Area deer hunters are being advised to keep an eye out for Chronic Wasting Disease in deer now that a positive case has been found in Warren County, Pennsylvania. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Hurst said while New York State doesn’t have any positive cases, Pennsylvania first detected chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer in 2012. Cases have since expanded there in both captive and wild deer.
Hurst said the most recent case is causing alarm, “A individual deer that tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in a captive facility just five miles south of our border which, for listeners in your area, is just south of the Town of Kiantone into the Pennsylvania side of the line. So it’s the closest that it’s been to the New York border in quite some time.”
Hurst said chronic wasting disease is a fatal disease in the deer family of deer, moose, caribou, and elk. He said one of the challenges with the disease is that the deer is often not visibly sick, “Until the deer is near the terminal stages of the disease. And the deer can have Chronic Wasting Disease for up to two years before it starts to show clinical symptoms all that while it can be spreading the disease. So it really is a difficult disease and it’s rare actually that hunters or the public see a deer that really appears sick even though they may be carrying the disease.”
Since 2012, hunters have not been allowed to bring unprocessed deer carcasses back into New York State from Pennsylvania because of CWD. Hurst asked people who see deer that look sick, emaciated, or otherwise unwell to contact the Region 9 DEC Wildlife Office in Buffalo at (716) 851-7010.