east for 5.3 miles to Kersey at the place of beginning.
Courtesy of Pennsylvania Game Commission