DNR awaits CWD test results

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources collected data from 865 deer during mandatory biological collections in the eastern panhandle last week. Hunters were required to bring their deer to nine locations in Berkeley and Mineral Counties as biologists tested most of the animals for chronic wasting disease.

“Those samples will be shipped off in the next few days to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab in Madison,” said Dr. Jim Crum, Deer Project Leader for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. “We may start getting results by the end of the week or maybe next week.”

Not all of the 865 deer were sampled. Biologists did not collect data on fawns or mature bucks. The sampling technique would be damaging to a buck hunters might want to take to the taxidermist. It’s unclear at this point how many samples will be shipped off to the lab.

All samples will be tested and those which show the conditions of CWD will be put through a second test to confirm. Hunters who brought their animals to those check stations in Berkeley, Mineral, and to the DNR District office in Romney for sampling were issued a number on their check tag. The number will enable them to learn the test results of their specific deer once the testing is complete.

“That number is specific for that deer,” said Crum. “They can go onto our website, once the data is in, and they can click on ‘Check CWD’ and enter that number to see their results.”

Crum anticipated those results probably wouldn’t be available until next week. He said it was tough to know what they have found until the tests were complete, but seemed encouraged by what he saw at the one station in Berkeley County where he was posted.

“Most of the animals I looked at were healthy and I think most of the hunters were proud of their harvest,” he said. ‘There were several 10 pointers and a lot of 8 pointers.”

~~  Chris Lawrence ~~

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