State proposes longer deer hunting season in Montgomery County to stop spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

Proposed regulations would extend deer hunting season in parts of the New River Valley

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is holding a public comment period on the proposed regulations to address the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease in Montgomery County. The open comment period opened July 1 and closes July 30.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources announced in late May that a deer killed in Montgomery County tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease after it was taken to a taxidermist in late Nov. 2020.

At the time of the kill, the hunter did not notice any outward signs of disease and the deer appeared to be in good condition, according to DWR.

During the 2020 – 2021 deer hunting season, cooperating taxidermists submitted samples from over 2,600 deer and the only Chronic Wasting Disease detection to result from this statewide effort was this Montgomery County deer, according to DWR.

In May, the Virginia Board of Wildlife Resources, pursuant to §§ 29.1-103, 29.1-501, and 29.1-502 of the Code of Virginia proposed amendments to some of the Commonwealth’s deer hunting regulations to help address the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease in Montgomery County.

The proposed regulation amendments focus on deer hunting seasons and opportunities in Floyd, Montgomery and Pulaski Counties which have been designated as Disease Management Area 3 (DMA3) and the special quality deer management area on Fairystone Wildlife Management Area. The proposed regulation amendments do not affect statewide deer hunting seasons.

The proposed regulation would all an early September antlerless-only firearms deer season and a late (January through March) antlerless-only firearms deer season in designated disease focus zones in Floyd, Montgomery, and Pulaski counties, and extend the general firearms season on non-national forest lands in Montgomery and Pulaski counties from two to four weeks.

This two-week extension of the general firearms season aims to slow the spread and transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease and reduce deer populations in affected counties.

Read full proposal here.

The public can submit their comments about the new regulations in the DWR online comment system here.

Comments also may be: made during the August Committee and Board meetings; postal-mailed to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, Attn: Policy Analyst and Regulatory Coordinator, P.O. Box 90778, Henrico, Virginia 23228; or emailed to Comments must be in writing and accompanied by the name, address and telephone number of the party offering them.

If the proposed regulations are adopted by the Board in August, the regulations will become effective for the fall 2021 – 2022 deer hunting season.

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