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Outdoors notebook: Changes coming to CWD monitoring

| Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, 10:24 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is unlikely to require hunters in either of its two chronic wasting disease management zones to check in every deer they take this year.

Last year, when CWD was found in Adams and York counties, hunters who killed a deer during the two-week firearms season had to take it to a check station. This year, with CWD having expanded into Blair and Bedford counties — meaning the combined disease management zones take in 1,500 square miles — the commission is thinking smaller.

“The emphasis is going to be on sampling,” said Cal DuBrock, director of the commission's bureau of wildlife management. “We're not going to try to get every deer.”

The commission will attempt to sample 1,000 deer from each disease zone, along with an additional 3,000 deer from the rest of the state.

Public meetings will be scheduled prior to the start of archery season in each area to alert the hunting public to the rules, DuBrock said.

Forrest Wood Cup

Butler's Dave Shively finished 33rd among 46 co-angler competitors at the FLW Outdoors Forrest Wood Cup on Louisiana's Red River.

Shively was sitting in 12th place after the first day of competition, having boated a five-bass limit weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces. On Day 2, Shively had seven bites and caught six fish, but just two were keepers. They weighed 2 pounds, 12 ounces.

“It was disappointing, but that's the nature of tournament fishing,” Shively said. “This year it didn't happen, but I'm already looking at next year's schedule with the expectation of making the Cup again.”

The co-angler title was won by Theo Corcoran of Kansas City, Mo., with 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 10 ounces.

Report changing?

For decades, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation has been the gold standard for statistics about outdoor recreation.

The most recent report contained some confusing statistics, though. It said the number of anglers in Pennsylvania went up from 2006 to '11, but' the amount they spent went down. It likewise put the number of hunters in the state hundreds of thousands below Pennsylvania Game Commission figures.

Changes might be coming, though. John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, is chairing a committee of state and federal leaders tasked with reviewing how to make it better.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

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