Category Archives: Hunting regulations

Canada: WOLF HUNT to stay open in BC’s Chilcotin region where Chief of Tsilhqot’in calls for BOUNTY ~ Texas city will remove FERAL CAT population from two urban areas citing concern about RABIES and other HEALTH HAZARDS ~ Connecticut resident bitten by FERAL CAT with RABIES ~ Montana woman bitten by unidentified DOG ~ Michigan confirms KOI HERPES VIRUS responsible for CARP die-off ~ Arizona rancher believes MOUNTAIN LIONS killed EMUS ~ Montana COLT attacked by MOUNTAIN LION is euthanized ~ Follow-Up Reports: No sign of VIRUS found in BC SALMON.

Canada:

British Columbia 11/13/11 winnipegfreepress.com: by Dene Moore – The chief of the Tsilhqot’in Nation says he is concerned about the toll the region’s abundant wolf population could have on wild horses and endangered caribou this winter. The B.C. government made a controversial decision earlier this year to lift hunting restrictions and keep the wolf hunt open in the Chilcotin region because of concerns about the number of cattle and wildlife falling prey. Critics say the open hunt is a reckless decision not based on science, but Tsilhqot’in Chief Joe Alphonse said even the hunt is not enough and the government should go further. He’d like to see the province contract trappers and put a bounty on wolves on the plateau west of the Fraser River in central B.C. “As First Nations people we have great respect for wolves but you have to keep things in balance,” Alphonse said in a recent interview. “Eventually things will balance out,” but in the meantime caribou, cattle and wild horses will pay the price, he said. This summer, the Ministry of Forests and Lands eliminated any bag limit and ordered the wolf hunt season to stay open indefinitely in the area – an approach already in place in several other areas of the province. Provincial officials are adamant it is not a cull and say the wolf population is at a historic high, and both ranchers and area First Nations support the open hunt. Alphonse said low prices for wolf pelts means an open hunt won’t be enough to entice hunters and trappers to reduce the numbers of the pack.- For complete article go to http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/greenpage/wolf-hunt-will-stay-open-in-chilcotin-too-many-wolves-threaten-horses-caribou-133772253.html

Texas 11/12/11 Cleburne, Johnson County: Police Chief Terry Powell said last week the feral cat population at Hulen Park and Splash Station poses a risk of rabies and other health hazards to more than 120,000 people who visit the two locations annually. On Thursday, city officials began a program to remove an estimated 50 to 75 cats. “The cats will be humanely removed via live traps and transported to the animal shelter where they will be housed,” Powell said. “They will be treated as any other cat taken to the facility where they will be housed for a minimum of 72 hours. See http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/local/x960870255/City-implements-plan-to-remove-feral-cats-from-park

Connecticut 11/11/11 East Windsor, Hartford County: A feral cat that bit a Warehouse Point resident on Nov 8 has tested positive for rabies. The cat was described as a light grey tiger. See http://windsorlocks.patch.com/articles/feral-cat-in-warehouse-point-tests-positive-for-rabies

Montana 11/12/11 Billings, Yellowstone County: Woman seeks help in locating the owner of a dog that bit her on Oct 27 to verify rabies vaccination record. See http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_fbe2330c-6c2c-571d-a7c0-1997dd259516.html

Carp

Michigan 11/13/11 mlive.com: by Victor Skinner – State fisheries officials are tracking a new fish virus found in Michigan waters this year that has resulted in two carp die-offs. Officials recently confirmed a Koi herpes virus is responsible for the die-off of an estimated 2,000-4,000 adult common carp in Oceana County’s Silver Lake in August. The die-off is the second this year after a June outbreak in Kent Lake in Oakland and Washtenaw counties that killed several hundred carp. “It is not likely it has been here very long,” said Gary Whelan, fish production manager for the state Department of Natural Resources. “We don’t know how widespread it is across the state. Our best guess is it probably came from someone releasing ornamental fish into our waters.” Officials said the Koi herpes virus, also known as KHV, was first detected in Michigan in a private Koi pond near Grand Rapids in 2003, and officials removed those fish. In 2007 and 2008, the virus was responsible for large scale common carp die-offs in Ontario, Canada, Whelan said.

Japanese brocaded carp

“We know it has been showing up in the Great Lakes region recently,” he said. KHV is thought to only affect common carp, goldfish and Koi (specifically Nishikigoi,which is Japanese meaning “brocaded carp”, an ornamental variety of carp), and there are no known human health effects. Outbreaks of the virus have been found around the world, Whelan said. It is an internationally reportable disease and is causing concerns among large scale production facilities in Japan and Germany that sell the fish for food or the aquarium trade, he said. Michigan reported the recent outbreaks to the World Animal Health Organization. DNR fisheries biologist Richard O’Neal said officials “didn’t see any significant die-off of any other species in (Silver Lake)” in August when thousands of carp began to wash ashore. – For complete article go to http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2011/11/koi_virus_blamed_for_die-off_o.html

Arizona 11/12/11 Casa Grande, Pinal County: Rancher believes a mountain lion killed three of his emus on Nov 4, and a fourth emu is missing. Two sets of tracks that were found likely were those of a mother and cub. See http://www.trivalleycentral.com/articles/2011/11/12/casa_grande_dispatch/top_stories/doc4ebeb2a8262dc124164213.txt

Montana 11/11/11 Libby, Lincoln County: A mountain lion attacked and severely injured a colt that had to be euthanized. The attack occurred on Nov 8 but the lion has not been found. See http://www.thewesternnews.com/news/article_256713ca-0cab-11e1-a398-001cc4c03286.html

Follow-Up Reports:

(See November 7, 2011: Canada: Open-water SALMON farms may be source of VIRUS thought to be reducing WILD SALMON numbers by millions.)

