From the Field

Connecting YOU with Wildlife – Pennsylvania Game Commission


No. 7 – What do I do with High-Risk Parts?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week seven:

CWD Fact 7

Answer:

Within the state, it is unlawful to export high-risk cervid parts from disease management areas or to import high-risk parts from CWD positive states.

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

Once these high-risk parts are removed, meat on or off the bone, cleaned capes, cleaned skull caps with antlers, and finished taxidermy mounts may be transported throughout Pennsylvania. The high-risk parts must remain within those states, provinces and DMAs where the animal was harvested.

Click here for more information about CWD.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.

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No. 6 – Is There a State Importation Ban on High-Risk Parts?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week six:

CWD Fact 6

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was first detected in 1967 in a captive deer facility in Colorado, since then, CWD has spread to 25 states and three Canadian provinces, including Pennsylvania.

To reduce the risk of spreading CWD, it is unlawful to import high-risk cervid parts from CWD positive states. High-risk parts include the brain, eyes, tonsils, lymph nodes, spinal cord, and spleen.

Once high-risk parts are removed, the processed meat may be transported into Pennsylvania.

Click here to see the USGS “Distribution of Chronic Wasting Disease in North America” map.

Click here for more information about CWD.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.


No. 5 – Are There Regulations Within DMAs?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week five:

CWD Fact 5.jpg

Answer:

Within Disease Management Areas, specific regulations and rules apply to reduce the risk of spreading CWD. Within DMAs it is unlawful to export high-risk parts, use or possess urine-based attractants in the field, and feed wild deer (which includes the use of mineral licks). High-risk parts include the brain, eyes, tonsils, lymph nodes, spinal cord, and spleen. Once high-risk parts are removed, the processed meat on or off the bone, capes and antlers attached to the skull plate with no visible brain matter may be transported throughout Pennsylvania.

Click here for more information about CWD.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.


Video: How to Find CWD Information Online

Having a hard time finding specific information about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania? The Game Commission’s CWD Communications Specialist Courtney Colley provides a step-by-step visual guide on how to find some of the most sought information online. Click the video above, or here, to view the video guide.

www.pgc.pa.gov

Courtney starts this video by walking viewers through resources available on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website, including how to find a copy of the most recent executive order about CWD in Pennsylvania, which describes Disease Management Areas (DMAs) and lists other CWD positive states. There’s a link to Title 58, which provides regulations currently in place in Pennsylvania related to CWD. There’s also a public event schedule on the Game Commission’s website of related events. A link to a 30-minute webinar on CWD is there, too. Another great resource is our interactive map – helpful for hunters who will be hunting in a DMA. We also have a comprehensive FAQ list on our CWD page.

www.padls.org

The next helpful site Courtney outlines on the program is the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System, which is a subsection of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, which conducts CWD testing in Pennsylvania. Courtney mentions a CWD FAQ list on this site, which can also be helpful for hunters, including information on getting a deer tested for CWD.

www.cwd-info.org

The final site Courtney highlights is the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance’s page, which is a great resource for hunters who intend to hunt out-of-state. This alliance is a collaborative project between the Boone and Crockett Club, the Mule Deer Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and more, with the intentions of providing scientifically accurate information to the public related to CWD. The alliance’s recent news section is a great way to keep up-to-date with the new CWD cases in North America, as well as regulations in other states. There’s a helpful U.S. map at the bottom of the homepage for hunters who hunt out-of-state. You can easily find other CWD-positive states and regulations.

Still not finding what you’re looking for?

Courtney has a few other site resource suggestions:


No. 4 – What Precautions Should Processors and Taxidermists Take?

Through the end of deer season, we will be posting a frequently asked question (FAQ) and answer related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Pennsylvania in an album on our Facebook page.

We know many of you – hunters, non-hunters, processors, taxidermists and more – have questions about CWD and the effects this disease can cause. We are here as a resource and want to help everyone understand the complexities and details related to CWD in our state.

If you have a specific question related to CWD, email pgccomments@pa.gov.

Here’s the question for week four:

CWD Fact 4

Answer:

To date, CWD has not been found to infect humans. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends humans reduce their exposure to CWD-infected animals.

It is recommended that processors and taxidermists take steps to help reduce their exposure to CWD-infected meat or parts. Individuals should wear latex or nitrile gloves when processing deer meat.

To decrease exposure to high-risk parts, which include the brain, eyes, tonsils, lymph nodes, spinal cord, and spleen, de-bone the meat.

Avoid cutting through the spinal cord, if possible. After handling deer meat, individuals should wash hands and tools thoroughly with soap and water, then sanitize tools using a 50/50 bleach solution.

It is important to note that it is currently unlawful to export high-risk parts from a DMA or import high-risk parts from a CWD-positive state. This helps reduce the spread of this disease.

Click here for more information pertaining to processors and taxidermists.

As a reminder, if you have a specific question related to CWD email it to pgccomments@pa.gov.


Hunting in PA? We’ve Got an App for That.

Hunters using app

Photo credit: Hal Korber

Whether you’re looking for a place to hunt, need a license or want an easy way to report your deer or turkey harvest, the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s new mobile-device app is a one-stop shop that’s loaded with information hunters and trappers need most.

Through the app, which is free to download at the iTunes and Google Play stores, hunters can find out what’s in season and where, when hunting hours start and end, and whether they’ll need to wear fluorescent orange while in the field, and how much.

The app provides instant access to the Hunting & Trapping Digest – the Game Commission’s complete regulations handbook – as well as the agency’s Mapping Center, which charts hunting opportunities including pheasant releases on state game lands and other hunting properties.

Those in need of licenses can buy them online through the app, or find an issuing agent nearby where they can pick up a license in person. And those who are successful in big-game pursuits can report their harvests through the app, learn the locations of bear and elk check stations, or find a processor where they can donate venison through the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program.

Wildlife-law violations can be reported through the app, and hunters can document their exact location to share in the case of an emergency.

“With this handy and easy-to-use offering, Pennsylvania’s hunters and trappers have all the information they need, right at their fingertips,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “Whether seeking immediate answers while in the field, or planning the next day’s hunt from home or camp, all you need is a cellphone signal or network connection to learn whatever you need to know.”

More information about the app, and links to the iTunes and Google Play stores, can be found at www.pgc.pa.gov by selecting Game Commission Mobile App under the Information & Resources tab.


Baked Bear Burgers

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It’s Wild Game Wednesday!

Black bears are one of the largest and most secretive animals living in our state. Statewide archery bear season opened on Monday, so we thought we’d share a simple and tasty bear recipe for our bear hunters to try.

On Wild Game Wednesday, we take a moment to recognize one of the most important reasons people take to the woods and fields to hunt: to fill their freezers with types of fresh, organic meat. These weekly posts include delicious, easy and seasonal wild game recipes from the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Game Cookbook that you and your family can prepare. Let us know if you try this recipe. Enjoy!

Baked Bear Burgers_Page_2

If you are interested in more wild game recipes, visit www.theoutdoorshop.state.pa.us//FBG/game/GameProductSelect.asp?catid=BKS to purchase the second edition of the cookbook for less than $10!