Unfortunately, CWD keeps spreading in Pennsylvania


When I recently read the described boundary for newly formed Disease Management Area 4, I was shocked. And when I gazed at the actual map of DMA 4, it sunk in. The eastern edge of the management area runs through my home county of Berks.

Through all my encounters with deer since CWD was first discovered in Pennsylvania, either through hunting or just plain seeing them in field and woods aside from hunting, I never envisioned seeing one sick with this deadly disease, but I sure can see one in my mind now.

The fact that another deer tested positive for CWD is regrettable in many ways. But the fact that it happened outside of the disease management areas already established, proving that it can spread despite so called safe-guards that already exist, is downright disheartening.

I’ve written often, and read even more, about chronic wasting disease, its origins, how it kills and spreads, plus all the efforts of various state wildlife officials entrusted with halting the spread of this certain death for deer and elk. Perhaps, because of “other places” proximity, I never really became overly concerned with having to deal with a deer sickened with CWD. And although I do not hunt deer within the newly established disease area, all it would take is one infected deer, carrying this dreadful disorder, to get the urge to cross a few roads, wander up and down a few mountains, cross a stream or two and slip along a field’s edge to be right smack in the middle of where I do hunt whitetails.

That changes proximity for me, and that is deep-down scary.

This is about as serious a problem as hunting across America can face, and is one that has a very uncertain future.

I have to choke back a chuckle — a repulsive one — when I think about all the people who complain about the lack of deer where they hunt, and the overall herd in general. If CWD isn’t somehow stopped, they may know a future where they’re lucky to even see a single deer anywhere.

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