Canada:

British Columbia 11/13/11 bendbulletin.com: by Phuong Le – Canadian government officials said last week they have found no signs of a potentially deadly, infectious salmon virus in British Columbia. Researchers with Simon Fraser University in British Columbia announced last month they had detected infectious salmon anemia, or ISA, in two wild juvenile Pacific salmon collected from the province’s central coast, prompting fears the influenza-like virus could wreck the salmon fishing industry in the Pacific Northwest. “There’s no evidence that (the virus) occurs in fish off the waters of British Columbia,” Dr. Cornelius Kiley, a veterinarian with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said, announcing results from the government investigation.

Government tests of the original 48 samples collected from B.C. researchers at a national laboratory have turned up negative for the virus, Canadian officials said. Additional tests performed on other samples have also turned up negative because the quality of some of those samples was too degraded to be conclusive. The results are consistent with independent testing conducted by a lab in Norway, officials said. While that lab found one weak positive reading among multiple tests, it also noted the sample was poor and results could not be reproduced, said Peter Wright, national manager for the Research and Diagnostic Laboratory System with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Officials are continuing to test samples for the salmon virus, which has affected Atlantic salmon fish farms in Chile, Maine, New Brunswick and other areas. It does not affect humans. Rick Routledge, a researcher with Simon Fraser University who announced the detection of the salmon virus in October, said one positive reading by an independent laboratory in Norway shouldn’t be dismissed entirely. “Given that he did get a positive reading once, from a degraded sample, I don’t feel comfortable with the notion that you could dismiss that out of hand,” he said. “I hope that further sampling and testing would continue.” – For complete article go to http://www.bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111113/NEWS0107/111130358/1009/NEWS01&nav_category=NEWS01

Alaska duck hunter narrowly escapes death-by-GRIZZLY ~ Connecticut committee releases TICK-BORNE (incl LYME) DISEASE report ~ Idaho family’s CAT tested positive for TULAREMIA ~ RABIES reports from North Carolina, & Ohio (2) ~ and WEST NILE VIRUS reports from California, & New Jersey ~ Follow-Up Reports: Wisconsin BLACK BEAR attack victim arrested for poaching last year ~ Travel Warnings: Zambia reports RABIES outbreak.

National Park Service photo.

Alaska 10/18/11 alaskadispatch.com: For Craig Medred’s lengthy and fascinating account of a duck hunter’s narrow escape from death-by-GRIZZLY just ten days ago in Alaska’s Portage Valley, go to http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/girdwood-duck-hunter-recounts-unbelievable-grizzly-attack

Connecticut 10/18/11 Newtown, Fairfield County: TICK-BORNE DISEASE Action Committee, with focus on LYME DISEASE, releases report after exhaustive study lasting three years. A majority recommend culling DEER herd, but some disagree. See http://newtown.patch.com/articles/committee-releases-deer-report-after-nearly-3-years-of-work

Idaho 10/14/11 Island Park: Family pet CAT tested positive for TULAREMIA.

See http://www.westyellowstonenews.com/news/article_02fceec6-f695-11e0-b752-001cc4c002e0.html

North Carolina 10/16/11 Reed, Davidson County: FOX carcass tested positive for RABIES. Two DOGS destroyed.   See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20111016/NEWS/111019963

Ohio 10/16/11 Willoughby, Lake County: Three SKUNKS tested positive for RABIES. See http://www.stowsentry.com/news/article/5109793

Ohio 10/17/11 Twinsburg, Summit County: Family DOG dies of RABIES (RACCOON strain of virus) see http://www.twinsburgbulletin.com/news/article/5110887

California 10/13/11 Dixon, Solano County: American CROW tested positive for WEST NILE VIRUS. See http://www.thereporter.com/ci_19103043

New Jersey 10/18/11 Monmouth County: HORSE tested positive for WEST NILE VIRUS. See http://exa.gmnews.com/news/2011-10-20/Front_Page/Horse_contracts_West_Nile_Virus.html

Texas 10/18/11 Southeast Dallas and Denton: MOSQUITOES infected with WEST NILE VIRUS have been found in both areas. See http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2011/oct/18/west-nile-virus-found-southeast-dallas/

Follow-Up Reports:

(See October 11, 2011: Wisconsin officers kill wounded BLACK BEAR that attacked deer hunter; and October 12, 2011: Wisconsin authorities question report of BLACK BEAR attack.)

