ELKINS, W.Va. — Of the 530 Hampshire County deer sampled for chronic wasting disease in November, 70 had the always fatal illness, according to Jim Crum, a wildlife biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
The DNR required hunters who bagged deer during the first two days of the firearms season to bring those animals to locations throughout the county so that they could be sampled.
Crum said three Hardy County deer were tested as well and one of those had the disease.
The number of West Virginia deer confirmed to have CWD since it was first discovered in 2005 now reached 332.
“The decision is not yet made whether we will require mandatory CWD sampling again this coming season,” Crum said on Friday. On the first two days of the 2016 season, hunters in Hampshire as well as Hardy counties were required to have deer checked.
“I don’t anticipate any expansion of the containment zone based upon these recent sampling results,” Crum said. The existing containment zone regulations make it illegal to bait deer or to transport whole deer carcasses outside of its boundaries.
The greatest prevalence of CWD continues to be with 40 square miles in the Slanesville area, according to Crum. DNR estimates 30 percent of the deer there are infected.
As a part of the agency’s ongoing CWD monitoring plan, agency marksmen harvest deer in Hampshire County during the spring and take samples for CWD testing. The next collection of that sort is not scheduled until 2022.
The hunters who brought deer for sampling in November were informed by way of the internet about their individual results of the CWD testing.