LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Roaming deer in Lancaster County don’t see as many hunters as they used to. A big reason for that is due to the lack of places there are to hunt compared to the past.
“That’s certainly a challenge for hunters nowadays is just trying to find a place to pursue the activity,” Steve Mohr Jr., the senior preserve’s manager for Lancaster Conservancy said.
One thing remains constant. Lancaster Conservancy provides public hunting access at 26 preserves across Lancaster and York counties.
There are more than 5,000 acres free for hunters to roam, but as it is anywhere else, safety is the top priority when people come to hunt at the preserves.
With walking trails surrounding the areas, both hunters and non-hunters need to be on their game.
“One thing is we encourage folks to wear orange, bright blaze orange during all hunting seasons. That’s even more essential during firearms hunting seasons,” Mohr Jr. said. “We ask people to stay on the marked hiking trail during hunting season.”
The safety of the animals is important, too. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been around since 2012.
Earlier this year, for the first time ever, two deer in the wild tested positive east of the Susquehanna River in Dauphin County.
Lancaster has still never had a positive case of CWD. Hunters are still encouraged to drop off their kills at locations to test for the disease.
“If you have access to a head bin I highly encourage people to utilize them especially now given we have now found it on this side of the river,” Andrea Korman, the CWD section supervisor for the Pennsylvania Game Commission said.
If it turns out a deer you killed is infected, Korman says to immediately discard the meat.
You won’t lose a tag on an infected deer.
“If that deer looks sick and/or tests positive for the disease because they can have CWD and not look sick,” Korman said. “If it does test positive you can get a replacement tag.”