Seven bears killed in county; no chronic wasting disease found
A total of seven bears were killed during bear hunting season in Morgan County, said Division of Natural Resources (DNR) District Assistant Wildlife Biologist Allan Niederberger.
Five bears were killed during bear gun season and two bear were killed by bow in bear bow season. Last year the county bear kill was 12 bears, he said.
Morgan County had a longer bear season than neighboring Hampshire County, where five bear were killed by gun and 15 by bow during bear hunting seasons, Niederberger said.
They had hoped with the longer season here that the bears would be active enough for more of them to be harvested by hunters. They have had a lot of nuisance bear complaints along U.S. Route 522 and also between Great Cacapon and Largent, he said.
Niederberger estimated that they had received 15 to 20 bear complaints for Morgan County.
“That’s a lot for any county,” he noted.
Chronic wasting disease
No deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease from the sampling that Division of Natural Resources officials did of deer harvested in the county Chronic Wasting Disease Containment area during deer season, Niederberger said.
Hunters were asked to bring deer they killed in the containment area to the Roy’s Service Station check station during the first two and a half days of buck season for lymph node sampling by DNR officials as part of continuing chronic wasting disease surveillance efforts.
All of Morgan County that lies west of U.S. Route 522 is considered in the containment area—nearly half of the county.
No deer in Morgan County have tested positive for chronic wasting disease so far.
Niederberger said that nine deer tested positive in the Chronic Wasting Disease containment area outside of Morgan County. Most of those deer were killed in the Slanesville area, while one was taken in Yellow Spring and another in Hardy County. The positives were found in expected areas, he said.
All of Hampshire County is also considered within the disease containment area as well as the portion of Hardy County north of Corridor H and WV Route 55 from Wardensville to the Virginia Stateline.
Portions of Morgan County were added to the Chronic Wasting Disease containment area to match Maryland’s disease containment area after a deer killed in Green Ridge State Forest in eastern Allegany County in 2010 was found to have the disease.