Sitka Mountain Gear
CWD-Jump Barrier?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Bowriter 05-Sep-18
JTV 05-Sep-18
Bowriter 05-Sep-18
elk yinzer 05-Sep-18
Mossyhorn 05-Sep-18
elk yinzer 05-Sep-18
Screwball 05-Sep-18
elk yinzer 05-Sep-18
Screwball 05-Sep-18
dirtclod Az. 05-Sep-18
Glunt@work 05-Sep-18
Dirk Diggler 05-Sep-18
kentuckbowhnter 05-Sep-18
Dirk Diggler 05-Sep-18
JL 05-Sep-18
Lost Arra 05-Sep-18
Screwball 05-Sep-18
cnelk 05-Sep-18
oldgoat 06-Sep-18
weekender21 06-Sep-18
drycreek 06-Sep-18
weekender21 06-Sep-18
Bowriter 06-Sep-18
elk yinzer 06-Sep-18
Lost Arra 06-Sep-18
KHNC 06-Sep-18
NoWiser 06-Sep-18
wytex 06-Sep-18
Bowriter 06-Sep-18
Lost Arra 06-Sep-18
buzz mc 06-Sep-18
WV Mountaineer 06-Sep-18
tradi-doerr 06-Sep-18
Dirk Diggler 06-Sep-18
tradi-doerr 07-Sep-18
Paul@thefort 07-Sep-18
Dirk Diggler 07-Sep-18
Bowriter 07-Sep-18
Lost Arra 07-Sep-18
Missouribreaks 07-Sep-18
Habitat 07-Sep-18
Bowriter 07-Sep-18
Dirk Diggler 07-Sep-18
Lost Arra 07-Sep-18
Missouribreaks 07-Sep-18
Lost Arra 25-Sep-18
Pyrannah 25-Sep-18
elkmtngear 25-Sep-18
IdyllwildArcher 25-Sep-18
Medicinemann 25-Sep-18
stealthycat 25-Sep-18
cervus 26-Sep-18
Lost Arra 26-Sep-18
From: Bowriter
05-Sep-18
CWD-jump the species barrier? After $1.5 million, a ten-year study and force feeding cattle of oral CWD infected material, the test cattle showed no signs of the disease.

The study was conducted by the University of WY, WY state veterinary lab, CO Div. of Parks and Wildlife and WT Game and Fish. Cattle were housed with heavily infected elk and fed oral doses of infected brain material. No sign of it in the cattle.

From: JTV
05-Sep-18
yet ..... you go eat one ....

From: Bowriter
05-Sep-18
I am sure I have. If you lived in WY very long and ate cervids, you probably did, too. But I don't eat brains and I don't eat meat from obviously sick animals.

From: elk yinzer
05-Sep-18
I believe it is a matter of time. It may take years of accumulated exposure. There are recent studies that are indicating potential prion associated transmission of Alzheimers. Try that on for a minute. And you don't need to eat brains, good luck trying to not eat nerve and lymphatic tissues where prions also concentrate...and if it gets in the soil and water supply...

From: Mossyhorn
05-Sep-18
This will be the first year that we will be taking lymph glands from any elk we kill and send them off to be tested for CWD before consuming. I wish that there was better information about things like, how to clean knives and cutting boards used to cut meat. Soap and hot water doesn't seem like it'd be enough. Will bleach destroy prions?

From: elk yinzer
05-Sep-18
Mossyhorn, no one knows except the experts like John, and Jay Gregory! We don't even understand many human neurodegenerative diseases, let alone CWD.

From: Screwball
05-Sep-18
Elk Yinzer, interesting point. There is little doubt that the extent of Alzheimer and other illness in our society are affiliated with our aging population. Directly related to improved health care etc. Now obviously CWD has existed for a long time. But being we have larger and older deer herds is it more prevalent? Also lets not forget that it didn't exist until we started testing for it.

From: elk yinzer
05-Sep-18
Also not true! It's geographic spread has been well documented scientifically, and widespread testing has occurred for decades accurately mapping the spread and debunking the idiotic myth that is "has always been there". The most prominent theory is scrapie jumped a species barrier to deer in the CO/WY hotbed. Any other deer farmer propoganda to discuss?

