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A mule deer buck shot by a hunter Nov. 12 north of Chester on the Highline near the Canadian border has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

The deer was taken in hunting district 401 in Liberty County.

The test results mark the fifth incident of CWD discovered in Montana wild deer this fall. The other four deer came from south of Billings. Until this year, CWD had not been found in Montana, though the disease exists in wild deer herds in Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

In anticipation of the disease coming to Montana, FWP recently updated its CWD response plan, and FWP director Martha Williams has assembled an incident command team to respond to the detection near Billings. FWP is in the process of putting together a team for the latest detection north of Chester.

An incident command team will define an initial response area (IRA) around where the infected animal was harvested, and may recommend a special CWD hunt. The specifics of this hunt would be determined by the incident command team.

FWP is currently organizing a hunt to respond to the detections in south central Montana. This hunt will come before the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission at their meeting Thursday in Helena for final approval.

It has not been determined yet if a special CWD hunt will occur at the site of the latest detection north of Chester. Currently, there is no general deer hunting season open near where the deer was harvested in HD 401.

CWD can only be effectively detected in samples from dead animals. CWD is a progressive, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and moose. It is part of a group of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). TSEs are caused by infectious, mis-folded prion proteins, which cause normal prion proteins throughout a healthy animal’s body to mis-fold, resulting in organ damage and eventual death.

Though there is no evidence CWD is transmissible to humans, it is recommended to never ingest meat from animals that appear to be sick or are known to be CWD positive. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hunters who have harvested a deer, elk, or moose from a known CWD-infected area have the animal tested prior to consuming it. If hunters harvest an animal that appears to be sick, the best thing to do is contact FWP and have the animal inspected.

Some simple precautions should be taken when field dressing deer, elk or moose:
· Wear rubber gloves and eye protection when field dressing.
· Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.
· Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field dressing is completed.

Avoid consuming brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils and lymph nodes of harvested animals. (Normal field dressing coupled with boning out of a carcass will essentially remove these parts.)

For more information on CWD and FWP’s response, please look online at fwp.mt.gov/CWD. You can email CWDresponse@mt.gov.

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COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio’s hunters checked 14,115 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s 2017 two-day deer-gun hunting season, Dec. 16-17, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year’s two-day December deer-gun season, hunters faced less than ideal conditions and harvested 9,228 deer.

Hunters still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter. Muzzleloader season is Jan. 6-9, 2018, and archery season remains open through Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. Find more information about deer hunting in the 2017-2018 Ohio Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov.

Past year’s harvest summaries and weekly updated harvest reports can be found atwildohio.gov/deerharvest.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.

Hunting Popularity

Ohio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’sHunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.

Editor’s Note: A list of all white-tailed deer checked by hunters using firearms during the 2017 two-day deer-gun hunting season is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2017, and the 2016 numbers are in parentheses.

Adams: 203 (138); Allen: 61 (60); Ashland: 342 (138); Ashtabula: 483 (422); Athens: 246 (174); Auglaize: 55 (35); Belmont: 264 (226); Brown: 172 (124); Butler: 66 (29); Carroll: 412 (184); Champaign: 75 (39); Clark: 48 (24); Clermont: 152 (85); Clinton: 58 (36); Columbiana: 367 (194); Coshocton: 512 (210); Crawford: 103 (57); Cuyahoga: 4 (3); Darke: 48 (19); Defiance: 152 (118); Delaware: 78 (52); Erie: 53 (44); Fairfield: 132 (89); Fayette: 22 (17); Franklin: 35 (23); Fulton: 60 (56); Gallia: 169 (139); Geauga: 111 (105); Greene: 51 (35); Guernsey: 307 (302); Hamilton: 55 (29); Hancock: 74 (58); Hardin: 110 (53); Harrison: 336 (193); Henry: 55 (41); Highland: 191 (121); Hocking: 199 (153); Holmes: 343 (118); Huron: 236 (162); Jackson: 191 (149); Jefferson: 197 (168); Knox: 382 (146); Lake: 40 (32); Lawrence: 91 (113); Licking: 340 (195); Logan: 169 (60); Lorain: 200 (169); Lucas: 13 (27); Madison: 52 (18); Mahoning: 194 (131); Marion: 79 (43); Medina: 188 (147); Meigs: 200 (188); Mercer: 47 (32); Miami: 54 (26); Monroe: 207 (156); Montgomery: 35 (16); Morgan: 214 (146); Morrow: 124 (70); Muskingum: 368 (256); Noble: 211 (138); Ottawa: 38 (31); Paulding: 113 (64); Perry: 213 (173); Pickaway: 62 (42); Pike: 114 (104); Portage: 201 (136); Preble: 82 (50); Putnam: 34 (45); Richland: 306 (164); Ross: 177 (146); Sandusky: 82 (66); Scioto: 184 (137); Seneca: 176 (100); Shelby: 75 (44); Stark: 287 (153); Summit: 41 (41); Trumbull: 321 (266); Tuscarawas: 497 (260); Union: 64 (28); Van Wert: 49 (24); Vinton: 201 (125); Warren: 66 (42); Washington: 213 (140); Wayne: 195 (92); Williams: 132 (127); Wood: 55 (37); Wyandot: 101 (60).Total: 14,115 (9,228).