Wisconsin 10/17/11 northlandsnewscenter.com: by Zach Vavricka – According to a Superior Police report from 2010, Charlie Lehman was stopped by DNR officials with an untagged doe in the bed of his work truck. This happened after an anonymous caller tipped off authorities that Lehman was poaching deer at Connors Point in Wisconsin with a bow and arrow. After police stopped and searched Lehman’s truck they found a bow and quiver with one arrow missing; Lehman denied all claims saying he was target practicing, even though the arrows had broad tips that are meant for hunting. DNR officials followed him after the stop and observed going back to Conner’s Point to pick up the deer. He was then arrested and charged with having on untagged deer in his vehicle. Superior police say that if the case of the bear mauling turns out to be poaching, he could be charged with more than a basic hunting infraction. “This is a statute in the state of Wisconsin for obstructing an officer. That includes lying to a police officer who is doing their official work. So questioning someone about an incident and the lying to an officer is obstructing an officer.” said Superior Police Officer Matt Markon. Now according to DNR officials, Lehman has admitted to previous poaching offenses. His hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges were revoked for three years after being caught poaching last year. DNR officials say the investigation should be wrapped up at the end of this week. DNR officials say Charlie Lehman and his girlfriend, Tiffany Mallow, who claims to have shot the bear, haven’t been cooperating with authorities which has slowed the investigation.

Travel Warnings:

Zambia 10/15/11 allafrica.com: RABIES has broken out in Mansa District which has recorded 14 cases and one death in the recent past. District livestock officer Beatwell Mbewe said yesterday in Mansa that the 14 cases were recorded in Chembe area while one person died in Mwang’uni after being bitten by an infected dog. Mr Mbewe said rabies vaccine centres had been opened in Senama, Kapesha, Namandwe and Suburbs areas.

BEAR ATTACK in Wisconsin last month leads to federal charges against HUNTING GUIDE ~ Florida’s Palm Beach County confirms second case of locally acquired DENGUE FEVER.

Black bear. Courtesy National Park Service.

Wisconsin 10/17/11 wsaw.com: A bear attack in Lincoln County on September 9 has lead to Federal poaching charges for Gillette man. John Kellogg, 46, is accused of illegally taking groups on bear hunting trips and poaching. The charges come after years of undercover investigations by federal and state agents. An arrest warrant shows Kellogg has a long history of illegal wildlife activity. The Department of Natural Resources has charged Kellogg numerous times for illegally killing animals. Still investigators say Kellogg continued to run a hunting guide business. Investigators say Kellogg headed up a group hunt last month in the Lincoln County Town of Harding, northwest of Merrill. According to a report, a hunter in Kellogg’s group, Christopher Halfmann shot a bear, but did not kill it. The bear attacked Halfmann before running off. Halfmann was taken to the hospital for injuries. If convicted Kellogg could face up to 10 years in prison and up to $40,000 in fines.

Florida 10/17/11 palmbeachpost.com: by Stacey Singer – Palm Beach County health officials have raised the dengue-fever threat level from an advisory to an alert, meaning people should take precautions against mosquito bites, after a second person has been confirmed ill by state labs. Dengue is widespread in the Caribbean, but until recently it didn’t have a foothold in the United States. The Bahamas is in the midst of a severe outbreak, and Martin and Miami-Dade counties, as well as the Keys, have seen locally acquired cases too. Palm Beach County has now had two locally acquired dengue cases confirmed within a few weeks, and the cases came from people living in different parts of the county, one central and one west, health department spokesman Tim O’Connor said. The second case was an especially mean one, he said. “It was a 911 incident. This person was tested and hospitalized, very sick,” he said. – For complete article go to http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/second-case-of-dengue-fever-reported-in-palm-1919238.html

Dead DEER in New Jersey may be victims of MIDGE FLIES; Arizona MOUNTAIN LION population growing; California trapper gets MOUNTAIN LION that killed two steers; Idahoan rescues DOG from MOUNTAIN LION; North Carolina man and dog injured by BLACK BEAR; West Virginia DEER hunting regs reflect presence of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE; Florida officials confirm ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS in SENTINEL CHICKENS; WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CT, FL, ID, MS, & OR; and RABIES reports from NY, & CA. Follow-Up Reports: Patient in Minnesota diagnosed with inhalational ANTHRAX recovering.

Whitetailed Buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

New Jersey 08/31/11 nj.com: by Matt Fair – A virus known in the past to severely affect white-tailed deer populations in New Jersey may be making a reappearance, with an added boost from Hurricane Irene. The virus, known as Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), was responsible for killing more than 4,000 deer in Burlington and Salem counties in 1999. It killed about 50 deer in Salem County last year, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Officials in the department say they’ve had reports of dead and possibly infected deer in northern portions of Hopewell Township. Sightings have also occurred in East Amwell in Hunterdon County and Hillsborough in Somerset County. “We’ve had people report seeing up to 30 dead deer,” said Larry Herrighty, assistant director of the department’s division of fish and wildlife. However, he added, only two possible cases have been identified so far. “We don’t have any confirmation yet, but we did send two samples to the laboratory.”

Midge fly carries EHD

Herrighty said the virus is carried by the bites of tiny midge flies that, according to some theories, can be carried into the region by air currents. The disease is typically observed in August and September. “There’s some theories that midges infected with this virus get blown in on summer thunderstorms,” he said, adding that the passage of Hurricane Irene could have carried more of the insects into the Mercer area. “This is a disease that is common in the Southern U.S., and the deer there seem to be fairly immune to it,” he said. The midges die off when cold weather arrives.

