Archery hunt canceled due to epidemic

Hemorrhagic disease is a common infectious disease of white-tailed deer in the eastern United States and can cause a significant number of deaths during an outbreak.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced earlier this week that this year’s controlled archery hunt in the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area has been canceled due to an outbreak of hemorrhagic disease.

The disease has spread to the southeast region, including Middle Creek, according to a statement from Lauren Ferreri, the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area’s controlled hunt manager.

Hemorrhagic disease is a common infectious disease of white-tailed deer in the eastern United States and can cause a significant number of deaths during an outbreak, the statement continued.

Outbreaks typically occur when deer congregate at a water source during the dry parts of late summer and early fall, when seasonal gnat (small-winged fly) activity is at its heyday, the statement continued. These outbreaks tend to end when the weather cools.

Ferreri said in his statement that while the outcome of this particular outbreak is unknown at this time, the risk of large numbers of deer dying remains high, so canceling this event will allow the gambling commission to access the impact on the deer. population of the Middle Creek area. In doing so, the commission will help ensure that hunters can “have quality hunting experiences in the future”.

The future of Middle Creek’s end-of-season flintlock/archery is still up in the air, Ferreri added.

“We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this outbreak of hemorrhagic disease,” the statement concluded.

For more information on hemorrhagic diseases, please visit the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website here or see the Penn Vet Wildlife Futures Program’s Hemorrhagic Diseases Fact Sheet.

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Earnest A. Martinez