June 17, 2024

ODNR Takes Action to Monitor Chronic Wasting Disease in Ohio’s Deer Herd


ODNR logoCOLUMBUS, OH – Portions of Holmes and Wayne counties have been declared a Chronic Wasting 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 requires that additional rules must be followed by deer hunters in this area.

Since October 2014, 19 captive white-tailed deer have tested positive for CWD at a shooting preserve and a breeding facility in Holmes County. Twenty-four escaped white-tailed deer have been found outside of those facilities and have been tested. Since CWD was first detected, ODNR Division of Wildlife staff have also collected hundreds of samples of wild deer with the cooperation of hunters and local landowners. While none of these deer have tested positive for CWD, it cannot be assumed the disease is confined to a fenced facility, and the ODNR Division of Wildlife is taking additional steps to protect Ohio’s deer herd.

The DSA includes the areas within a 6-mile radius from the CWD positive samples in Holmes County and includes: Franklin and Clinton townships in Wayne County, and Ripley, Prairie, Salt Creek, Monroe, Hardy, Berlin, Killbuck and Mechanic townships, as well as the northeast portion of Richland Township (defined by the boundary of Twp. Road 36 to State Route 520 to Twp. Road 31 to U.S. Route 62) 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 apply within the DSA:

Requires hunters to bring deer carcasses harvested within the DSA boundaries to an ODNR Division of Wildlife inspection station for sampling during the deer-gun and deer muzzleloader seasons;
Prohibits the placement of or use of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed to attract or feed deer within the DSA boundaries;
Prohibits hunting of deer by the aid of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed within the DSA boundaries; and
Prohibits the removal of a deer carcass killed by a motor vehicle within the DSA boundaries unless the carcass complies with deer carcass regulations. Additional information on carcass regulations can be found at wildohio.gov.

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 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the deer-gun and deer muzzleloader seasons. The dates for these seasons are: Nov. 30 to Dec. 6, Dec. 28-29 and Jan. 9-12.

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) garage, 1800 South Washington Street, Millersburg, OH 44654.
Industrial Park, 8254 County Road 245, Holmesville, OH 44633.

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, but division staff will be able to assist with checking deer.

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 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 hunters’ cooperation in helping us monitor Ohio’s deer herd. For more information about CWD, visit wildohio.gov.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *