At 11:00, this morning, there will be an emergency meeting of the TWRA to discuss the recent finding of CWD positive deer in TN. Be quite interesting to see just how they plan to come up with an emergency plant that is different from the one currently in place. I wonder if they will implement some of the other highly effective plans that have solved the emergencies in other states.
As much as I hate driving in Nashville, I reckon I'll go. Should be quite a show
Being from WI and living in the heart of the CWD area, the only thing the DNR has done is DESTROYED our deer season and RUINED TRADITION of our states deer season! After all these years, the DNR knows NO MORE now than when they started! Our hunter numbers have dropped and our yearly deer season is a mess! I see Quality Deer Management has issued a report that the CWD is now reportedly from the soil! Colorado seems to have the BEST system, "Wait and watch"! Wisconsin came up with a theory of "KILL them ALL" which has not WORKED! Its only depleted the deer herd and made hunting a joke! Sometimes when "WE" try to make things better, We make thing WORST! CWD is Mother Natures way of handling "Over population"! Let it runs it course! Oh, ya! I've eaten 5 positive animals, I am 70 yrs. old and have been eating it my complete life! Just my 2 cents!
Did Wisconsin actually have a "kill them all" program? Last I read Wisconsin had a deer herd approaching 1 million. Does anyone have estimated herd numbers? Seems like there was far fewer deer 50 years ago in Wisconsin.
I don't know much about how gubmint biologying works, but it seems like wherever CWD pops up, the state biologists treat it as if its some new, mysterious malady. They keep trying things that have failed elsewhere, hoping for a different result.
Gonna have to wait to see what happens. Traffic going into town on I-40 was in almost no visibility due to rain, fog and road spray. After second near miss, avoiding a wreck, I turned around and came home. Screw that. I'll report when I know something. I just heard who the two main speakers are going to be. I am worried. I'll leave it at that. I made a prediction via email to a biologist friend and I hope I am dead wrong. Another biologist emailed me and said he was about to start packing his bags. I hope we are all wrong on this one. Here are some considerations: 1- This meeting was called with one day's notice and at a time, few can attend and in a location that is easily gridlocked, due to traffic. However, it will give the appearance of transparency. 2-One of the chief and most sane biologists is in Puerto Rico visiting his son before he is deployed. (Good timing?) 3- If they-the commission-do nothing, as they should, they will not get any federal funds. 4- There is not one single thing they can do other than what has already been done. They have said, they, "enacted the CWD emergency response plan." Whatever that is. No matter what-this is going to be a cluster of the first order. If...IF...they go with a culling plan, I will personally attack them with every resource I have and I will not let up one iota. Here is another prediction I hope I am wrong about. I predict hunting license sales for 2019-20, drop by 5-8% and the deer kill is down by 20%.
There are some state biologists on the Bowsite. I know at least two personally. They are discouraged from posting but one occasionally posts on the CO forum. I met one of the top CO big game biologists once at the CDOW office who recognized my name from the Bowsite, we started talking, and I swear he knew more about me than my wife. Turns out he bowhunts elk in the same area I hunt.
Very...somewhat encouraged. It could have been much worse. In a nut shell, here is what our wildlife commission has done in response to the CWD outbreak-now 13 cases. 1-They created a high-risk area covering three counties. In that area, hunting season has been extended to January 31, 2019 with a limit of one buck and unlimited antlerless deer. That will provide more deer to examined, otherwise, very little impact. 2-After Dec. 29. 2018, all deer killed on weekends must be physically checkedin-no online checking. (needs to be statewide.) 3-Complete prohibition of feeding, not including bird feeders within 100-feet of a home or other agricultural practices. ??? Say what??? 4- Well hallejulia! TWRA Director Ed Carter, said, "Finding that many infected deer, (13), at once is unprecedented. Finding such a large number is indicative that CWD has likely been present in the area for a long time, perhaps years." Now I wonder where I have heard that before. This is the nutshell of what happened. These are in addition to regulations already in place regarding import or export. In the main, I am surprisingly pleased with the amount of common sense.
Dirk-No, not at all. Keep in mind, our season is open through January 7, 2019, anyway. They simply extended it by 24-days and increased the doe limit from three per day to unlimited-no impact at all. But, by requiring physical check-in on weekends-the busiest times, they will gather a modicum of data.
I have to admit. I was prepared to go to war. What they did, in most instances, makes pretty good sense. There is nothing that can be done to cure or eliminate CWD. It cannot be stopped. But the measures the commission has taken so far, at least, does no harm. It may, in fact, have laid the groundwork from actual beneficial changes. There was a slight recognition of a few factors some of us have been preaching for several years and that is huge progress. Unfortunately, the major impact here is going to be on the donation of meat to the Hunters for the Hungry project and quite possibly, a decrease in the sale of hunting licenses, next year. I am already hearing talk along those lines.
How can the opinions be unfounded when we went thru this 20 odd years ago? Just keep believing this has never happened before, and we'll keep chuckling at you from the great divide, while you make all the same mistakes we watched our game department make.
BW....the problem with the doe-only increase is it ignores the other half of the equation....the infected bucks. IMO...that is a money play and not a science play. There is more money (ego?) killing bucks than does.
Milnrick- So far there have been seven positive cases in Fayette and three in Hardeman with three more "suspect" cases. The counties within the expanded season are those and McNairy. It is not statewide. You can view the full report of the meeting by going to the TWRA website.
