Virginia Finds Another CWD Positive Deer in Frederick County

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The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) wishes to recognize the excellent cooperation of hunters in sampling for chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Frederick and Shenandoah counties this past November. To date, VDGIF has collected samples from more than 500 deer brought to check stations and self-service drop stations or killed on the road.

Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, a new case of CWD was detected less than 2 miles from the first case discovered last year in western Frederick County, Virginia. The 4-point buck was killed by a hunter near the West Virginia line and brought to a check station for sampling on November 20, 2010. It is estimated that the buck was about 1 1/2 years old. Given the proximity of this second case to the first one, changes to the current management actions or restrictions are not anticipated. However, VDGIF is still awaiting final test results from approximately 100 samples, so the need to modify management strategies cannot be determined until after the conclusion of the hunting season and receipt of all sample results in January.

We continue to encourage hunters who are successful during the remainder of the season 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 collecting samples, VDGIF has implemented several other management actions in the northern Shenandoah Valley during the past year in response to the detection of CWD. These management actions include: 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.

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 infected 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.

More information about CWD and these management actions can be found on the VDGIF website at www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/cwd/.