July 25, 2024

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Several Chronic Wasting Disease Management Areas (DMAs) will be expanded due to new detections of the disease in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced that they are increasing the boundaries of DMAs in the state following the detection of Chronic Wasting Disease in several road-killed deer across the area.

DMA 2 will expand east to state Route 94, east along U.S. Route 30, and north along the west shore of the Susquehanna River to meet the current boundary.

DMA 2 is located in southcentral Pennsylvania and includes all or portions of Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Indiana, Juniata, Mifflin, Perry, Snyder, Somerset, Union, Westmoreland, and York counties.

DMA 3 will expand expand south along state Route 286 near Saltsburg, north along the east shore of the Kiskiminetas River, north along the east shore of the Allegheny River, north along U.S. Route 422, and east along state Route 85 to meet the current boundary.

DMA 3 is located in western Pennsylvania and includes portions of Armstrong, Cambria, Clarion, Clearfield, Elk, Indiana, and Jefferson counties.

DMA 8 will expand south to Interstate 81, south along Mountain Road, west along U.S. Route 22, south along Interstate 83 to Interstate 283 to Interstate 76, and west to the west shore of the Susquehanna River to meet the current boundary.

DMA 8 includes portions of Dauphin, Lebanon, Northumberland, and Schuylkill counties.

Within all DMAs and the CWD Established Area (EA), it is unlawful to:

  • Remove or export any deer or elk high-risk parts (e.g., head, spinal column, and spleen) unless going to a Game Commission-approved cooperating processor.
  • Deposit high-risk parts on the landscape away from harvest location.
  • Use or possess deer or elk urine-based attractants.
  • Directly or indirectly feed wild, free-ranging deer. It is already illegal to feed elk regardless of DMA location.
  • Rehabilitate wild, free-ranging deer or elk.

The Commission also put Deer Management Assistance Programs (DMAPs) in place to boost surveillance efforts within Disease Management Areas to determine the extent of infection in the surrounding area. This includes:

  • DMAP Unit 4464 in Warren County
  • DMAP Unit 4760 in Jefferson County
  • DMAP Unit 4803 in Lycoming County
  • DMAP Unit 4839 in Lancaster County
  • DMAP Unit 4843 in Snyder County
  • DMAP Unit 6367 in Indiana and Armstrong counties
  • DMAP Unit 6396 in Dauphin County

After evaluating the units and status of CWD, DMAP Units 3934 in Clearfield County, 4806 in Cumberland County, and 4825 in Huntingdon County will not be renewed this season.

In January 2025, an antlerless-only extended rifle season will be held in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 4A, 4D, and 5A. This will give hunters more time to use the antlerless licenses they already have as well as use a replacement license if they harvest a deer that tests positive for CWD.

Over the past five years, the overall harvest in these WMUs has not been sufficient to reduce populations, despite the antlerless harvests’ productivity. The antlerless allocation is typically increased to meet a harvest target; however, some WMUs with CWD have become oversaturated where a further increase in antlerless licenses is unlikely to achieve the needed harvest.

abc27 news will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

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