Monday, January 30th, 2023
Monday, January 30th, 2023

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DNR steps up CWD efforts in Holmes County

Millersburg, Ohio — Following the recent detection of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a captive white-tailed deer from a private Holmes County operation, the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife has been increasing its efforts to monitor the health of Ohio’s wild deer herd in the vicinity of the affected facility.

In October, one client-killed buck tested positive for CWD at World Class Whitetails of Ohio, a private hunting ranch in Holmes County. The facility has been under a quarantine by the Ohio Department of Agriculture since April.

A civil lawsuit was filed by ODA in late November, seeking injunctive relief from World Class Whitetails and its owner, Daniel Yoder. The lawsuit was filed in Holmes County Common Pleas Court, according to The Daily Record of Wooster.

The suit alleges that two whitetail bucks were introduced to Yoder’s herd at the ranch after the ODA quarantine and without ODA approval, as required by law.

According to the newspaper, Judge Robert Rinfret recently issued a temporary injunction and plans a hearing on the matter in the coming weeks.

“My main concern is to protect the deer population in the state of Ohio,” Rinfret said, according to an account in The Daily Record.

At a recent hearing, Yoder said he wished to speak with an attorney, but he did answer some preliminary questions, the newspaper reports. In total, he owns 800 deer, which are spread among 200 acres on three farms. He said he did bring in two bucks for the purpose of breeding, but notes before doing so, he attempted to contact ODA. Four phone calls went unanswered and unreturned, Yoder said.

Yoder said he then purchased the deer from an Ohio farm that another business, also under quarantine, had received ODA permission to use, The Daily Record reports.

Meanwhile, ODNR Division of Wildlife biologists will be collecting tissue samples from Holmes County, hunter-harvested deer during the muzzleloader season.

Biologists will be working at the Millersburg Fire Station, 8478 State Route 39, on Friday, Jan. 2, Saturday, Jan. 3, and Monday, Jan. 5. Hours each day are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Biologists are asking that Holmes County hunters visit the fire station and submit heads from adult deer harvested only in the following Holmes County townships:  Berlin, Hardy, Killbuck, Mechanic, Monroe, Prairie, Ripley, and Salt Creek.

Game-check will be offered to all hunters who submit tissue samples of their deer, fulfilling a hunter’s legal obligation to check a successful deer harvest.

Thanks to support from the Buckeye Big Buck Club and the East Central Ohio Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association, four lucky hunters will be randomly selected from hunters submitting their deer heads for testing this year and awarded Cabela’s gift cards. One $150 gift card and one $100 gift card will be awarded from each of the supporting organizations.

In addition to the Millersburg Fire Station, there are six other drop-off locations in the Holmes and Wayne County area. Game-check will not be offered at these locations.

Since 2002, ODNR Division of Wildlife has been conducting CWD surveillance on Ohio’s wild deer herd, and CWD has not been found in the wild herd.

To report any deer in the wild that are ear-tagged, call Wildlife District Three at (330) 644-2293.

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