Maine wildlife threatened by chronic wasting disease

This is very bad news. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been found just 100 miles from Maine, in Quebec. Our Fish and Wildlife Department is taking this very seriously, and working with New Hampshire and Vermont to figure out the best ways to protect our moose and deer.

New Hampshire and Vermont have already taken some steps to reduce the possibility of CWD, but it will probably require legislative action here to give the department the authority they’ll need. For example, they’ll need to prohibit deer feeding anywhere near the Quebec border, so as not to risk CWD spreading quickly to deer gathered in one place to feed.

Because CWD is a bone disease, it’s also possible that DIFW will require hunters near the Quebec border to leave the skull and bones of their moose and deer in the woods.

I hope to have another report for you soon after DIFW decides what it needs to do, and how it will secure authority to do that.

Here is some of the report from Canada.

Following the discovery of a case of chronic debilitating disease (CWD) in a farmed cervid in the Laurentides region, the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (MFFP) is putting in place measures to protect wildlife and appeal to the cooperation of citizens, especially hunters. Although the disease has been detected in a farm, the situation requires assessing whether it is found in wildlife and limiting the risk of spread in cervid populations. In order to carry out these operations in an efficient and safe manner, the MFFP is forced to prohibit the hunting and trapping of a restricted portion of the hunting zones 9 West and 10 East, from September 21, 2018 to November 18, 2018 . In addition, in an enhanced surveillance zone, carcasses of animals slaughtered on the hunt will be systematically analyzed.


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.