Infected deer generally die within five to 10 days of contracting the virus. Symptoms include loss of appetite and a feverish condition that causes them to seek out water sources either for drinking or bathing. The animals grow progressively weaker, they tend to salivate excessively, and they often lose their fear of people. “They’re in a feverish state of mind, and you may be able to approach them without them running away,” Herrighty said. “They won’t get aggressive or anything like that.” The virus can’t be transmitted to humans and doesn’t pose a public health risk, authorities said. Still, Herrighty said, it is important to report animals that might be infected. “Even though deer are overabundant in some of these areas, it’s important to monitor any of these diseases,” he said. “From a recreational value and a health scenario, we need to know what’s going on.” In one year, he said, the disease resulted in a 30 to 40 percent reduction in the deer harvest, although the decreases generally don’t last more than a single year. “In the areas that we saw a 30 percent drop, the population came back within a year or two and the harvest rebounded,” he said. “It hasn’t affected any herd in the long term.”

Arizona 08/28/11 azstarnet.com: by Mark A. Hart, PIO for Arizona Game & Fish Department in Tucson – Western wildlife agency managers believe that mountain lions appear to be more secure as a species now than ever before in recent history. Between 2,500 and 3,000 mountain lions live in Arizona. Current habitat estimates suggest that approximately 67 mountain lions live in the Santa Catalina, Rincon and Little Rincon mountain ranges east to the San Pedro River. That figure is consistent with a large white-tailed deer population there, which has been growing since the late-1990s to mid-2000s, when major fires improved habitat. Other factors make the ranges good mountain lion habitat; for example, the remoteness of some parts of Saguaro National Park East, which is closed to hunting, and of Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, where discharge of firearms is prohibited.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department in Tucson fields approximately 100 calls about mountain lions annually, many of them from the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area and the Foothills. The vast majority are sightings, classified by a department response protocol as a visual observation of a lion, or a report of lion tracks or other sign. There has never been a fatal mountain lion attack in recorded Arizona history. But there have been two attacks causing injuries in the state, and numerous reports of “close encounters” here and throughout the U.S. and Canada. Meantime, a recently completed Game and Fish study with the University of Arizona using radio collars shows mountain lions ranging widely throughout the mountains surrounding Tucson, and using travel corridors to routinely move about Southern and Central Arizona. All this makes situational awareness in the wilderness vitally important.

If a mountain lion is seen, experts advise:

• Do not approach the animal. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

• Stay calm and speak loudly and firmly.

• Protect small children so they won’t panic and run.

• Do not run from a mountain lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion’s instinct to chase. Stand and face the animal. Make eye contact.

• Appear larger. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly. The idea is to convince the lion that you are not easy prey and that you may be a danger to it.

• Maintain eye contact and slowly back away toward a building, vehicle, or busy  area.

• Fight back if attacked. Many potential victims have fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools, their bare hands, and even mountain bikes. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the animal.

Given a mountain lion’s instinct to chase, trail runners and bikers need to be especially cautious, and avoid using headsets or other devices that prevent hearing what is going on around them. In addition, those who encounter a mountain lion should not stop to take photos, but instead take action to deter an incident or attack. Mountain-lion sightings, encounters, incidents and attacks -especially in neighborhoods, recreational areas, and schools – should be promptly reported to Game and Fish at 628-5376 during regular business hours, or 1-623-236-7201 any time. For more information, see www.azgfd.gov/w_c/urban_lion.shtml

California 08/30/11 hollisterfreelance.com: by Kollin Kosmicki – A county-designated trapper caught a mountain lion Tuesday after an Aromas rancher reported two steers killed the previous day, the agriculture commissioner said.  A rancher off Anzar Road on Monday discovered two dead steers of about 450 pounds each. He suspected a mountain lion may have been responsible and reported it to the agriculture commissioner’s office.  On Monday night, a county-hired expert with the U.S. Department of Agriculture put out a trap, and there was a mountain lion in the cage Tuesday morning, said Ron Ross, San Benito County’s agriculture commissioner.  The male lion was about 100 pounds and has been euthanized, which is a state requirement when the big cats are captured after such encounters.  There have been occasional reports from local ranchers of possible cougar attacks – some officials have expressed concern about a growing population and needing a statewide count of the species – but it is uncommon around here to actually capture one in a trap, or large cage with a door that shuts when an animal enters.  “To my knowledge, this is the first time (with a capture) on the San Benito County side of Aromas,” Ross said.  The area where the trapper caught the lion is mostly rural with pockets of residential neighborhoods nearby. The trap was located about 100 yards from a residence, according to officials.

Idaho 08/29/11 localnews8.com: by Kylie Bearse – Living right next to the mountains has its perks, but it also comes with its fair share of danger. One Swan Valley man and his pet had a close encounter over the weekend with one very big cat. Lynn Dixon has lived in Swan Valley for 26 years, the first time he saw a mountain lion was Friday – with his Yorkie, Sammy, in tow. “I ran over there, as fast as I could go,” said Dixon. “I got over there and I kicked her, tried to get her to let go of the dog. I started chasing her toward the river. I lost my balance and fell into the river then I looked around and saw the dog lying 4 or 5 feet away from me in the shallow part of the river.” Sammy miraculously survived. “She’s got puncture wounds to her forehead and damage to her left leg,” said Dixon. “She went through a lot of trauma but I tell ya she’s a tough little dog.”

