Loading... Please wait...
  • Trusted deer fence professionals for over 30 years
  • Questions? Contact Deerbusters for wildlife control solutions: 888-422-3337
  • Sign in or Create an account
  •  Shopping cart


Chronic Wasting Disease In Deer Found In Franklin County, PA

Posted by Jennifer Smith on

Franklin County is now a part of Disease Management Area 2 following the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease among captive deer in the area. Local residents can learn more about how they can keep it from spreading at a seminar tonight at the Greencastle Sportsman’s Club, offered by Rep. Paul Schemel and Sen. John Eichelberger.

Disease Management Area 2 in southcentral Pennsylvania has been expanded to the east, increasing from 2,846 square miles to 4,095 square miles. DMA 2—which now extends from Adams County throughout southern Franklin County and west to Somerset—is the only area of Pennsylvania where CWD, which always is fatal to deer and elk, has been detected in free-ranging deer.

Not to be confused with rabies, CWD attacks the nervous system of deer populations and is caused by a type of mutated protein that is easily spread to other animals. The disease cannot be transmitted to people.

“What it does is it will slowly build up in the deer’s body as it ages. It gets to a point where it starts eating away at the brain and the central nervous system starts shutting down,” said Bert Einodshofer, state Game Commission information and education supervisor for the southcentral regional office in Smithfield Township, Huntingdon County. “The outward physical symptoms can mirror rabies in that the deer exhibits lethargic behavior, drooped ears and drooling, but it’s completely different and affects all members of the deer family, including elk and moose as well.”

CWS has the potential to affect large populations of deer, and spreads more quickly once more animals are affected, Einodshofer explained. The spread is caused through saliva contact or if the proteins are deposited.

“It’s an extreme concern for us because it’s a disease that’s almost impossible to eradicate,” he said. “The sooner it’s detected, the measures taken to reduce spread are critical. It will continuously spread exponentially if not kept in check or control, and over the long term it could have population reducing factors.”

The expansion of DMA 2 is a preventative measure to ensure proper management to keep this deadly disease from decreasing deer populations.

“There are some records of deer movement and dispersal of 100 miles or more, but the vast majority will disperse fewer than 10 miles, and this is why when DMAs are created or expanded, boundaries are drawn at least 10 miles from the site of a known positive,” said PGC spokesperson Travis Lau. “That said, the potential for CWD to spread, both in areas it exists and to new areas, is a serious threat to Pennsylvania’s deer and deer hunting, and is also a threat to the state’s elk. If one of these rare, yearling bucks that disperses dozens of miles was in fact CWD-positive, the disease potentially could be brought to a new area. The same goes for CWD-positive captive deer that might be sold and trucked to a new area, or harvested deer that are taken in another state or somewhere where CWD exists and brought to an area where it doesn’t.”

To discourage the spread of the disease, there are many things local residents can do.

“We have three disease management areas and our area is the only one that includes the wild deer population,” said Einodshofer. “The human influence can greatly enhance the spread, and even putting out a salt block or food source is not lawful in the DMA, and anyone in the state needs to be careful about this.”

Einodshofer explained the head and spine typically hold the disease in deer carcasses, so hunters should keep the deer in the disease management area that it’s harvested in rather than taking the deer to another area for processing.

However, care must be taken by everyone, not just hunters.

“This is everybody’s issue in the commonwealth, hunter or not, because if you feed birds and deer come in, non-hunters need to pay attention to this as well,” said Einodshofer. “The inadvertent feeding of deer is one thing and you can’t help when you have landscaping that’s attractive to deer, but high concentrated numbers will allow the disease to spread quicker.

It may be helpful to invite hunters onto private land for hunting during the appropriate season as well.

The PGC also collects samples from hunter-harvested deer and elk as well as those that appear sick or behave abnormally, and the state Department of Agriculture coordinates a mandatory surveillance program for more than 23,000 captive deer on 1,100 breeding farms, hobby farms and shooting preserves.

Re-posted from the Record Herald. Written by Dylan Miller on September 19, 2017.

Private Plane Hits Elk On Landing Strip In Oregon

Imagine this: You are flying around in your own private jet with your buddy about to land when all of a sudden two elk run out onto the landing strip. What do you do?This happened to Pilot Todd Rudberg, 49, when he touched down at Nehalem Bay State Park in Oregon over the weekend. Rudberg [...]

Read more

New Worry For Outdoor Enthusiasts: Dwarf Deer Ticks

Connecticut researchers have identified what appears to be the first "dwarf deer tick" ever found in this state or anywhere else.But one top expert said scientists at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are still trying to figure out what their discovery really means."We do not exactly know what the significance of this abnormality is," said [...]

Read more

Mysterious Illness Affects Wildlife, Police Forced To Shoot

ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Some people who live in Ross Township say something strange is going on with wildlife in the area. They are concerned and wondering if it could also affect them.Barbara Leininger, who lives in the area, says she’s very worried.“That there is a disease going around,” she said. “Could it be transmitted [...]

Read more

Rid Squirrels From Gardens This September

In September, homeowners may notice a rise in the squirrel population; and while it may sound nuts, there is a season for squirrel mating. The first litter that they have is born between the months of February and April, and the second litter that they have happens between the months of August and September. Pregnancy in [...]

Read more

Types of Plants Deer Eat

Without a deer fence, garden protection is rather difficult to achieve. Although it may seem as if deer are gone for the summer season, deer hunters are now pushing them out of their woodland homes and back onto lawns and gardens, seeking security and food. If gardeners aren't careful, they will find that their flowerbeds [...]

Read more

CWD In Deer Spread Into South-Central Kansas

Last fall, two deer from Stafford County tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a contagious disease that’s always fatal to deer, elk and moose.At roughly 60 away, it’s the closest the disease has been detected in deer near Wichita.Shane Hesting, wildlife disease coordinator for Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, said biologists are hoping [...]

Read more

Deer Disease Spreads Through Washington State

A disease that can be deadly to deer has been found for the first time in Washington. Wildlife managers are asking people to not give deer food or water — in hopes of minimizing the spread of the infection.Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease — or AHD — is common in other western states. Washington’s first confirmed case [...]

Read more

Preparing Landscapes During Hurricane Season

While there isn't much that we can do to predict hurricanes, or control them from coming to our areas, there are things we can do to prevent landscapes from being completely destroyed. As Florida braces for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, we encourage homeowners to do the following to maintain a storm-resistant landscape:PlantsLet's not sugar-coat [...]

Read more

Back To School Pet Safety Tips

Like others, children in Maryland are waking up today ready for the first day of school. As the alarm sounds at 6:00AM, sleep-eyed kids are slowly waking up, gathering school supplies and lunchbox goods for the first day on campus. Pets are excited, too; and they may become all too curious as to what kids [...]

Read more