From: Screwball
05-Sep-18
Where did it jump from? Elk no need to get attacking just asking. By a long time I mean known since 1960's. Thats a long time.

From: dirtclod Az.
05-Sep-18
I thought the "Hotbed" was back east..?How did it Become Co./Wy?

From: Glunt@work
05-Sep-18
I live in the hot spot 12 miles from CSU. I am sure I have eaten more than a few deer with it. I won't claim to know any more than what I have read. It has been found in Finland and Norway reindeer which seems unlikely to have spread from here.

From: Dirk Diggler
05-Sep-18
It was believed to have started at Colorado State University in the late 60's by some future wardens and biologists. They were capturing live mule deer and penning them adjacent to sheep infected with the prions. There were infected sheep in the pens prior to the deer. They would capture bucks in the fall to breed their study animals then turn em back out in the spring. Eventually they released the whole herd back to the wild. Its believed to have spread from there to where we are today.

05-Sep-18
these prions have been around humans for centuries no transfer yet.

From: Dirk Diggler
05-Sep-18

Dirk Diggler's Link

From: JL
05-Sep-18

JL's Link
I'm not sure where I originally seen this article about a CWD study in Minnesota (here??) but it is pretty interesting. I spoke to someone who studies CWD and he noted the article did not convey that yearling bucks disperse in greater numbers than yearling does. Anyway...understanding the disease movement is a pretty good study.

From: Lost Arra
05-Sep-18

Lost Arra's Link
This was posted in another topic by cnelk I hope I got the link

https://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2018/08/23/cdc-tse-mad-cow-chronic-wasting-disease-linked-fort-collins/878097002/

From: Screwball
05-Sep-18
So if as stated this prion jumped to the deer from scrapies in Sheep, has the scrapies from sheep ever jumped to humans?

From: cnelk
05-Sep-18
I have eaten deer and elk for 30 yrs here along the front range, only testing when mandatory. I can also see the CSU deer pens from my house.

I worry more about distracted drivers than cwd.

From: oldgoat
06-Sep-18
For the "it hasn't always been there crowd"! Remember this, they told us for centuries that Syphilis was a disease from the New World brought back to Europe by Columbus and the like, recently they found proof it was in Europe prior to Columbus's Discovery! The biologists aren't always right, they might be this time, I don't know, just know I don't worry about it much!

From: weekender21
06-Sep-18
We don't know enough about CWD yet to not worry about it, there could be plenty to worry about. The deer and elk populations in locations that have been infected the longest are definitely suffering. There are counties in Wisconsin with 50% infection and populations in CO and WY have declined significantly. It hasn't made the jump to humans yet but those who have studied it certainly won't say that it can't.

I'm absolutely worried about it. Not the spread of CWD to humans (not yet at least) but the spread of this disease from deer herd to deer herd. At this time, not enough is being done to slow it's progress. The future of hunting could certainly be at stake for my kids generation; that worries me a lot.

From: drycreek
06-Sep-18
Here are the facts : Nobody knows enough about it to offer very many PROVEN facts. "Believed to be", and "prevalent theories" are not facts.

From: weekender21
06-Sep-18

weekender21's Link
Joe Rogan Experience #1154 It's long but the most informative 2 hours of CWD information I've listened to. No emotion, just the "prevalent theories" based on science. It's what we don't know yet that should scare us all.

From: Bowriter
06-Sep-18
Here are some questions you might ponder: (1) How did CSU “invent” CWD? The elk were live trapped on a mountain, brought to CSU, then some were sent to UW. IF the elk did not already have CWD, how did they get it and from what? (2) Why is it not possible it has always been in cervids? Could it not be the test for it is what was discovered, not the disease? I first heard about it in 1969 or 70. Seems that was quite some time ago. Seems to me when the late Beth Williams started this test that has just been completed, she felt like ten-years was long enough to see if cattle could catch it. They had been in those pens and eaten the feed long enough, it would seem to me. (3) Can it be spread among cervidae? Certainly. But how did the caribou and moose get it, the ones where no other cervids had it? (4) is it not just possible, the diesease has always been in cervids and it is the test for it that was discovered?