Yorkshire terrier

There are still signs of a struggle here where the lion jumped over the fence with the dog in her mouth. And while what Dixon did was incredibly heroic, it was also very dangerous. “Even though your first instinct might be to get between the two of them it’s the last thing you should do,” said Gregg Losinski. “If I’d have thought I wouldn’t have chased the cat, it’s that simple,” said Dixon. “But you don’t think, you just try to save your dog.” Mountain lion sightings are not unusual, especially near the mountains. “Mountain lions are felines so they often act like your house cats, they like to sun themselves, they like to get up on a wood pile maybe,” said Losinski. If you do find a cat on your porch: “the term ‘Fraidy Cat’ applies even to mountain lions,” said Losinski. “They don’t want to mess with people, if you get out there and start yelling at it generally it’ll run of.” And after Lynn’s close encounter, he’s just grateful. “For what she went through, it really is a miracle,” said Dixon. If you do take actions into your own hands and kill a mountain lion in self defense, be sure to report it to Idaho Fish and Game immediately.

North Carolina 08/31/11 wbtv.com: A North Carolina man and his dog are recovering from wounds after a run-in with a bear in their backyard. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Wednesday that Rick Hall suffered cuts to his chest and a puncture wound to his left cheek after trying to scare a black bear from his property in Candler. His Scottish terrier Baxter suffered six to eight deep puncture wounds. Hall’s wife Caroline says her husband and dog are recovering. Pat Conner says her son-in-law let the dog outside before dawn Tuesday, and the animals came muzzle-to-muzzle in the backyard. Wildlife Resources Commission biologist Brad Howard says bears are roaming the mountains at this time of year, so people should look outside and make sure it’s clear before letting dogs out.

West Virginia 08/31/11 wvdnr.gov: News Release – The discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Hampshire County, West Virginia, represents a significant threat to the state’s white-tailed deer. The disease does not create an immediate widespread die-off of deer, but if allowed to spread, will cause long-term damage to the herd. The DNR is taking action to gather more information on the prevalence and distribution of the disease in the area surrounding all known infected deer. The DNR also discourages supplemental feeding and baiting of deer statewide, and bans these practices in Hampshire County. In addition there are restrictions on the disposal and transport of deer carcasses from within the containment area in WV, VA and MD where CWD has been detected. There are no proven solutions to combating CWD once present in free-ranging deer. Thus, future management actions will be adaptive and based on the findings of current and future surveillance. The Containment Area includes all of Hampshire County, that portion Hardy County north of Corridor H and W.V. Rt. 55 from Wardensville to the Virginia Stateline and that portion of Morgan County which lies west of US Rt. 522. It is illegal to bait or feed deer or other wildlife in the “Containment Area”.

Pinellas County

Florida 08/31/11 tampabay.com: For the first time in six years, St. Louis encephalitis has shown up in Pinellas County. The mosquito-transmitted disease that attacks the central nervous system disappeared in Pinellas when West Nile virus came to town in 2005. But Tuesday, county officials announced they had confirmed St. Louis encephalitis in four sentinel chickens. The chickens are kept in eight locations in the county and tested weekly to detect the presence of mosquitoes carrying diseases. Two chickens in Walsingham Park in Largo and two chickens at the North Highway Maintenance Yard in Clearwater tested positive.

Connecticut 08/31/11 ct.gov: News Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that a Stamford resident has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection. In addition, mosquitoes trapped by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) between August 15 – 22, 2011, have tested positive for WNV in four new municipalities this year: Hartford, Meriden, North Haven and Tolland.

Duval County

Florida 08/30/11 jacksonville.com: The Duval County Health Department announced another confirmed (human) case of West Nile virus, involving a 79-year-old female. This most recent case brings the total to nine confirmed with one reported death associated with the virus.

Gem County

Idaho 08/31/11 idahostatesman.com: by Katy Kreller – A man living in Southeast Idaho has a confirmed case of West Nile virus, according to a release from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The man was hospitalized last week.  Officials say there is other evidence the virus still is active in the area. The mosquito abatement district in Gem County reported mosquitoes there tested positive for the virus.

Mississippi 08/29/11 ms.gov: News Release – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports two new human West Nile virus (WNV) cases in Forrest and Rankin counties, bringing the state’s total to 18 for 2011. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in Coahoma, Forrest (3), Hinds (4), Jones (3), Pearl River (4), Rankin, Tallahatchie, and Wayne counties. One death has been confirmed in Jones County. In 2010, Mississippi had eight WNV cases and no deaths.

Oregon 08/30/11 kgw.com: by Frank Mungeam – Health officials say the first mosquitoes of the season with West Nile virus have been detected in the Jordan Valley of Malheur County in Eastern Oregon.

New York 08/30/11 watertowndailytimes.com: The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin its distribution of oral vaccine baits Wednesday in St. Lawrence County to help stop the spread of raccoon rabies. The baits will be distributed in Gouverneur, Heuvelton, Canton, Ogdensburg and Waddington. Two rabid raccoons were found in DeKalb, near Richville, one on May 26 and one on Thursday. Two rabid bats were reported in August in Madrid. For information on free rabies clinics for pets call the county Public Health Department at 386-2325.

