The Ohio Division of Wildlife has a plan in place to help prevent a CWD outbreak in the Buckeye State.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) can quickly decimate a population of deer, and state wildlife officials work hard to prevent its spread at all costs.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is no different, and has a plan in place following the 19 confirmed cases of CWD that have occurred at a Holmes County deer farm since October 2014. Since the disease was first confirmed at the farm, ODNR employees have captured 24 deer that have escaped from the facility.
None of the 24 escaped deer have tested positive for CWD, but the Division of Wildlife still considers the wild deer herd to be threatened by the possibility of a CWD outbreak. The ODNR has collected hundreds of negative wild deer samples from hunters since the disease was confirmed, but their efforts to prevent the disease don't stop there.
The ODNR has declared portions of Holmes and Wayne counties in the northeast region of the state as Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Areas (DSA). That designation indicates that hunters in those areas will need to follow several additional rules if they harvest a deer. The DSAs will remain in effect for a minimum of three years.
According to the ODNR, the following regulations will apply within the DSA:
- Hunters are required to bring deer carcasses harvested within the DSA boundaries to an ODNR Division of Wildlife inspection station (see map) for sampling during the deer-gun and deer muzzleloader seasons;
- No placement of or use of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed to attract or feed deer within the DSA boundaries will be allowed;
- The hunting of deer by the aid of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed within the DSA boundaries is prohibited;
- The removal of a deer carcass killed by a motor vehicle within the DSA boundaries is prohibited unless the carcass complies with deer carcass regulations. Additional information on carcass regulations can be found here.
Hunters who harvest a deer within the DSA are encouraged to complete the game check process before proceeding with their kill to the ODNR inspection stations. Hunters will be asked for their game check confirmation number and then tissue samples will be taken from their deer. The process should only take approximately 10 minutes, but delays are possible at peak times.
For more information on the regulations in these areas and CWD in Ohio, click here.