Pennsylvania Game News - September 2019 - 15

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Swininger said most of the hunters
with whom he's spoke say they're going
to hunt other areas this fall.
Their biggest worry, he said, was
eating contaminated venison and getting
sick.
Johnson, too, noted that some hunters didn't hunt EHD areas because they
didn't want to consume meat from an
infected deer.
Even though EHD is not known to
affect humans, the disease sickens deer
rapidly, often killing them. And hunters
are advised never to consume the meat of
a sick-appearing animal.
Interestingly, that same level of uneasiness about EHD-infected venison doesn't
seem as noticeable among those hunting
in Disease Management Areas (DMAs),
where chronic wasting disease (CWD)
prevalence already is established.
In the Game Commission's 2017 deerhunter survey, only 41 percent of Pennsylvania deer hunters were concerned
about eating venison because of CWD.
That same percentage of hunters said
they'd change hunting locations if CWD
turned up where they hunt.
Maybe the difference stems from
EHD's in-your-face carnage: rotting,
reeking whitetail carcasses. But hunting in a CWD DMA can carry greater
risks, particularly to whitetails and their
conservation.
In both cases, it's important to take
healthy-looking, normal-acting deer and
notify the Game Commission about sick
deer.
EHD-afflicted deer usually die
quickly, within weeks, sometimes days,
almost always around water. Those with
CWD can hang in there for months, even
years; water isn't a factor.
In EHD areas, a quick evaluation can
further establish a deer's health. Look for
SEPTEMBER 2019	

EHD & CWD IN PA
Pennsylvania's history with EHD extends
back at least to 2002, when the disease first
was confirmed in deer found dead in Greene
and Washington counties.
Since then, EHD has surfaced in varying
counties in 2007, 2011 (only captive deer),
2012, 2017 and 2018.
The past two years represent the first
time EHD appeared in Pennsylvania in consecutive years.
While EHD can impact local deer populations substantially where it hits, it has not
been linked to deer-population decreases
at regional levels. And deer in EHD areas
generally have rebounded rapidly after an
outbreak.
CWD, on the other hand, has the potential to have lasting impacts and cause deerpopulation declines on a larger scale.
Though the disease has been spreading
to new areas, CWD in Pennsylvania currently
is isolated within a few parts of the state.
Hunters and other Pennsylvanians can
do their parts to hold CWD in check by
following rules designed to limit CWD's
spread and supporting responsible CWD
management.

pink eyes and gums, and the presence of
lesions to get a better assessment.
With deer taken in CWD DMAs, after
selecting a healthy-looking, normalacting deer, be sure to have it tested for
CWD by placing the head in a Game
Commission drop box.
While an "out of sight, out of mind"
approach might not be the best for hunting in CWD DMAs, it's almost perfect
for hunting during or after an EHD outbreak in your hunting area.
So long as you're selecting healthylooking, normal-acting whitetails, you'll
cut your chances of taking an unhealthy
deer.
It's the best way to ensure you're
taking home a quality whitetail, venison
you'll surely enjoy, regardless of from
where it comes.
15



Pennsylvania Game News - September 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - September 2019

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Pennsylvania Game News - September 2019 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2019 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2019 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - September 2019 - 2
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Pennsylvania Game News - September 2019 - 4
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Pennsylvania Game News - September 2019 - Cover3
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