California 08/30/11 the-signal.com: by Cory Minderhout – An eighth rabid bat was found in the Santa Clarita Valley this year, a county Health Department official said Tuesday. The bat was found alive at a school in Valencia on Thursday about 8:15 a.m., said Dr. Karen Ehnert, acting director for the veterinary public health and rabies control program for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “We were lucky there we no exposures,” Ehnert said. “Adults saw the bat before school started and kept the kids from it.” “We want to remind children to always tell an adult if they see sick wildlife and to not touch (the animal),” Ehnert said. Health Department officials did not reveal the name of the school at which the bat was found. The Health Department does not release the exact location of rabid bat findings so that people will not be discouraged from reporting them, Ehnert said. So far this year, 21 rabid bats have been found in Los Angeles County, a Health Department website said. Normally, eight to 10 rabid bats are found in L.A. County each year. The exact reason for the increase in rabies among the county’s bat population this year was unknown, Ehnert said in a previous interview. Bats live in colonies, and the Santa Clarita Valley is a favored place for them, she said earlier. Anyone who sees a dead or live bat should cover it with a box and call animal control, which will pick the animal up and take it to the Health Department for rabies testing, Ehnert said. “We want to remind people to never touch a live or dead bat and to get their pets vaccinated against rabies,” Ehnert said.

Follow-Up Report:

Minnesota 08/26/11 state.mn.us: News Update – (See August 16, 2011: Minnesota investigates apparent case of inhalational Anthrax) The Minnesota Department of Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been investigating a case of inhalation anthrax. The individual, a man in his 60s, had traveled through several states in July and early August, where anthrax is known to be in the soil and to have caused infections in animals, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. He was hospitalized in early August with pneumonia, was determined to have inhalation anthrax and is now recovering. The Bacillus anthracis strain isolated from the patient was found by genetic testing to be similar to other strains isolated in North America. The individual had a prior chronic lung condition, which may have made him more susceptible to infection with anthrax, and had multiple exposures to soil and animal products. No other human cases of anthrax have been reported in 2011.

Yellowstone hiker found Friday was killed by a GRIZZLY BEAR; Canadian child attacked by MOUNTAIN LION in Vancouver Island park; Motion to stop Montana and Idaho WOLF hunts denied; North Dakota reminds hunters of DEER baiting restrictions; Virginia DEER feeding ban effective September 1; Wyoming WOLF hunts could begin next year; WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA (3), GA, IL, MA (2), NY, OH, & PA; EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from MA (2), & NY; and a RABIES report from WV.

Grizzly at Yellowstone. Photo by James Peaco, National Park Service.

Yellowstone National Park 08/29/11 nps.gov: News Release – A 59-year old man has been identified as the hiker found dead on a trail in Yellowstone National Park on Friday. John Wallace was from the community of Chassell, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. His body was discovered Friday morning by two hikers along the Mary Mountain Trail. The twenty-one mile long trail crosses the center of Yellowstone, connecting the west and east sides of the lower portion of the Grand Loop Road. Wallace was discovered along the trail, about five miles west of the Hayden Valley trailhead, which is off the Grand Loop road between Mud Volcano and Canyon Junction. Wallace was traveling alone, and had pitched a tent in a park campground sometime Wednesday. Rangers discovered signs of grizzly bear activity at the scene Friday afternoon, including bear tracks and scat. Results from an autopsy conducted Sunday afternoon concluded that Wallace died as a result of traumatic injuries from a bear attack. The Mary Mountain Trail, the Cygnet Lakes Trail, and the section of the Hayden Valley west of the Grand Loop Road have been closed to hikers. Park rangers, wildlife biologists, and park managers continue their investigation of the incident. Visitors are advised to stay on designated trails, hike in groups of three or more people, be alert for bears, make noise, carry bear spray, and not to run upon encountering a bear. Hikers and backcountry users are encouraged to check with staff at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for updated information before planning any trips in the central portion of the park.

Canada:

British Columbia 08/30/11 winnipegfreepress.com: by Keven Drews –  A cougar attack that injured an 18-month-old boy in a British Columbia park was stopped after the child’s grandfather and a family friend scared off the animal, which also lunged towards the boy’s four-year-old sister, parks officials said Tuesday. The boy was listed in serious condition in Vancouver’s Children’s Hospital after he was attacked Monday evening in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The attack happened at a popular day-use spot at Kennedy Lake, east of Ucluelet. Bob Hansen, who works for the park and specializes in incidents involving wildlife and people, said the group had packed up for the day and was heading up a trail to their car when the attack occurred. Hansen said the tot, his four-year-old sister, their grandfather and a friend of the family were together when the cougar emerged from the forest. The boy was walking about three metres in front of the group, said Hansen. “From what I understand, they yelled and screamed and the cat dropped the child,” said Hansen. “So it sort of bit the child and ran towards the four-year-old, but didn’t hit the four-year-old.” Hansen said the cougar didn’t leave the area right away, so the adults attempted to scare it off before they returned to their vehicle. Renee Wissink, manager of resource conservation at the park, said the child’s father asked for help at a visitor’s information centre located just minutes away down the highway and an ambulance was called. The boy was eventually transferred to Vancouver. The Kennedy Lake day-use area was closed to the public as wildlife officials searched for the cat. Hansen said two teams of park staff and conservation officers and two teams of hounds were searching for the cougar. (For complete article go to http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/toddler-mauled-by-cougar-in-vancouver-island-park-animal-being-tracked-128682108.html )

