Deer removal project will not move forward, game commission says
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WJAC) —
Pennsylvania Game Commission officials say they will not move forward with plans to reduce the deer population in Bedford and Blair counties.
According to a release from the state game commission, the organization did not receive enough support from landowners to move forward with the deer reduction, which they say would help combat the effecteffects and spread of chronic wasting disease.
According to the release, staff with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services began seeking the permission of landowners for deer removal in recent weeks, but say few permissions were secured.
Officials say other phases of the project, like placing GPS collars on deer, will still move forward.
Officials with the game commission say they hope to increase awareness about CWD to gain the community support necessary to move forward with the deer removal plans.
Officials said although deer will not be taken in the project this year, they are still working to coordinate isolated targeted-removal removal operations in other areas where a solitary CWD-positive deer has been detected.
While the lack of access to private land is unfortunate, it could well demonstrate there is work to do when it comes to educating the public about CWD, and we will be ramping up our efforts to bring the facts about this disease and its potential impacts on Pennsylvania to light,” said Game Commission Bureau of Wildlife Management Director Matthew Schnupp. “As it is now, CWD has been detected only in a few parts of the state. Our pilot project in Bedford and Blair counties is being conducted where the problem is worst, but hunters in most areas of the state have not had to deal with CWD in the deer that they hunt, or abide by the regulations intended to slow its spread.
"While CWD is here in Pennsylvania, we can manage the disease to limit its spread and protect as many of the state’s deer as we can,” Schnupp said. “And we will continue to work hard to implement disease-control measures that benefit Pennsylvania’s deer and deer-hunting tradition.