Second wild white-tailed deer tests positive for CWD

By Al Smith - Guest Columnist

A second white-tailed deer from Ohio’s wild herd has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and it was within two miles of the first positive location.

The second deer was a mature doe harvested in January on the Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area near Harpster. The first positive tested deer was a mature buck also harvested in Wyandot County and was taken during archery season on private property.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar species, including mule deer, elk and moose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no strong evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans.

The doe with CWD was discovered during mandatory deer disease sample collection during controlled hunts at Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area. The Ohio Division of Wildlife (DOW) had instituted an enhanced surveillance within a 10-mile radius of the first positive location. According to the DOW, the second positive deer allows wildlife professionals to focus CWD management efforts as surveillance and testing in the area continue.

The DOW’s CWD response plan included enhanced surveillance in 15 townships in the surrounding area to monitor for the disease. That included Goshen Township in Hardin County where white-tailed deer hunters were asked to submit samples of harvested deer for CWD testing. Hunters in portions of Wyandot and Marion counties also were asked to submit samples. Wyandot also touches Hancock County, but hunters there were not asked to have their deer tested.

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Anglers and hunters have until March 31 to apply online for controlled access this spring for opportunities ranging from trout fishing opportunities available at Cold Creek in Erie County to spring wild turkey hunts and mentor-style hunts.

Applicants will be charged a nonrefundable $3 fee and may apply on the DOW’s website at under the Ohio wildlife licensing system or through the HuntFish OH mobile app. Entry to each opportunity is selected through a random computer-based lottery system.

According to the DOW, applicants need to have all required licenses and permits prior to submitting their information. Phone applications can be submitted by calling 866-703-1928 and require an additional service fee of $5.50. No mail-in applications are accepted.

The trout fishing opportunities are available in a half-mile section of Cold Creek at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery. Those who are chosen can fish on selection dates between May 24-Nov. 26.

Seasons are open for 100 adults and 90 youths who are required to be between 4 and 15 years old. Individuals selected to participate can bring two adults and three youths under the age of 16 (no more than six people total). All anglers aged 16 and older are required to possess a 2021 Ohio fishing license while fishing at Castalia.

Youth wild turkey hunts are scheduled for Mosquito Creek Wildlife Area (Trumbull County), Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area (Wayne County), Eagle Creek Wildlife Area (Brown County), Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area (Wyandot County), and Lake La Su An Wildlife Area (Williams County). Mentor hunts are scheduled for Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area and Eagle Creek Wildlife Area.

All hunters are required to have a valid hunting license and wild turkey permit to apply.

Youth wild turkey applicants must be 17 years old or younger, and accompanied by a nonhunting adult.

Learners of all ages are eligible for the mentor-style controlled hunts if they have not harvested a wild turkey within the last five years. Learners and mentors are eligible to harvest a wild turkey, provided the learner harvests their bird first. Either the learner or the mentor may apply, and both must be properly licensed during the hunt.

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Ohio will receive more than $21 million in fiscal year 2021 through through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

This funding supports regional conservation projects and is generated by the hunting and fishing industry via the Dingell-Johnson and Pittman-Robertson acts and the Wallop-Breaux Amendment. A total of $1 billion is being distributed nationally by WSFR and the 2021 apportionment is $121 million higher than the 2020 apportionment due to increases in firearm, fishing equipment and motorboat fuel revenues.

Ohio will receive a total of $8,136,605 through the Dingell-Johnson Act and $13,506,686 with $9,235,351 for wildlife and $4,030,855 or hunter education through the Pittman Robertson Act.

When hunters, anglers and boaters purchase equipment and fuel, the manufacturers, producers and importers of those goods pay into the Wildlife Restoration, Sport Fish Restoration and Boating trust funds. These funds are distributed by the FWS to ensure wildlife agencies in all states, commonwealths and territories receive support.

State wildlife agencies dedicate WSFR funds to a variety of conservation projects and programs. Since WSFR’s inception, $20 billion has been allocated to hunting and fishing education, fish and wildlife management, scientific research, habitat restoration and protection, land and water rights acquisition and hunting and boating access.


The Allen County Sportsmen & Farmers Association will hold a turkey shoot Sunday, March 21, at its 1001 South Kemp Road location. The first shoot begins at 10:30 a.m. with sign-ups starting at 10:30 a.m. Prizes will be turkeys, ribs and chickens. Breakfast will be served beginning at 10:30 a.m. Cost is $5.

Allen County Wildlife Officer Craig Barr will be the guest speaker at the club’s monthly meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. March 25. Brad Sherrick will be installed as the club’s new president. replacing Bill Stratton.

For further details, contact Jeff Casady at 567-712-4762.

By Al Smith

Guest Columnist

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

Al Smith is a freelance outdoor writer. You may contact him at and follow him on Twitter @alsmithFL

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