3:06pm: Hotline with Dave Weekley

Five More Deer Test Positive for CWD

Five more West Virginia deer test positive for chronic wasting disease.   The West Virginia DNR recently released the preliminary findings of the recently completed deer firearms season in Hampshire County where the first and only known cases of CWD were detected.   

Biologists tested 1,355 deer checked in at various stations in Hampshire County by hunters.   Five showed positive results for CWD. Those included a doe that was four-and-a-half years old, two bucks aged at two-and-a-half years, one buck that was a year-and-a-half, and another buck four-and-a half years in age.  

All five of the positive deer came from the CWD Containment Area identified the by DNR north of U.S. Route 50.    Since it was first discovered in a road-killed animal in 2005 in the Slanesville area, 37 Hampshire County deer have tested positive.   Biologists believe it’s an indication that the disease is continuing to spread, albeit slowly.

The DNR has taken the following steps in an effort to slow that spread and potentially control the outbreak in Hampshire County:

    • CWD testing efforts designed to determine the prevalence and distribution of the disease.
    • Deer population management to reduce the risk of spreading the disease from deer to deer by implementing appropriate antlerless deer hunting regulations designed to increase hunter opportunity to harvest female deer.
    • Establish reasonable, responsible and appropriate deer carcass transport restrictions designed to lower the risk of moving the disease to other locations.
    • Establish reasonable, responsible and appropriate regulations relating to the feeding and baiting of deer within the affected area to reduce the risk of spreading of the disease from deer to deer.

The neurological disease is found in cervid animals (deer and elk).  There is no known cure and no known cause.  Research has show the infection however is spread more rapidly when deer are concentrated in small areas, particularly when they have nose-to-nose contact from eating out of the same spot.  

The ailment is slow progressing and attacks the brain.  During its final stages, CWD can show frightening symptoms of emaciation and erratic and abnormal behavior.

Currently there is no evidence suggesting CWD poses a risk to humans or domestic animals. 


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