Hunters in much of Cumberland County, Michaux State Forest and down to the Maryland border will be spending a little less time thinking and planning to shoot deer, because more consideration will have to be given to what they’ll do after the deer is down.
Disease Management Area 2 has been extended from Somerset County all the way eastward to the mid-point of Adams County as the Pennsylvania Game Commission adjusts strategy to contain Chronic Wasting Disease lethal to whitetails.
DMA 2 now includes parts of Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties.
Hunters who take deer within DMA2 will not be able to transport their carcasses outside of the restricted area, unless it is to an approved meat processor. The commission maintains a list of butchers permitted to dispose of the contagious, high risk parts, which include brain and spinal matter.
Hunters will be giving at least that much thought as to what to do after the shot. For some, the routine will have to change. I was able to get the buck taken in western Adams County last year to my home in Mechanicsburg for skinning and caping.
Considering this piece of my hunting ground now falls within the expanded DMA2, deer from there won’t be going home with me any longer.
Deer processors also feel the effects of CWD restrictions.
The butcher I traditionally use when not preparing a head for the taxidermist is in western Adams County. After DMA1 was established east of Gettysburg to the Susquehanna, he noticed a downturn in business. Those carcasses simply could not be taken out of DMA1 to his shop.
Deer from what was DMA1 may return to this butcher because DMA1 and its restrictions have just been dissolved because CWD hasn’t been found there in five years.
Specifically, DMA2 begins in the southeast at the Maryland border and follows state Route 134 (Taneytown Road) north to Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg. It follows state Route 34 to state Route 94, to state Route 174, to U.S. Route 11 in Shippensburg. From Route 11 the line follows state Route 533 to state Route 433 in Orrstown, then to state Route 997, to state Route 641. From 641, it follows to U.S. Route 522 near Shade Gap, to state Route 994 in Orbisonia, then to state Route 655 to the intersection of U.S. Route 22.
It follows U.S. Route 22 to state Route 453, to state Route 253 and to state Route 53 in Van Ormer. From there it goes from Marina Road to Glendale Lake Road, to state Route 36 west into Patton, then straight onto Magee Avenue. It follows Magee Avenue to 5th Avenue and then Mellon Avenue to Carroll Road. Carroll Road to state Route 219 in Carrolltown, to state Route 56, to state Route 160 and then state Route 2030 (Main Street) near Berlin. The loop finishes onward to state Route 219, south to the Maryland border.
Within DMA 2, two new Deer Management Assistance Program units have been created to focus hunter effort in areas where multiple CWD-positive deer have been found. DMAP directions and a full range of CWD info are available at the Commission website, www.pgc.pa.gov.
DMA 2 is the only area of the state where CWD has been detected in free-ranging deer. Twenty-five free-ranging deer tested positive for CWD there in 2016. From 2012 to 2015, 22 free-ranging CWD-positive deer were detected in DMA 2.
The disease has since been detected on three additional captive deer facilities, including a Franklin County facility in Fayetteville, 25 miles east of the previous DMA 2 boundary. The Fayetteville discovery is a trigger for DMA2’s expansion eastward.
All deer killed within DMA2 are subject to testing and it may require hunters to present the deer or parts for exam and sampling at a prescribed location, announced before the hunting season. Testing will be paid for by the commission. No concrete plans for that have been announced.
Life within DMA2 will be a little different for not just deer hunters. Licenses went on sale last Monday, by the way. Hunters won’t be able to use deer-based attractant scents.
Feeding whitetails is prohibited within DMA2. It causes the animals to congregate and creates an ideal scenario for CWD to be spread, if present.
It also isn’t legal to pick up and take a roadkilled deer found within DMA2, outside of the management area, unless approved by the commission.
There is also a ban on the import of high-risk cervid parts into the Commonwealth
So, success could mean a slight break in routine. But deer hunters in DMA2 can be glad there is still a healthy herd to hunt there. Those small inconveniences could help to ensure that’s the case many years from now.