State agencies confirmed this week that three new cases of chronic wasting disease all in free-ranging deer were detected in an adult buck in Frankstown Township, Blair County; an adult doe in Freedom Township, Blair County; and a year-and-a-half-old buck in South Woodbury Township, Bedford County.
According to Southcentral Regional director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission Brad Meyers, the hunters who killed those deer did not notice anything usual about them, saying none of the deer appeared sick or were acting strangely. CWD is an always fatal brain disease among deer and other cervids, like elk and moose, and it is believed all three deer had escaped from captive facilities and were not born in the wild.
Although it does not recommend that anyone eat venison from a deer confirmed to be infected with CWD, the Centers for Disease Control says, there is no evidence that the disease can be spread to other types of animals or to humans. According to PGC Bureau of Wildlife Management director Cal DuBrock, all test results on samples taken from hunter-killed deer in the most recent hunting seasons in that area of southcentral Pennsylvania have been received, and only those three came back as confirmed for CWD.
In addition, results have come back as negative on all 2,089 deer sampled from within the 400-square-mile disease management area in Adams and York counties that the commission established last fall after Pennsylvania's first case of CWD was confirmed in a captive herd of deer. Priority was placed on samples from the DMA and then samples from the area of Bedford and Blair counties because of their proximity to a spreading area of CWD in Maryland, about 10 miles south of the Mason-Dixon line with Bedford County.
DuBrock said other results, from more than a thousand additional samples taken from hunter-killed and road-killed deer farther north in the state, have not yet been received. They are expected over the next several weeks, and that timeframe also applies to the schedule the commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and other partners on the state's CWD Response Task Force expect to follow in setting the state's response to the three new cases of CWD.
First Frontier Militia, the muzzleloader branch of Bowmanstown Rod and Gun Club and a member club of the Pennsylvania Federation of Black Powder Shooters, will conduct its first event of the season, Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m.
Sunday's edition of "Experience The Outdoors," hosted by award-winning Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association member Doyle Dietz, at 7 a.m. on 1410-AM WLSH, at 9:30 a.m. on Magic 105.5-FM and on the Web at http://www.wmgh.com/ by clicking the link to the program, features Rivers Fly Fishing Youth Conservation Camp director Rod Cross.
Cabela's is holding a two-day event dealing with hunting spring gobblers, featuring seminars and product demonstrations, Saturday and Sunday, March 16 and 17, at the Hamburg store.
Pennsylvania native Nate Hosie, co-host of HeadHunters TV on the Outdoor Channel, is the keynote speaker during the two-day event. Among his topics are hunting call-shy birds in Pennsylvania and tips and techniques on how hunters can successfully film their hunts.
A Chronic Wasting Disease Seminar is being held by the Southeast Pennsylvania Branch of Quality Deer Management Association, Saturday March 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Reinholds Fire Company Banquet Hall, Route 897/West Main St., Reinholds.
This is the QDMA "short course" that will focus on public information, with the featured speaker Pennsylvania Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management director Cal DuBrock. A question-and-answer session will follow the seminar.
Space is limited to 150 attendees, and preregistration is suggested. For information and registration, call Mike Gerth at 484-269-2390, Steve Homyack at 610-589-5051 or Barry Buhay at 717-397-9902.
A group of 15 licensed New York State fishing guides from the Oswego County River Guides Association are sponsoring driftboat fishing trips for U.S. Military veterans, Monday, March 25, on the Salmon River. As part of the program, participants will receive lodging and a dinner at the Altmar Volunteer Fire Department.
Requests are filled in the order they are received on the special website that has been established for the event at http://www.volunteerguidesforvets.com/. Those interested in making donations to help defray expenses may also do so on the website or by sending checks to Volunteer Guides for Vets, 90 Lewis St., Pulaski, N.Y. 13142.