Woods Walker, were you not also at UW when it was discovered in the elk pens? I think Sammie Blue was working with elk at CSU at the same time and she is never mentioned but I am almost positive she mentioned it to me and was not all that concerned, said Beth was studying it. So, where did it start, on Bald Mountain or in the CSU pens? The main question to me is, how or can you control it in a wild population? I have my doubts.

From: elk yinzer
06-Sep-18
On an individual level, absolutely I would agree CWD is minimal risk. Driving, getting hit by lightning, having a tree fall on you, falling out of a tree, all riskier than eating deer meet. Don't load up on life insurance and start chowing down on zombie deer.

Yes, scrapie has been around for centuries and to the best of my knowledge has not been transmitted to humans. But bovine TSE (mad cow) has, so it isn't out of the question.

But collectively, on a national scale, think about the possible ramifications if CWD does. When those that pretend to be experts dismiss and spread falsehoods about CWD, that is the problem. Influential people are conflicting and dismissing established science with absolutely no leg to stand on. It's not just CWD either, it's a growing societal issue. Everyone is a damn expert on everything and social media has given every fake expert a platform to spew their stupidity.

From: Lost Arra
06-Sep-18
The development of a simpler testing protocol and then making it mandatory will help understand the prevalence of the disease in the deer/elk population and the incidence or risk of infection. CWD will never appear to be a problem unless a significant number of deer are tested.

From: KHNC
06-Sep-18
Well, as of this year, i have to bone out every piece of wild meat from elk , deer or pronghorn that i bring into NC. PRIOR to bringing it into the state from anywhere. And this law applies in TN , as well as many other states. Cant even drive across the states to get to NC, if that is the law in that state. So, i guess i will be doing alot of boning, in the woods and at home. ;)

From: NoWiser
06-Sep-18
A disease that is 100% fatal, very contagious, viable in the environment for years after it has been shed, and comes from a family of diseases that has proven it can jump species barriers. Yup, nothing to worry about here...

From: wytex
06-Sep-18
Elk populations in the endemic area in Wyoming are thriving. They have been trying to reduce that herd for years. Mule deer have a plethora of reason why they are in decline in the area. Now wolves have moved in so we'll see which affects the population the most in a few years.

From: Bowriter
06-Sep-18
"The development of a simpler testing protocol and then making it mandatory will help understand the prevalence of the disease in the deer/elk population and the incidence or risk of infection. CWD will never appear to be a problem unless a significant number of deer are tested." Now that makes sense. Good post, Lost Arrer.

Now, just for eddification. At no time did I say it was not something to worry about. Just what the ramifications may come to be, is yet to be determined. Is it cause to panic? Well, was it cause to panic 10-20-40 years ago? How about 150-years ago? How long has CWD been with us? Do you really think it started with a small herd of elk in a pen at CSU or UW? If so, where did they get it?

From: Lost Arra
06-Sep-18
NoWiser: I think the jury is still out on "very contagious" especially in elk. As wytex mentioned the core area of Wyoming has seen no effect on elk or moose populations.

From: buzz mc
06-Sep-18
"We don't know enough about CWD yet to not worry about it" - weekender21

That's my thoughts on it also.

06-Sep-18
It’s definitely something that must be looked at. In what other capacities that has been done already, I’m not sure. I hear you guys saying more needs to be done. What else is there to do?

I know that every animal has diseases that affect it. I don’t go looking for ways to stop that as it will never be stopped. I just go hunting and leave the rest to the professors.

From: tradi-doerr
06-Sep-18
OK, here is a link to some of the best known FACTS. https://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/infobank/programs/html/factsheets/pdfs/2002_0074.pdf , it didn't star with elk, but muledeer.

Am I concerned about CWD? Yes, but not to the point that I'm going to quit hunting and EATING what I kill. I had to turn in a head of a muledeer I shot in 2001 due to a mandatory testing requirement for that unit. So I took the head up to CSU to the test site. I asked to talk to someone who had a great deal of knowledge about CWD, so they asked me to wait out in the break/smoking area outside. A professor who was at the time the lead expert on CWD came out to talk to me, I figured this would make a great article for our club news letter that I was the editor of at the time. I ask him many questions, one was, is it possible for humans to contract CWD, his answer was at present, the studies showed that it would be a 1 in 1 billion chance, and only if the human had the right genetic markers, 1 in 1billion chance.