Montana 08/25/11 huffingtonpost.com: A federal appeals court on Thursday denied a request by environmental groups to halt wolf hunts that are scheduled to begin next week in Idaho and Montana. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the request by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and other groups. The groups were seeking to cancel the hunts while the court considers a challenge to congressional action in April that stripped wolves of federal protections in Montana and Idaho, and in parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula reluctantly upheld a budget rider that was inserted by Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. It marked the first time since the passage of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 that Congress forcibly removed protections from a plant or animal. Molloy ruled that the way Congress went about removing endangered species protections from the Northern Rockies gray wolf undermined the rule of law but did not violate the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the environmental groups argued Congress’ actions were unconstitutional because they violated the principle of separation of powers. “We lost the injunction, we have not lost the case,” Mike Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said of Thursday’s court ruling. “We will continue to fight to protect the wolves and enforce the separation of powers doctrine in the U.S. Constitution.” Meanwhile, John Horning, executive director for WildEarth Guardians, one of the groups involved in the case, said, “We are discouraged we didn’t win a stay of execution for wolves, but we are cautiously optimistic that we will win our lawsuit to protect wolves from future persecution.” Wolf hunts are scheduled to begin Aug. 30 in Idaho and Sept. 3 in Montana.

Hunters in Montana will be allowed to shoot as many as 220 gray wolves, reducing the predators’ Montana population by about 25 percent to a minimum of 425 wolves. In Idaho, where an estimated 1,000 wolves roam, state wildlife managers have declined to name a target for kills for the seven-month hunting season. They say the state will manage wolves so their population remains above 150 animals and 15 breeding pairs, the point where Idaho could attract federal scrutiny for a possible re-listing under the Endangered Species Act.

North Dakota 08/29/11 jamestownsun.com: Hunters are reminded that hunting over bait remains prohibited on any state owned or managed lands in North Dakota. The North Dakota deer hunting proclamation also notes that hunting deer over bait in unit 3F2 is prohibited because of chronic wasting disease. Baits include grains, minerals, fruits, salt, vegetables, hay or any other natural or manufactured material deer would use as food. It does not apply to the use of scents, food plots or standing crops.

Deer with chronic wasting disease

Virginia 08/25/11 virginia.gov: News Release – Effective September 1, it will be illegal to feed deer statewide in Virginia. The annual prohibition runs through the first Saturday in January. In addition, it is now illegal to feed deer year-round in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and in the city of Winchester as part of the Department’s chronic wasting disease (CWD) management actions established in April 2010. This regulation does not restrict the planting of crops such as corn and soybeans, wildlife food plots, and backyard or schoolyard habitats. It is intended to curb the artificial feeding of deer that leads to negative consequences. Problems with feeding deer include: unnaturally increasing population numbers that damage natural habitats; increasing the likelihood for disease transmission, and increasing human-deer conflicts such as deer/vehicle collisions and diminishing the wild nature of deer. In addition, feeding deer has law enforcement implications. Deer hunting over bait is illegal in Virginia. Prior to the deer feeding prohibition, distinguishing between who was feeding deer and who was hunting over bait often caused law enforcement problems for the Department’s conservation police officers.  (For complete news release go to http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/news/release.asp?id=308 )

Wyoming 08/29/11 codyenterprise.com: by Mark Heinz – Wolf hunts in Wyoming could begin by fall 2012, under a proposed Game and Fish management plan. If so, resident wolf tags will be about $15, said G&F Cody area trophy game supervisor Mark Bruscino. There would be designated hunt areas – each with a mortality quota- as has long been the case with black bear and mountain lions, Bruscino said. “The mortality quota system is a proven method for managing large carnivores,” he said. Bruscino was the main speaker before an audience of about 50 people Aug. 25, at a public meeting in Cody regarding the proposed wolf management plan. The next step will be a public comment period, lasting until Sept. 9. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will meet to discuss, finalize and vote on the plan Sept. 14. After that, it will be up for federal review, and nation-wide comment period. If all goes smoothly, wolves could be delisted in Wyoming by Oct. 1, 2012, Bruscino said. If that happens, it will be the culmination of efforts to delist wolves that have been going on since 2002. That’s the year the population in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho reached the “biological goals” of the wolf reintroduction program, Bruscino said. Since then, there have been a couple of false starts, and even some brief wolf hunting seasons, but wolf delisting was held up by litigation in all three states. Through a federal budget rider, delisting went through earlier this year in Montana and Idaho. It’s expected to stick; hunting seasons in both those states begin soon. (For complete article go to http://www.codyenterprise.com/news/local/article_32323f7e-d28d-11e0-9b80-001cc4c002e0.html )

California Quail is listed in CDC's West Nile Virus avian mortality database.

