Dan Kibler: No chronic wasting diseases found in North Carolina deer – yet – Salisbury Post
By Dan Kibler
Little by little, the fox approaches the chicken coop.
North Carolina remains one of the few states that has yet to experience the joys of chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer and other similar animals.
But it’s coming closer with the announcement by Virginia officials that two more CWD-infected deer were culled last fall in counties bordering North Carolina. A deer captured in Floyd County, 28½ miles from North Carolina, tested positive, and a deer from neighboring Montgomery County also tested positive – the second such animal in that county. In 2020-2021, one deer infected with CWD was confirmed in Montgomery County, just 33 miles from North Carolina.
Chronic wasting disease is caused by abnormal proteins, prions, which spread through the deer’s nervous system, causing life-threatening brain damage. The disease is spread between deer by direct competition, through saliva, urine and feces or carcasses and body parts.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has stepped up its program to track chronic wasting disease if it ever reaches the North Carolina deer herd by collecting tissue samples from more than 20,000 deer since 2000 – 7000 deer since July 2021 – with particular attention to Alleghany, Rockingham, Stokes and Surry counties, which border the affected areas of the Commonwealth. About half of the most recent samples were tested and no chronic wasting disease was detected.
“These new CWD-positive samples from Virginia underscore the importance of our monitoring efforts here in North Carolina,” said biologist Chris Kreh of Elkin, deputy chief of the Commission’s Wildlife Management Division. . “We received a record number of deer samples from taxidermists, meat processors and hunters to bolster our ability to test more deer than ever before for CWD…. I hope we don’t find CWD is here, but if it is, I hope we find it sooner rather than later.
Chronic wasting disease moves slowly through a deer’s system, often taking nearly a year and a half before the deer begins to show signs. There is no vaccine, treatment or cure for the disease, which has been detected in 29 states and four Canadian provinces, the latest being Mississippi, which has taken drastic measures to stem the tide of the disease in areas where it has manifested itself, including changes in hunting seasons, hunting regulations – particularly regarding deer baiting – and bag limits.
East Burke eighth grader yearns for Robin Hood
Nothing stops Natalie Bell.
An 8th grader at East Burke Middle School, who is the defending national champion in the school archery program, defended her state title last month, posting the highest score in one of 800 children from 31 schools who participated in the tournament, held in Winston-Salem.
Burke scored 298 points out of a possible 300 to easily win the girls’ middle school title, but her score beat all high school competitors. East Burke’s Hudson Lentz won the boys’ college title with 283×300, and East Burke won the college team.
South Caldwell won the high school team title, with Maiden’s Alex Beard winning the boys’ individual title at 280×300, and South Caldwell’s Abigail Clark taking the girls’ crown with 277×300.
A conservation group organizes a fishing event for young people
The Yadkin Valley Wildlife Federation will be hosting a free youth trout fishing event in Yadkinville on Saturday, April 2.
The event will include fishing at Yadkinville Park, 6600 Service Rd., Yadkinville, and will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Hot dogs will be served at noon.
Fishing is open to all young people 15 and under, accompanied by a parent or guardian. Space is limited; RSVP by phone or text to Don Stroud at 336-682-3456.
Dan Kibler is a Clemmons-based outdoor writer.