So I asked him if this was his deer and it tested negative would he eat it, he answered "I don't know, probably not if it came from an infected area, why take the chance" So as I sat there with him and a couple of his interns and associates as they smoked, I said to him, 1 in 1 billion chance right? yes he said, I said but 2 out 5 smokers WILL die from smoking right!? He looked at his cigarette, and at the others sitting the area, and said you make a good point. My deer came back negative, and my family and I ate ever bit of that deer, I'm still here 18yrs later. Now, had that deer tested positive? I'm not sure what I might have done. It takes so long to do the test, that the CPW policy of issuing another tag is pointless as most seasons will be over by the time you get your results back.

So, we humans know that a active volcano WILL erupt but we don't know when, yet we will live at it's base. We know that an Earth quack WILL happen in active areas of the world, we just don't know when, yet we live and thrive there, right!

What I'm saying is that being concerned about CWD is one thing, and we need to be, but crying 'The sky is falling, the sky is falling' makes no sense. Take precautions and or extra precautions and be truly informed about the issues. To add to the statements above, Colorado's deer population decline is 90% due to the huge deer culling they did in the early 2000's were thousands of deer were shot to 'see' if it would slow the spread of CWD- their not sure that worked, and the other is development in key grounds that muledeer need. As for elk, they are doing good, the recent decline was due to extra animals being killed during hunting seasons to get the herd to the objective size for habitat, it worked. I killed a muledeer this year that looked healthy and acted normal, no I didn't have it tested, and have eaten some already, am I worried, NO, until they have proof that humans are in danger of eating deer/elk/moose I'm not going to worry, but I will take precautions, and not just because of CWD, there are other diseases that one can get from handling animals, but no one is talking much about those. Best of luck this hunting seasons!!

From: Dirk Diggler
06-Sep-18
Bowriter did you read the link I posted? For starters it was deer not elk. Tradi you're right! If they've proven anything it's that the whole sale slaughter of herds has little impact on CWD. Yer several states and provinces are in the process of doing just that.

From: tradi-doerr
07-Sep-18
Dirk Digger, We protested here in Colorado to stop any more CWD culling till they could prove this would stop the spread of CWD. Then CPW came out said they had no idea of how it was spread, later they found that these Prions could live in the soil for years. Lot's of wasted money and resources (deer/elk). Now these wolf advocates want to introduce wolves into Colorado, they now have proof that wolves them selves can spread CWD from eating infected deer/elk/moose to other populations that are not infected, just what we don't need. As I mentioned to our membership years ago, if this was going to happen, CWD jumping from ungulates to humans it most likely should have already happen, since this was discovered in 1967, thousands upon thousand of infected deer have been consumed, and no one has developed human form of CWD. But if you want peace of mind, by all means have your animals tested, and then decide from there.

From: Paul@thefort
07-Sep-18
More information concerning CWD. The Ft. Collins newspaper, the Coloradoan.com published an article on Sunday, August 26, 2018 titled, Deadly Deer Disease.

Parts of the article I have added below but to read the total story, see Coloradoan.com.

" This tale of a disease killing deer and elk across Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and pockets of other states is one few have heard. That could all change given recent research that this disease has greater potential than originally thought to cross genetic barriers to harm humans."

"Opposing findings rekindle human infection fears. ie, Years after CWD research largely disarmed the public about a risk to human health, the disease continued its slow but steady (increase) in deer and elk and some moose. Then came a recent bombshell."

Preliminary results from an unpublished Canadian study released last year found that three of five macaque monkeys contracted CWD when fed the equivalent of 7-oz steak of deer meat tainted with the disease once a month for three years. A similar study conducted by National Institutes of Health in Montana found macaque monkeys did not contract of disease. The results from the Canadian experiments caused health agencies enough concern that the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention posted this on its website--. " the reason for the different experiments results are unknown. To date, there is no strong evidence for the occurrence of CWD in people and it is not known if people can get infected with CWD prions. Nevertheless, these experimental studies raise the concern that CWD may pose a risk to people and suggest that is is important to prevent human exposure to CWD."