For more information, contact:
John Windau, ODNR Division of Wildlife
614-265-6325
Matt Eiselstein, ODNR Office of Communications
614-265-6860

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Sunday Hunting Contributed to Total

Photo of a deer herd at Monocacy Battlefield by Jan Branscome
Deer Herd at Monocacy Battlefield by Jan Branscome

Maryland hunters reported taking 34,412 deer during the state’s most popular hunt, the two-week firearm season. The total was similar to last year’s official harvest of 35,002.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reported that more than 4,000 deer were taken on the two Sundays during the season, more than 10 percent of the total take during the two week season.

“Deer hunters enjoyed good weather for most of the two weeks and produced a very respectable firearm harvest,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “We are pleased to see hunters use the opportunity to hunt on Sunday in those select counties where the option is available.”

Hunters reported taking 21,661 antlerless deer during the season, down 3 percent from last year’s official total of 22,381. The antlered harvest increased slightly from 12,621 last year to 12,751 this year. Sika deer represented 423 of the total antlered harvest and 478 of the total antlerless harvest.

In western Maryland (Region A), hunters reported taking 4,478 white-tailed deer, an 11 percent increase from last year’s harvest of 4,018. The region’s harvest was comprised of 2,962 antlered and 1,516 antlerless deer. In the remainder of the state (Region B), the white-tailed deer harvest decreased 3 percent year-over-year from 30,984 to 29,934 this year. The region’s total included 9,789 antlered and 20,145 antlerless deer.

Maryland Reported Antlered and Antlerless Deer Harvest
2016-2017 and 2017-2018 Two Week Firearm Season
Antlered Antlerless Total
County 2016-17 2017-18 % Change 2016-17 2017-18 % Change 2016-17 2017-18 % Change
Allegany 863 1,053 22 561 528 -5.9 1,424 1,581 11
Anne Arundel 239 246 2.9 471 472 0.2 710 718 1.1
Baltimore 440 490 11.4 969 1,003 3.5 1,409 1,493 6
Calvert 184 185 0.5 403 370 -8.2 587 555 -5.5
Caroline
whitetail 447 385 -13.9 1,050 946 -9.9 1,497 1,331 -11.1
sika 0 0 * 1 0 * 1 0 *
Carroll 936 927 -1 1,571 1,692 7.7 2,507 2,619 4.5
Cecil 428 516 20.6 903 982 8.7 1,331 1,498 12.5
Charles 389 387 -0.5 780 814 4.4 1,169 1,201 2.7
Dorchester
whitetail 447 307 -31.3 1,041 758 -27.2 1,488 1,065 -28.4
sika 415 384 -7.5 486 445 -8.4 901 829 -8
Frederick 1,299 1,246 -4.1 2,136 2,245 5.1 3,435 3,491 1.6
Garrett 1,186 1,503 26.7 804 786 -2.2 1,990 2,289 15
Harford 328 380 15.9 768 714 -7 1,096 1,094 -0.2
Howard 182 181 -0.5 396 339 -14.4 578 520 -10
Kent 521 468 -10.2 1,052 988 -6.1 1,573 1,456 -7.4
Montgomery 435 415 -4.6 779 797 2.3 1,214 1,212 -0.2
Prince George’s 269 239 -11.2 505 432 -14.5 774 671 -13.3
Queen Anne’s 452 485 7.3 1,184 1,235 4.3 1,636 1,720 5.1
Saint Mary’s 288 249 -13.5 649 600 -7.6 937 849 -9.4
Somerset
whitetail 381 317 -16.8 936 858 -8.3 1,317 1,175 -10.8
sika 2 0 * 2 0 * 4 0 *
Talbot 381 280 -26.5 1,075 936 -12.9 1,456 1,216 -16.5
Washington 1,014 1,038 2.4 1,097 1,089 -0.7 2,111 2,127 0.8
Wicomico
whitetail 504 462 -8.3 1,187 1,194 0.6 1,691 1,656 -2.1
sika 26 36 * 28 28 * 54 64 *
Worcester
whitetail 565 569 0.7 1,545 1,405 -9.1 2,110 1,974 -6.4
sika 0 3 * 2 5 * 2 8 *
Total 12,621 12,751 1 22,381 21,661 -3.2 35,002 34,412 -1.7
*Small sample size

The harvest fell sharply in portions of several counties on the Eastern Shore, including Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot, perhaps due to an outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, a naturally-occurring disease among white-tailed deer. The virus is carried by biting midges and can spread quickly through localized deer populations. The deer population is expected to rebound quickly in this area.

Photo of a deer herd at Monocacy Battlefield by Jan Branscome

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