Annual Report 2007-2008 - 5

Efforts moved forward during the year to enhance the prevention and early detection of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) by sampling of both targeted and hunter-killed deer and elk. Targeted animals (those exhibiting clinical signs that are consistent with CWD) were sampled in conjunction with the epizootic hemorrhagic Hal Korber disease (EHD), and through APPROXIMATELY 140 elk were radio tracked regular submissions from throughout the year to evaluate survival, distribution around the state. In addition, and expansion of movements across the range in road-killed deer in areas closer Northcentral Pennsylvania to West Virginia were tested in the spring. The Pennsylvania Interagency CWD Response Plan underwent its annual review and revision in light of new information and with greater emphasis on controlling risk factors in the commonwealth. The combined effort of the PGC, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) personnel resulted in 3,810 CWD samples being processed statewide during the rifle deer season. Of the 3,944 deer tested for CWD all samples were negative. All 35 elk harvested by hunters were sampled for CWD and tested for tuberculosis and brucellosis with all samples testing negative. Combined with those that died from other causes, 45 elk were tested for CWD and all were negative. There has been continued cooperation throughout the year with the PDA on wildlife health issues. In particular, a unified response to USDA Veterinary Services regarding their Federal Rule on interstate movement of farmed cervids was developed. PDA was also provided with locations of cervids behind fences that were not registered in their Herd Certification/Monitoring programs. To monitor Pennsylvania’s bear populations, statewide capture and tagging; mandatory check stations during the hunting season; aging of teeth collected from roadkilled, captured or harvested bears; assessment of reproduction during visits to dens of hibernating bears fitted with radio-collars; and statewide wildlife food surveys were performed. A near record 135,584 bear hunting licenses were sold during 2007, slightly below the record 142,062 licenses sold in 2005. Hunters harvested 2,360 bears, which included 41 during the archery season, 2,026 during the 3-day season and 293 during the extended season. The harvest rate of tagged bears during the 3-day season was 15 percent, whereas in most years 19 to 21 percent of tagged bears are harvested. The 2007 harvest rate was affected by a wet snow, accompanied by fog, which reduced hunter participation and success across most of the northern bear range on opening day. Based on the ratio of tagged-to-untagged bears observed in the harvest, the 2007 statewide bear population was estimated at 11,000 to 16,000 bears. Statewide population estimates have been relatively stable, near 15,000, since 2000. In February, 2,556 teeth collected from bears during 2007 were shipped to a contracted lab for processing and aging. Results were returned in July and posted on the agency’s website so successful hunters could learn the age of their bear. The average age of harvested bears was 2.5 years for males and 3.5 years for females. JANUARY 2009 5

Annual Report 2007-2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Annual Report 2007-2008

Annual Report 2007-2008 - 1
Annual Report 2007-2008 - 2
Annual Report 2007-2008 - 3
Annual Report 2007-2008 - 4
Annual Report 2007-2008 - 5
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