Email from VDGIF Wildlife Veterinarian Megan Kirchgessner sent 9/23/2016:
I hope you all had a fantastic summer and are looking forward to a great fall. Things are still pretty warm here in Blacksburg but I think fall must be coming soon!
This email is our annual recruitment email to garner help for our Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) surveillance, which occurs every fall. CWD is a fatal disease of deer, and we try to determine each fall the percentage of deer that are infected and where the disease has spread.
Even if you have never volunteered at a check station before, please consider helping us out this year! If handling dead deer is not something you are interested in, have no fear! We also help with filling out data cards and checking deer. Properly filled out paperwork is just as important as the sample itself. You can help sample deer, or help with checking in deer and filling out data cards, or do both!
Similarly to 2015, we are only sampling on the first two Saturdays of the regular firearms season (November 19 and 26). We require volunteers to be at their respective check station by approximately 7:30 in the morning and stay until 8:00 PM. We will provide you a hotel room on Friday night if you need it.
If you are interested in helping us sample this year, please reply to me (Megan.Kirchgessner [at] dgif.virginia.gov) with the date(s) you would like to help out, if you have a check station preference (first-come, first served for locations), and whether or not you require overnight lodging (for just Friday or both Friday and Saturday nights). Please provide a second and third choice for sampling location in case your primary location is filled. More information regarding hotel rooms, who you will be working with at your station, etc. will be coming along via email within the next few weeks.
The success of our sampling effort is largely dependent on volunteer help, so we truly appreciate any assistance you can offer!
2016 Sampling Locations (see map):
• Cathers Market: 2765 Northwestern Pike, Winchester
• Clarke County Fairgrounds: 890 W Main St., Berryville
• Cline’s Store (formerly Larkins Store): 19004 Senedo Rd, Edinburg
• Crossroads Grocery: 119 Cedar Grove Rd, Winchester
• Foodway Supermarket: 2868 Stonewall Jackson Hwy, Bentonville
• Fort Valley Country Store: 7091 Fort Valley Rd (Rte 678), Fort Valley
• Gradens: 6836 John Marshall Hwy, Lebanon Church
• Gore Grocery: 305 Gore Rd, Gore
• Shell Gas Station, 10178 Winchester Rd, Front Royal
• T & R Processing: 691 Carpers Valley Rd, Winchester
• Town & Country Superette: 876 Conicville Rd, Mt. Jackson
Please don’t hesitate to call one of us if you have any questions regarding mandatory sampling in the Containment Area:
Hank Tomlinson – Wildlife Disease Technician – 540-290-9359 or 540-248-9295
Chelsey Faller – Wildlife Disease Technician – 540–315-6145
Fred Frenzel – District Biologist – 434-987-1561
Megan Kirchgessner – Wildlife Veterinarian – 804-837-5666
As always, thanks again for your help, and we are looking forward to a successful 2016 sample season!!
Megan S. Kirchgessner, DVM, PhD
Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries