Virginia DGIF Seeking Hunters Help with CWD Surveillance

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The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries would like to ask for your support in our surveillance and management of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD was detected in Virginia for the first time in a deer killed November 2009 in Frederick County less than one mile from the state line. In addition, the continued existence of the disease nearby in Hampshire County, West Virginia remains a concern.

This year, our CWD Containment Area has the same boundaries as the CWD Surveillance Area last year - west of I-81 in Frederick County and the City of Winchester, and west of I-81 and north of Rt. 675 in Shenandoah County. But unlike last year, the entire CWD Containment Area is now a mandatory sampling area for any deer killed on November 13, November 20, and November 27, 2010. Any deer, or at least the head and neck of any deer, killed in the Containment Area on these three days must be brought to a designated sampling station listed below:

  • Cather's Market, 2765 Northwestern Pike, Winchester
  • Cline's Store, 19004 Senedo Road, Edinburg
  • Crossroads Grocery, 119 Cedar Grove Road, Winchester
  • Gore Grocery, 305 Gore Road, Gore
  • Graden's Supermarket, 6836 John Marshall Highway, Lebanon Church
  • State Line Store, 1778 Bloomery Pike, Whitacre
  • T & R Processing, 691 Carpers Valley Road, Winchester

We strongly encourage hunters who are successful on days other than those listed above to volunteer the head and neck from their deer for sampling by bringing it to one of our self-service refrigerated drop stations:

  • Frederick-Winchester Conservation Club, 527 Siler Road, Winchester (north of Gainesboro)
  • Walker's Cash Store, 3321 Back Road, Woodstock (intersection with St. Luke Road)
  • North Mountain Fire and Rescue, 186 Rosenberger Lane, Winchester (off Rt. 600, behind Tom's Market).
  • New Star Market, 2936 John Marshal Hwy, Strasburg (one mile west of I-81).

In addition to mandatory checking VDGIF is implementing several other management actions in the northern Shenandoah Valley in response to the detection of CWD, including: prohibiting the feeding of deer year-round, prohibiting the movement of deer carcasses and parts out of the Containment Area (with exceptions), restricting the disposal of deer wastes from the Containment Area, prohibiting the rehabilitation of deer in the Containment Area, and changing seasons and bag limits on private lands in an attempt to reduce the deer population. More information these management actions and CWD can be found on the VDGIF website at www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/.

CWD has been detected in 18 states and two Canadian provinces. CWD is a slow, progressive neurological (brain and nervous system) disease found in deer, elk, and moose in North America. The disease ultimately results in death of the animal. Symptoms exhibited by CWD-infected deer include, staggering, abnormal posture, lowered head, drooling, acting confused, and marked weight loss.

There is no evidence that CWD can be naturally transmitted to humans, livestock, or pets. Anyone who sees a sick deer that displays any of the signs described above should contact the nearest VDGIF office immediately with accurate location information. Please do not attempt to disturb or kill the deer before contacting the VDGIF.

It is the mission of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth; to provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia; to promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing; to provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities. For more information on Virginia's wildlife management areas, wildlife watching, hunting, fishing and boating, visit the agency's website at www.dgif.virginia.gov.