California 08/30/11 patch.com: by Mike Szymanski – Two more dead birds were found containing the West Nile Virus in Studio City last week, bringing the total to four. And, for the first time this year, a dead bird with the potentially deadly virus was in North Hollywood in the 91606 ZIP code. “These tests show a continuing need to be vigilant in trying to prevent places for mosquitoes to breed,” said Crystal Brown, public information officer of the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. In this case, it is important to never touch a dead bird that may be found in the neighborhood and certainly educate children of the dangers of touching any dead wildlife they may find. In the past week, 23 additional dead birds were found with the West Nile Virus, and nine were found in the San Fernando Valley area, including communities such as Encino, Chatsworth, Northridge and Van Nuys. Of the mosquito samples testing positive for the virus, nearly one-fourth of them, 18 of the 42, were found in the San Fernando Valley, particularly in Encino and Chatsworth.

Orange County

California 08/26/11 ocregister.com: by Courtney Perkes – A Buena Park man is Orange County’s first confirmed human West Nile Virus case for the year, public health officials said Friday. The unidentified man, in his 50s, remains hospitalized after he was admitted in mid-August, according to the county’s Health Care Agency. He is the 19th human case reported this year in California. Last year, Orange County had only one human case of the infection, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Yolo County

California 08/26/11 davisenterprise.com: West Nile Virus activity has spread to Yolo County as the first dead bird and a mosquito sample have tested positive for the virus, local officials announced Friday. The bird was found in South Davis near Chiles Road and Mace Boulevard, and the mosquito sample was found near County Road 103 between Woodland and Davis. “Finding this first positive bird and mosquito sample is significant because it shows that the virus is moving to new areas,” David Brown, district manager, said in a news release.

DeKalb County

Georgia 08/27/11 decaturmetro.com: Traps in Decatur and other parts of DeKalb County captured 74 collections of mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile Virus through Friday, a big increase over the number found with the virus last year, according to data from the DeKalb County Board of Health.

Lake County

Illinois 08/30/11 triblocal.com: by Michelle Stoffel – A mosquito pool in Buffalo Grove has tested positive for West Nile virus, the Lake County Health Department announced recently. The mosquito pool, sampled Aug. 4, is the first confirmed indicator of the disease in Lake County this year. In 2010, one human and 29 mosquito pools tested positive for the virus in the county.

Massachusetts 08/30/11 patch.com: by Daniel DeMaina – A mosquito pool in Melrose has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV), the Melrose Health Department announced in a press statement on Tuesday morning. The trap that yielded the positive West Nile test is located on the Melrose/Stoneham line, the release stated.

Massachusetts 08/27/11 boston.com: by Leslie Anderson – West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Newton, city officials announced today. This is the first positive mosquito pool identified in Newton this summer. However, several nearby communities, including West Roxbury and Brookline, have already found mosquitoes with the virus, so the news was not a surprise, said Dori Zaleznik, commissioner of the city’s Health & Human Services Department.

Nassau County

New York 08/30/11 newsday.com: The first case of West Nile virus in a human in Nassau County this year was reported Tuesday by the county Department of Health. The unidentified Hempstead resident, who is between 40 and 50 years old, suffered a mild case and has fully recovered, the department said in a statement.

Cuyahoga County

Ohio 08/30/11 woio.com: Ohio’s first two clinical human cases of West Nile virus in 2011 were confirmed Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Health, which also reported a sharp increase in the number of WNV-positive mosquitoes. A case of WNV meningitis was confirmed in a 19-year-old Cleveland-area woman who was hospitalized in Cuyahoga County.

Putnam County

A 14-year-old boy in Putnam County was confirmed with WNV fever, but was not hospitalized. Both are recovering. Meanwhile, the number of WNV-positive mosquito pools in the State of Ohio increased from 52 to 450 during the month of August.

Lebanon County

Pennsylvania 08/30/11 whptv.com: The Department of Health today reported Pennsylvania’s first probable human case of West Nile virus (WNV) of 2011. On July 22, an elderly Lebanon County woman was hospitalized with a high fever and neurological symptoms. She is currently recovering. For more information about West Nile virus, including current test results for mosquitoes, birds and horses, visit www.westnile.state.pa.us or call the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA HEALTH.

Massachusetts 08/30/11 patch.com: by Michael Gelbwasser – Mosquitoes collected from Sharon last Thursday had the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, state and local health officials said today.

Massachusetts 08/25/11 reportertoday.com: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced today that (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) EEE virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Rehoboth, Massachusetts on 8/22/11. In 2010, 3,558 mosquito samples were tested for EEE virus, and 65 positive samples were identified in Massachusetts. This is Rehoboth’s first EEE virus positive mosquito sample identified in 2011.

New York 08/29/11 northcountrynow.com: A confirmed case of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been found in a horse in Massena, according to the New York State Department of Health. The St. Lawrence County Public Health Department was notified, and the horse was euthanized on Aug. 22. Although the EEE virus is rare, it is one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases. About one-third of people infected with the virus die. Most survivors suffer significant brain damage. An Oswego County resident died of EEE about two weeks ago.

West Virginia 08/30/11 bignewsnetwork.com: Mineral County health officials are advising residents of the New Creek area to be cautious after a raccoon tested positive for rabies. The Mineral Daily News-Tribune reports that the county Health Department confirmed the rabies case about 5 miles south of Keyser.