Travis Smola

Pennsylvania Confirms Wild, CWD-Positive Buck Discovered in Clearfield County

A CWD-positive buck was found in State Game Lands 87.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has announced chronic wasting disease or CWD has been found in a wild deer in a new area of the state.

According to a press release, a buck near Clearfield County's Bell Township has tested positive for the deadly neurological disorder after a conservation officer shot it on State Game Lands 87. The officer shot the animal on June 7 because it showed signs of being sick and diseased.

Although the buck was already in CWD-containment area known as Disease Management Area 3, the find is concerning because the disease had only previously been found in captive animals here. DMA 3 was formed in 2014 after two different captive deer facilities were found to have CWD-positive animals.

The good news is officials will not be expanding this containment area any further. The bad news is they are now having to ramp up surveillance efforts for the disease. The Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to step up testing of road and hunter killed animals.

They will also utilize sharpshooters in a focused area near where the sick buck was found. This is an attempt to slow the spread of the highly contagious disease through infected animals.

Also, 2,800 Deer Management Assistance Program permits will be sold in DMA 3 as a part of this plan to stop the spread of infected animals.

The actions being taken by the Commission are not unlike similar plans being put in place in other states across the country. Michigan, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Missouri have all had to put in place additional restrictions this year due to new discoveries of the disease.

And there was also disturbing news earlier this week that scientists have discovered the deadly disease can jump the species barrier to monkeys in research into the prion that causes CWD.

Keep it here at Wide Open Spaces for the latest news on this disease nation-wide.