Maryland reported the first confirmed cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in February 2011. The deer was harvested in western Maryland in November 2010, but lab reports were not released until February 2011 that confirmed the case. This means that Maryland has joined the numerous other states and Canadian providences that already had confirmed cases.
This is a very scary subject, as it could affect not only hunting, but the deer population as a whole in Maryland. CWD means that you need to take precautions when gutting, deboning, or handling deer. I know they say be very careful if you are removing antlers via a skullcap because it involves coming in contact with the brain matter. Please remember that it is better to be safe than sorry, protect yourself when handling your deer and throughout the course of cleaning and butchering your harvest. This is especially true in the western counties in Maryland (as that seems to be the primary location of concern). There have been confirmed reports in West Virginia and Virginia and this is likely where CWD spread to Maryland.
One important thing to remember is if you are hunting in West Virginia you cannot transport a deer carcass into Maryland. However, you can transport the meat once it is butchered and packaged. I only know of this for West Virginia at this point, but an educated guess would say this could include more states and vice versa for the surrounding states of Maryland.
The most interesting debate that currently surrounds CWD and how it is spread is the concern that it could be spread by urine based deer lures. Yes, that means we could all be buying CWD in those little 2 ounce bottles that cost so darn much. There has been no proof that states that CWD could be transmitted by bottled urine, but they urge hunters to take caution when using it and avoid skin contact as well as putting in soil or on vegetation. If you really want to be safe, you can switch to synthetic urine deer lures, but wouldn’t it be nice to know if the real stuff that really works is safe to use or not?
Want to read more about CWD here in Maryland, Check the article I found on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Page.
Below is a picture of confirmed CWD cases in North America in 2008.
What is your opinion on CWD? What do you think about the uncertainty of if it can be spread by deer lures purchased in stores? Help us get everyone’s point of view and leave us your thoughts!
** Photos courtesy of articles listen below.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
Is chronic wasting disease the new mad cow?
By Sara DickermanPosted Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004, at 9:20 AM ET
Attention Hunters: Check CWD Regulations (Map)
BY DAN FLYNN | NOV 08, 2009