Deer hunters east of the Susquehanna River in parts of Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks counties will have to deal with restrictions come the next hunting season, since chronic wasting disease has reared its lethal head there.The guts of the new Disease Management Area 4 include 346 square miles in northeastern Lancaster County, southeastern Lebanon County and western Berks County.
“CWD has been detected in captive or free-ranging deer only in a few, isolated areas of the state,” Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said Wednesday. “That’s good news for all Pennsylvanians who enjoy deer and deer hunting. And we continue to focus our resources on ways to minimize CWD’s impacts statewide.”
The latest CWD find was on a deer breeding farm near Denver in Lancaster County.
In addition to establishing DMA 4, the Game Commission will increase its CWD sampling there.
Within DMA 4, the agency will begin testing all known road-killed deer for CWD. Come hunting season, bins for the collection of deer heads and other high-risk deer parts will be placed in areas for the public to use.
The northern part of DMA 4 runs roughly between the cities of Lebanon and Reading. The DMA includes the boroughs of Adamstown, Denver, Ephrata, Mohnton, Richland, Womelsdorf and Wyomissing. State Game Lands 46, 220, 225, 274 and 425 are included in DMA 4.
Three DMAs were already in place to restrict movement of high-risk whitetailed deer parts that could ignite further spread of the disease.
DMA2 was expanded for the last hunting season because of the expansion of CWD positives, and includes parts of Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties.
The state Department of Agriculture confirmed that three captive deer tested positive for CWD on a hunting preserve in Franklin County, and one was on a preserve in Fulton County. Three wild deer taken in DMA2 during the 2017 early archery season tested positive for CWD.
DMA 3 is in place in the Jefferson County region.
DMA 1 is no more, as CWD was not found in the five years since it was put into place. It was established in 2012 when CWD was first discovered in the state at a deer farm near New Oxford.
Hunters within a DMA are prohibited from using urine-based deer attractants or possessing them while in the field. Deer harvested within a DMA may not be transported whole outside the DMA. High-risk parts, including the head and backbone, must be removed and disposed of before meat, antlers and other low-risk parts are taken from the DMA. Feeding deer is also prohibited within DMAs as is the transport of live cervids.
Bald eagle babies
Bald eagle parents have been busy, with fresh eggs in their nests near Codorus State Park in York County, and Hays, near Pittsburgh.
Action at both nests has been a popular internet sensation in recent years, with 24/7 livestreaming cameras offering a glimpse into the mystery and magic of nature.
The first egg in the nest at Codorus appeared on Feb. 20. A second egg was dropped three days later. The typical clutch is a pair, and the incubation period for an eagle egg is 35 days.
The eagles on the Hays nest are nurturing three eggs, an unusual clutch. This is the second time the parents have dropped triplets and all three fledged the last time. Eggs there appeared Feb. 13, 15 and 19.
The degree of interest and entertainment go to the next level once eaglets appear.
The two cameras at Codorus are equipped with microphones, placed 75 feet high in a tree adjacent to Codorus State Park. To view the Eagle Cam, go to the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.pa.gov and click on the Hanover Bald Eagle Live Stream link in the Quick Clicks section of the homepage. The livestream can be accessed on the page that will open.
You can find the Hays nest at www.pixcontroller.com/eagles.
Don’t be HTEC tardy
Seats are still available for Hunter-Trapper Education Courses for prospective hunters and trappers in this region.
Completing and passing the HTEC is required of anyone getting their first license.
Future hunters and trappers can take the course online if they are 16 years and older. If attending in person, registrants must be at least 11 years old the day of the course. Lunch is often free.
Here are locations, dates and times for HTEC in this region. For more information and to sign-up for a course, go to the Pennsylvania Game Commission website, pgc.state.pa.us.
HTEC will be offered at Carlisle Fish and Game at 1421 West Trindle Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 10.
Mechanicsburg Sportsmen’s Association at 493 Sample Bridge Road will host the class from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 17.
Game Commission headquarters at 2001 Elmerton Ave. in Harrisburg is the place for HTEC from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 6; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 7. Students should take their own lunch. A portion of the course will be outside.
Mount Holly Fish and Game Association at 205 Oldtown Road, Gardners, will host HTEC from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 21.
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