(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) – With archery season just around the corner, some deer hunters in Crawford County may want to consider other locations to get their game.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission reported that a disease has killed more than 30 deer near State Game Lands 214.
Hemorrhagic disease, also known as HD, is killing dozens of deer in Crawford County days before the start of archery season.
Between 30 to 40 infected deer have been found dead in North Shenango and Sadsbury townships.
Travis Lau, press secretary from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said insects called midges spread the disease. HD outbreaks are less common in northwestern Pa. compared to regions in warmer climates.
“We tend not to get hemorrhagic disease at a state-wide level. We tend not to have hemorrhagic disease on a county-wide level, it more correctly in pockets,” said Lau.
He added that since the disease is spread by insects, it can’t be controlled and there’s nothing that can be done during an outbreak to prevent it from spreading. However, deer can not spread the disease to humans or other deer.
Lau went on to say those who are in an area hit hard by HD can find other public hunting opportunities near by.
“More than 1.5 million acres of state game lands in addition to state forests, state parks the Allegheny National Forest,” Lau added.
Lau also said it’s a waiting game — HD could pop up in other areas but the disease doesn’t necessarily come back every year.
“There are some things that are unknown about hemorrhagic disease and the biting midges that spread, but we do know that they’re not in Pennsylvania all the time,” he continued.
Hunters who come across several dead deer are encouraged to contact the Pa. Game Commission at 833-742-9453.