The Pennsylvania Game Commission has removed a requirement that hunters in two chronic wasting disease management areas take their deer to a check station during the 2013-14 seasons.
During the upcoming hunting seasons, the agency said harvested deer can be taken to any cooperating processor or taxidermist within the management areas, and the processed meat or finished taxidermy mounts can be removed from the management areas when they are ready.
Hunters who want to process their own deer may remove the meat from the carcass and dispose of any high-risk parts at dumpsters set up at state game lands within the management areas.
Carcass parts that have a high risk of transmitting the disease cannot be removed from the management areas. The use of urine-based deer attractants and the direct or indirect feeding of wild deer is still prohibited.
The first management area, a 600-square-mile area that includes parts of York and Adams counties, was set up last year after the state's first case of chronic wasting disease was found in a captive deer at an Adams County deer farm.
A second management area, a 900-square-mile area that includes parts of Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon and Cambria counties, was established after the disease was found in three wild deer harvested by hunters.
Chronic wasting disease is always fatal to deer, elk and moose. It is not known to be transmitted to humans, but people are advised not to eat the meat from animals that test positive.
Detailed maps of the disease management areas, locations of dumpsters, and information about the disease is available on the Game Commission's website, www.pgc.state.pa.us.