The state's Game Commission announced Thursday that any deer processor or taxidermist in a 600-square-mile hunting restriction area in York and Adams counties could serve as a check station for a disease in the wild deer population.
Hunters had earlier been told there would be only one check station, in state game land near Lake Meade in Adams, for all deer killed in the area where deer are being monitored for the disease.
Hunters in the affected area must take deer killed during rifle season, Nov. 26-Dec. 8, to a checking station where it can be tested for chronic wasting disease. The restriction is in place because a captive deer that was housed in the two counties tested positive for the disease, and officials want to track any spread of it.
The monitoring boundary bisects York County, with most areas north of Routes 116, 30, and 462 included. Deer killed in areas south of the boundary don't have to be checked.
Commission executive director Carl G. Roe said in Thursday's press release that Game Commission staff will be stationed at "cooperating" deer processors to collect the samples for testing. A list of participating processors was not immediately available, but will be posted on the Game Commission's website, he said.
Letters are being mailed to nearly 47,000 hunting license buyers in the two counties, as well as portions of northern Maryland, to inform them about the deer hunting changes and provide a map of the affected area, he said.
"Given the volume of deer that may be harvested within the (area), it would be unreasonable to expect all hunters to come to one site, and the traffic congestion that could be created by the convergence of hunters on this one rural road would be more than inconvenient for residents, as well as hunters," Roe said in the release.
Hunters must take their deer to processor within the management area. However, those who harvest deer within the restricted area and want to process their own deer or who would like to take their deer to a processor or taxidermist outside of the management area should visit the check station at the state game land, 1070 Lake Meade Road in East Berlin
Until the start of rifle season, testing of harvested deer is voluntary and is being conducted at the game land.
A public meeting will also be held 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the York County Fairgrounds' Horticultural Hall, 334 Carlisle Ave. State officials will be on hand to answer questions related to their containment efforts.