FINS

This map shows the new CWD Established Area (EA) within DMA 2.

Tomorrow is the day lucky hunters have their names drawn from the lottery to hunt elk in Pennsylvania.

I’m calling it now that, after so many years of applying, 2021 is the year I finally get a permit!

With crossbow in hand, I’ll be ready for a lotta bull!

BIRDS CAN

EAT AND BATHE

The birds in our neighborhood are looking a little brighter this week.

Our bird baths are back out and our feathered friends are a little bit cleaner.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has lifted its recommendation to stop feeding birds and supplying water in bird baths, as reports of sick and dead wild birds have decreased.

No definitive cause of illness or death has been determined during the mysterious outbreak in Washington, D.C., and at least 10 states, including Pennsylvania, since late May.

But some potential causes have been ruled out and there is no indication that feeding birds or maintaining bird baths were contributing factors.

“The public plays a vital role in wildlife health surveillance,” said Game Commission Wildlife Veterinarian Andrew Di Salvo. “They are often the first to notice and report injured, sick, or dead wildlife. All those extra sets of eyes and ears enables us to respond as quickly as possible and resolve or investigate the situation. We certainly appreciate their vigilance and look forward to continue to work closely with them into the future.”

This is not the time to lose caution.

As birds congregate at feeders and baths, the standard recommendation to keep that equipment clean remains in place, along with additional guidelines:

- Clean feeders and bird baths with soap and water, then disinfect with a 10% household bleach solution. After allowing 10 minutes of contact time, rinse with clean water and allow to air dry. Cleaning and disinfection should be done at a minimum weekly basis or more frequently when soiled to prevent potential spread of any infectious diseases between birds and other wildlife, as well as remove spoiled food.

- When feeding birds, follow expert recommendations such as those listed in Audubon International’s Guide to Bird Feeding.

- Remain vigilant and report any sick or dead wild birds to your local Pennsylvania Game Commission office.

- Keep pets away from sick or dead wild birds.

- Avoid handling wild birds.

BATTLE VS. CWD INCLUDES

EA ADDED TO DMA 2

As the threat to our white-tailed deer by Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) appears to deepen, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has upped its game, as well.

One significant change occurs not far from Adams County, and in contained within the same Disease Management Area (DMA) that we are.

First, hunters are now prohibited from importing high-risk parts or materials from cervids harvested, taken or killed in any state or country outside Pennsylvania. In years past, the prohibition applied only to those parts from animals taken in states and provinces known to have CWD.

Within DMA 2, which includes the western part of Adams County, hunters are now prohibited from moving high-risk parts outside of the Established Area (EA). That includes even into the surrounding DMA.

I have been unable to determine the actual boundaries of the EA in DMA 2 but I offer a map here that shows the area.

The EA has produced more than 90 percent of the all the cases of CWD found in Pennsylvania to date.

Both changes also apply to deer killed in vehicle collisions that are picked up for consumption.

High-risk parts include the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and any lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft tissue is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord tissue; unfinished taxidermy mounts; and brain-tanned hides.

Expanding the regulation banning the importation of high-risk parts into Pennsylvania from any state or province – regardless of whether CWD is known to exist there – takes into account the wide range of testing and surveillance in other states – not all monitor the disease the same way – and simplifies things for hunters, who no longer have to remember different rules for different areas.

Hunters who take a deer within the EA must either butcher it and dispose of the high-risk parts within EA boundaries or take it to a processor within the EA. Those who want to have a deer from the EA mounted must cape it to remove all high-risk parts or take it to a taxidermist within the EA.

The same rules apply to deer taken within any of the DMAs.

To date, CWD has been found in 727 deer. It has not been detected in Pennsylvania’s elk herd.

TWEET OF THE WEEK

“Snakes are on the move in Pennsylvania during the summer months, and #PAStateParks are great places to spot them! If you go in search of these creatures give them space and appreciate them from a distance. #GetOutdoorsPA.” — PA DCNR

Send your wild thoughts and photos to bjsmall@comcast.net.

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