As of August 1, portions of Holmes and Tuscarawas counties have been declared a Disease Surveillance Area (DSA) as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to monitor Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). This designation was made after a deer at a captive white-tailed deer facility in Holmes County tested positive for CWD. In addition, the state has established new carcass rules for hunters who hunt wild deer, elk, caribou and moose in other states.
The new carcass rules will apply to Ohio hunters who plan to travel out of state to hunt any CWD-susceptible species (white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, caribou or moose). No person is permitted to bring or transport high-risk carcass parts of CWD-susceptible species into Ohio from any state or Canadian province, regardless of the CWD status of the exporting jurisdiction. Additional information on carcass regulations can be found at wildohio.gov.
The newly-established DSA includes the areas within a 6-mile radius from the CWD positive samples in Holmes County and includes: Wayne and Sugar Creek townships in Tuscarawas County, and Salt Creek, Paint, Berlin, Walnut Creek and Clark townships in Holmes County. This DSA designation will remain in effect for a minimum of three years. The area will be mapped and posted on the division’s website at wildohio.gov.
The following regulations will apply within the DSA:
Normal agricultural activities including feeding of domestic animals as well as hunting deer over food plots, naturally occurring or cultivated plants and agriculture crops are not prohibited.
Hunters harvesting deer within the DSA are required to deliver their deer to a carcass inspection station. Two locations have been designated as Carcass Inspection Stations for the deer-gun seasons and the deer muzzleloader season. Both locations will be open and staffed from 10 AM to 8 PM during the deer-gun and deer muzzleloader seasons. The dates for these seasons are: Nov. 26-Dec. 2, Dec. 15-16 and Jan. 5-8, 2019.
Hunters will be asked to provide their confirmation number from the game check process as well as the location where the deer was killed (the address of the farm or nearest road intersection are acceptable). Tissue samples will be taken and tested for CWD. The process should take no more than 10 minutes; however, delays are likely at peak times of the day. Hunters are strongly encouraged to complete the game check process before proceeding to the inspection. Hunters that harvest a deer and wish to have it mounted will still need to bring their deer to a carcass inspection station. Samples will not be taken at the time, but staff will collect additional information so that samples can be collected later.
If hunters have questions about the carcass inspection stations or need directions to the locations, they may call 800-WILDLIFE or the Wildlife District Three office at 330-644-2293. The ODNR Division of Wildlife is responsible for protecting and managing Ohio’s fish and wildlife resources for the benefit of all Ohioans. We greatly appreciate the cooperation of hunters in helping us monitor Ohio’s deer herd. For more information about CWD, visit wildohio.gov.
The state’s first DSA, DSA 2015-01, which was established in 2015, has expired after being in place for three years with no evidence of CWD found in wild deer. The original DSA was established after CWD was first detected at a shooting preserve and breeding facility in Holmes County, and included portions of Holmes and Wayne counties.