HARRISBURG, PA - The Pennsylvania Game Commission has made changes to the state’s Chronic Wasting Disease Management Areas (DMAs) including the creation of a new DMA, the expansion of an existing DMA, and reduction of an existing DMA.
The new DMA 8 was created as a response to two recent CWD detections in road-killed deer in Dauphin County. The newly established DMA includes portions of Dauphin, Lebanon, Northumberland, and Schuylkill counties, and is about 660 square miles in size. This was the first time CWD was detected in free-ranging deer on the east side of the Susquehanna River.
DMA 3 will expand following the detection of CWD in a road-killed adult female deer in Indiana County. The boundary will generally expand south to Route 259 near Brush Valley, south along Route 119 to Black Lick, west to Clarksburg and Shady Plain, and follow Route 210 north to meet the current boundary. DMA 3 is located in western Pennsylvania and includes portions of Armstrong, Cambria, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk, Indiana, and Jefferson counties.
The size of DMA 4 in Lancaster County will be reduced this year after the area around the original CWD-positive captive facility went five consecutive years without any additional CWD detections. The northern boundary will be retracted to Interstate 76 while the remainder of the DMA stays the same. CWD has not been detected among free-ranging deer in DMA 4.
A map of the DMAs can be found at the “CWD Interactive Map” tab on the Game Commission’s CWD webpage - https://www.pgc.pa.gov/Wildlife/WildlifeHealth/Pages/ChronicWastingDisease.aspx
DMA 8 opportunities
Because DMA 8 is new, those who live and hunt in the area will need to become familiar with the regulations now in place there to help limit the human-assisted spread of CWD.
For hunters, there also will be additional opportunities to harvest antlerless deer in DMA 8.
Within DMA 8, the Game Commission is using the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) to increase the antlerless deer harvest around the sites where CWD-positive deer were detected. Hunters are able to get additional permits to hunt and harvest antlerless deer there.
The new DMAP unit associated with DMA 8 is DMAP Unit 6396. The unit is more than 140,000 acres, located within Dauphin, Northumberland and Schuylkill counties and includes portions of State Game Lands 210 and 211, and all of State Game Lands 264. A map of DMAP Unit 6396 will be available at the DMAP participating properties page at www.pgc.pa.gov.
More than 5,600 DMAP permits for DMAP Unit 6396 were allocated. They can be purchased anywhere hunting licenses are sold, including online at huntfish.pa.gov. Each hunter can buy up to two DMAP Unit 6396 permits. Each permit costs $10.97.
CWD regulations and testing
With CWD detections on the rise, antlerless deer license allocations for the upcoming hunting season were increased in Wildlife Management Units affected by CWD. The harvest numbers will then be monitored to determine if the increase in allocation was sufficient to meet management goals. If not, other options will need to be considered, including extending the season length in these areas to create more opportunities for hunters.
The Game Commission conducts road-killed deer surveillance year-round so there is potential for the boundaries to change prior to the hunting seasons. Be sure to check online for the most up-to-date boundaries.
Within all DMAs and the CWD Established Area (EA), it is unlawful to:
- Remove or export any deer or elk high-risk parts (e.g., head, spinal column, and spleen) from a DMA or EA, unless going to a Game Commission-approved cooperating processor.
- Deposit high-risk parts on the landscape away from harvest location.
- 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.
Hunters are asked to provide samples for CWD testing. The Game Commission offers free CWD testing within DMAs. Locations of head-collection containers will be announced prior to the hunting seasons.
Although CWD has not been documented in humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend not eating the meat of any CWD-positive animal.
Contact the Game Commission’s CWD Hotline at 1-833-INFOCWD, email INFOCWD@pa.gov or visit www.arcg.is/1G4TLr for more information.
MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541
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