Good news, bad news about deer

Posted on: March 31, 2016 | Bob Frye | Comments

Blog--Wisconsin recordJohn Kassera with his record whitetail.

Now here’s a beautiful deer.

A Wisconsin man, John Kassera, shot a buck that is the new state record typical archery buck in Wisconsin.

According to a press release from the Wisconsin Buck and Bear Club, his deer posted a net score of 193 4/8. It’s wonderfully symmetrical, too, with main beams that go 30 6/8 and 30 5/8 inches. Five of the tines are longer than 11 inches.

Kassera had captured the buck a couple of times on trail cameras. He finally bagged it on Nov. 5.

The buck was officially, finally scored on Jan. 23.

Buck and Bear Club measurer Jeff Fechner said Kassera saw the 10-point buck just before 3 p.m. on the day he killed it. It was cruising a steep hillside in what’s known locally as “The Driftless Area.” At that point, it was about 75 yards from the hunter.

A veteran of 50 years afield, Kassera waited until it closed to 20 yards, then took it. It ran off a short ways and fell.

More on the buck and the story behind it is to be posted on the club’s website here.

On a couple of other fronts, there’s been some bad news about deer, and elk.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officials announced a few weeks ago that one hunter-killed elk from last October had tested positive for chronic wasting disease. That was the first case of it within Arkansas borders.

Two deer found dead more recently was also confirmed to have the disease.

Officials said they planned to kill more animals and do more tests in search of the disease. Well, they found it.

They announced this week that they’ve discovered wasting disease in another 18 whitetails and one elk. That was out of 49 animals for which testing is done. More than 200 other results are pending.

Four of the sick animals were deer found just outside the boundaries of a “focal area,” comparable to a disease management area here in Pennsylvania.

The disease continues to persist in Maryland, too.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources last week announced another five whitetails harvested in Allegany County – on the Pennsylvania border — tested positive for CWD.

To date, 11 deer have tested positive out of more than 8,500 deer tested in Maryland. All were found in Allegany and western Washington counties, where the state is doing most of its sampling, given the disease’s presence in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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