Hunters sought to fight wasting disease

Posted: November 8, 2013

The Winchester Star

Local hunters and landowners are being asked to help in managing a disease that could affect the area’s deer population. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — Local hunters and landowners are being asked to help in managing a disease that could affect the area’s deer population.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is requiring that any deer killed on Nov. 16, 23 and 30 in Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Containment Areas in Frederick and Shenandoah counties be brought to designated sampling locations to test for the disease, according to a news release from the department.

The designated areas are Frederick County west of Interstate 81 and Shenandoah County west of I-81 and north of Route 675.

While hunters can bring a whole deer to designated sampling locations, only the animal’s head and neck must be brought, according to the release.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease found in some deer, according to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

“Although there is no evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans or domestic animals, it could have serious long-term consequences for wild deer populations and deer hunting,” the release stated. “We know that hunters want to do their part as we continue to look for this disease and hopefully slow its spread in Virginia.”

Since 2002, more than 7,000 deer in Virginia have been tested for CWD. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has discovered five positive cases of CWD in Virginia, and all those deer were killed by hunters in western Frederick County — two does harvested in November 2009 and 2011, and three bucks killed in November 2010, 2011, and 2012 — according to the department’s website.

The five infected deer did not show clinical symptoms of the disease. Since 2005, more than 130 cases of CWD have been found nearby in West Virginia.

Designated sampling locations are:

Cather’s Market, 2765 Northwester Pike (U.S. 50), Winchester.

Crossroads Grocery, 119 Cedar Grove Road, Winchester.

Gore Grocery, 305 Gore Road, Gore.

Shawnee Springs Market, 6656 North Frederick Pike (U.S. 522), Cross Junction.

T&R Processing, 691 Carpers Valley Road, Winchester.

Cline’s Store, 19004 Senedo Road, Edinburg.

Graden’s Supermarket, 6836 John Marshall Highway, Lebanon Church.

Department of Game and Inland Fisheries officials could not be reached for comment Thursday on CWD or the need for sampling.

Additional information is available online at fcva.us/home/showdocument?id=3453 and www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/regulations/cwd.asp.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com