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Today marks first day of firearms deer hunting season

Written by Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania | Nov 26, 2012 5:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Firearms deer hunting season opens today in Pennsylvania, amid colder temperatures and a small outbreak of what's known as Chronic Wasting Disease.

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Two deer at an Adams County farm have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, which is fatal to the animals but isn't harmful to humans.

The Game Commission says any deer killed within a certain part of Adams and York counties will need to be tested for CWD.

Spokesman Jerry Feaser says the agency's worked to maintain a stable deer population for hunters. "Hunters see that through the changes in allocations by Wildlife Management Units, as well as the changes in how long antlerless deer hunting is in some of the Wildlife Management Units. Both of those have been shortened, which will allow for population increases," he says.

Feaser says deer movements vary, and can depend on food availability and development that's occurring in a given area.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission expects about 750,000 hunters to turn out for the first day of the two-week season.

The commission is urging hunters to report their harvest to the agency calling 1-855-PAHUNT1 (1-855-724-8681) or by visiting the agency's website.

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