Local Colorado Parks and Wildlife senior wildlife scientist/veterinarian Mike Miller acknowledges that, " you can never rule out a disease crossing species".

Another researcher retired, Schoonveld now 81 but did earlier research on mule deer prior to the discovery of CWD at the CSU facility, stated, " Can you imagine what would happen if the monkey research simulated in the human population? I do, it would be hell on wheels"

the total article can be seen on the Coloradoan website.

From: Dirk Diggler
07-Sep-18

Dirk Diggler's Link
A lot of knee jerk reaction from game departments tradi. I came here in 89, studied wildlife biology at CSU, and like many, just never left the area. I'd bet money if they put mule deer back in those research pens today, they'd all be dead inside of 2yrs. Theres way more they don't know about CWD than what they do know. They knocked the deer back in 19/191 pretty good in the early 2000's and it did little to the infection rate because those prions never left the soil. I'm of the believe that Schoonveld was right, in that it jumped from sheep to deer during his research project at CSU. Then when they would turn those deer back out those prions were scattered around and have been passed around ever since. I'm also of the belief that one of us who've lived around here eating wild game from here the last 30-40yrs would have contracted it by now. But theres always that chance that one day it will mutate just enough that the transfer to humans will take place. I also belief our forest management practices the last 60yrs, as it pertains to suppressing every fire, has also contributed to those prions remaining active in our soil for longer periods, increasing the possibility of them being picked up and continuing to be spread in our ungulate herds. I dont know the answer or solution and our biologists don't yet either. My biggest fear is we'll never be able to get this genie back in the bottle, we'll just have to learn to live with it.

From: Bowriter
07-Sep-18
Dirk Diggler- yes I read it some time ago. I believe that theory has been discounted or at the very least, is unproven. There is a book, published sometime in the late 1950's about prion borne diseases that I read some years ago. I am sorry, I cannot recall the name. It was written by some doctor who had spent most of the latter part of his life researching the transmission of prion disease transmission in various monkeys. What I mostly remember is his statement, something along the lines of, "Using monkeys for test animals has proven almost nothing. They seem to have a different marker for the transmission of prion borne diseases." That stuck with me as did another statement, and again, I am paraphrasing, "Prion borne diseases will continue to confuse man until a method of testing is designed that does not require the animal to be dead."

Keep in mind, this was written before CWD was discovered and I guess it was in the early days of discovery of all prion borne diseases. The point I am making and continue to make is that CWD, mad cow, scapies, etc., all must have originated somewhere. It-they-did not suddenly start when man first discovered them. Man invented the testing that found prion borne diseases, he did not invent the disease. Therefore, I contend that CWD was present long before the "discovery" of it at CSU. I contend it has been and is present to varying degrees in all sizable populations of cervidae, worldwide.

I yesterday, 9-6-18, contacted Sammie Blue, (not her real name), who was in the biology dept. at UW when it was found there, in the elk that came from CSU. She said that best she could recall, it was their thinking that the elk had it long before they came to CSU due to the amount of time required for the disease to manifest itself to a noticeable extent. In other words, at that time, the only way they had to tell if an elk was infected was for it to show visible signs or die. They felt, at that time, the length of time between contacting the disease and showing visible signs, may be years and probably, some were born with it.

What this boils down to, strictly in my opinion, is simply this. CWD is not a new disease at all. I contend it has always been there. There is no such thing as a disease free state if that state has any sizable cervidae population. There probably has always been CWD in our cervid populations and always will be. It cannot be stamped out or cured. There is only one way to prevent finding CWD...don't test for it.

I do not eat the meat of any animal that is visibly sick and often of any animal with a visible injury such as an old bullet or arrow wound that appears infected. To me, that is just common sense. But it would be, again, just my opinion, ridiculous to think we have not been eating the meat of CWD free animals all these years and now, suddenly, (as of the late 60's,) they have it. I believe they have had it all along.

If you know how to Google and find it, I suggest an article in the AG NEWS magazine from the University of WY, July 2018, Vol. #27. #2. Fall 2018, "Long-term research shows domestic cattle resist oral exposure to Chronic Wasting Disease." Many different agencies in different locations were involved in the ten-year study. The upshot of the entire study was basically, "We don't know..."

From: Lost Arra
07-Sep-18

Lost Arra's Link
UWyo study

07-Sep-18
Not feeding venison to my family and friends. I will personally eat it if tested first, which is no guarantee. None for children.

From: Habitat
07-Sep-18
There have been thousands of deer "culled" and it most likely didn't change a thing except maybe spread infected deer because they ran across the line from CWD zone to none CWD zone.I don't know why anyone would be scared of eating venison while they eat all other types of chemicals that they don't know the long term effects.

From: Bowriter
07-Sep-18
Just to mess with your mind a little, what do you think poses more risk; eating deer meat or eating beef that comes from a known CWD area? Think about it.

From: Dirk Diggler
07-Sep-18
I dont believe that CWD has been shown to transfer from deer/elk to beef.

From: Lost Arra
07-Sep-18
MissouriBreaks: are you still hunting deer and elk?

07-Sep-18
Yes, but only share meat with adult hunting camp members who fully understand the "potential risks". Always test from declared CWD zone areas prior to consumption. No guarantees, just common sense precautions.

From: Lost Arra
25-Sep-18
I just got back from my elk hunt and saw what I assume was my first CWD elk. Pretty sad. She was feeding alone and I snuck into range but immediately noticed something wasn't right. She presented a perfect broadside shot at 25 yards but I didn't take it ( I only had a cow tag). I know it sounds ridiculous but when she eventually saw me she walked closer and turned broadside again. Almost begging me to take the shot. I also found a dead cow within 6-7 miles of the sick one. The whole encounter stuck with me for the entire 8 days even though I saw a lot of "healthy looking" elk. I came home eating my tag, not by choice.

From: Pyrannah
25-Sep-18
Just cause they are healthy looking doesn’t mean that are not cwd positive

My wife now refuses to eat any game meat regardless of testing...

From: elkmtngear
25-Sep-18
How many human deaths/ serious medical issues have been directly related to CWD in the U.S? (proven)?

Just wondering, given that we have a population of 325 Million.

25-Sep-18
"The study was conducted by the University of WY, WY state veterinary lab, CO Div. of Parks and Wildlife and WT Game and Fish. Cattle were housed with heavily infected elk and fed oral doses of infected brain material."

What else could possibly go wrong? :)

I sure hope they burned all those cattle's remains anyways, just to be safe.

From: Medicinemann
25-Sep-18
First confirmed case of CWD in a cervid was just reported (today) in Quebec....surprised that they weren't more specific about the species.....

From: stealthycat
25-Sep-18
what is BSE ? bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a usually fatal disease of cattle affecting the central nervous system, causing agitation and staggering. It is thought to be caused by an agent such as a prion

what is CJD ? Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorder believed to be caused by an abnormal isoform of a cellular glycoprotein known as the prion protein

what is CWD ? Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease or transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of free-ranging and farmed cervids. what is scrapie ?

Scrapie. Scrapie, also called rida or tremblante du mouton, fatal neurodegenerative disease of sheep and goats. ... The agent responsible for those diseases is an abnormal prion, a deviant form of a benign protein normally found in the brain

I'm just sayin .......

From: cervus
26-Sep-18
They were all incinerated Ike. It was hard to watch all that good beef get thrown away though...

The sentence you quoted is misleading (by whoever wrote it, not necessarily you).

There were three treatment groups: environmental exposure, oral exposure, control. The cattle housed with infected elk were in Sybille canyon. The animals fed CWD positive brain homogenate were fed the material, then placed in isolation rooms for 10 years. When you drive by the WSVL in Laramie right east of the I80/Snowy Range Rd junction, there is a small building off to the east from the main lab with a large chimney for the incinerator. In that building are actual isolation rooms. One animal was put in each room as a calf, and then necropsied 10 years later. Biosecurity was high in those rooms and even their feces was incinerated. They did not develop any disease obviously. Seeing them see the light of day for the first time in ten years on "necropsy day" was unique.

From: Lost Arra
26-Sep-18
Interesting details. Thanks cervus.

  • Sitka Gear