JL- No it addresses the other side of the equation. Note that one buck has been added. That is an increase of 1/3 the normal season limit. I realize, it is hard for hunters in states where there are strict bag limits to understand how we can kill three does a day for over 110-days. The truth is, we could have an open season on does for 365-days and still have a problem with population. As of a few days ago, 12-19, statewide, we had killed 68,252 antlered bucks; 45, 065 does and 3,438 antlerless bucks (buttons). Hunters simply will not shoot does for whatever reason. So far, the statewide total kill is down 3,106 animals from last year. That is due to weather and I firmly believe a serious drop in juvenile hunters in particular and a smaller drop in total hunter numbers.
After speaking with two of the state biologists, I have come to believe they may have a better grasp on not just CWD but on some of the problems TN faces in general. It is, or hopefully was, the wildlife commission that was clouding the issues. I took them to task...quite strongly for caving in to a "trophyist" lobby, three years ago. Last year, they reversed two of their absolute worst changes in the regulations that angered many hunters. Unfortunately, I believe the harm was already done.
Make no mistake, I was not alone in this public attack on the commission. Others outdoor writers spoke out openly against what was happening. I personally met with the then, chairperson of the commission and quite plainly told her exactly what I thought and what I was going to do in the open press. That person is no longer on the commission and the new chair has given me some reason to hope.
When politics and biology meet, biology always loses. And there is no doubt, this CWD vehicle is potentially a cash cow. BUT...and it is a big but, I, to my great surprise, am encouraged by what the commission did and did not do, yesterday. I appears the commission may be finally forced to listen to the biologists instead of threatening to fire them if they do not provide the data to support the wishes of the commission. This state, lost two of the best minds in game management due to just exactly that. When I made that fact public, the cacada hit the fan. Since we went to the on-line check-in system, the data collected is flawed and leaves an open door for "adjusting". For that reason, I along with several others, have lobbied hard for a return of physical check-in on weekends. I realize it is costly. However, I do not believe it is as costly as management under flawed data.
I state again my position: CWD has always been there in every appreciable population of cervidae. In the wild, it was 99% undetectable. We humans, to some degree, made it worse due to a variety of reasons I have previously stated. I am convinced, as of right now, there is no cure and very little in the way of containment. It is a way to both above and below public scrutiny, generate money and manipulate bag limits and population. Some of this has been proven. I believe CWD will NOT decimate the population if humans do not screw it up. It kills far less animals than EHD and vehicle collisions. Good and accurate management can offset population declines in high-density areas, just as it has with EHD. I am hopeful, the "panic" scare tactics do not permanently reduce our number of hunters even further. We are, right now, in a more than serious decline of young hunters. Nationwide, cervid managers in the public sector, have shown a remarkable propensity to do unbelievably stupid things in regard to CWD. Hopefully, that is changing.
Merry Christmas, everyone. In a few hours, I will do my final radio show of the year and my final column, #2288, has been sent in. Next week, I go to AL for my annual three-day, hunt/reunion and then, my 64th deer season will be over. I hope we can all look back on this year as a learning year and make better decisions in the coming year. I would be remiss if I did not leave you with this: I now have go buy some new Rage Mechs. for my crossbow. :) Have a good one, Stick and String.
Pyrannah, can you honestly think of one logical way to contain it? Aside from killing every single deer in a large area surrounding the location of known positives (impossible)? Even if you did kill every deer, how do you kill all the prions left behind? The toothpaste is out of the tube. You are delaying or slowing the inevitable at best. A MN telemetry study is showing does moving 80 miles from the collaring site. How on earth will we possibly contain it?
I keep hearing that the state(s) are wanting to kill deer to sell more tags to generate more money. Governments are money hungry, no doubt. But that seems to be very short term gain; as in killing the Golden Goose. When the deer are gone or so decimated that nobody wants to hunt, then that cash cow has dried up, been butchered and crapped out.
Is there a long term plan or just smash, grab and run, to heck with future revenues?
As it appears, if we are convinced it must be strictly managed, then the only solution is to kill all wild cervids, wait ten years then reintroduce. Slowing it with stop gap measures seems like very slowly pulling the band-aid off. Why not just leave it till it falls off by it's self.
Good info John! Hopefully some of these Game departments and Biologists will come around and start listening to others that have different thoughts that don't fit the almighty scary narratives. Talked with a hunting partner from Northern Illinois this morning and the IDNR secured rights to bait and kill deer on the property he hunts. They are wasting no time scaring landowners and talking them into setting up the rifle slaughter.
In the late 1960’s Chronic Wasting Disease-CWD, was found in a small herd of penned elk at the University of Wyoming. The elk came from pens at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. They had been live-trapped in the Colorado Mountains. That marked the discovery of CWD. CWD is a prion borne disease, similar to Mad Cow Disease in cattle and Scrapies in sheep. At present, if affects only cervidae-members of the deer family including whitetail deer, mule deer, elk, moose, reindeer and others. There is no evidence it can be transmitted to humans or any other species. Recently it was discovered in seven deer in Fayette and Hardeman Counties. Three other cases are suspect. In response to this discovery, the TFWC-the governing body of the TWRA, activated their emergency response plan. This plan include expanding the deer season in three counties-Fayette, Hardeman and McNairy. This will allow deer hunting through January 31, 2019. The goal is to gather more deer for testing. Also put in place was the prohibition of all feeding of wildlife except for bird feeders within 100-feet of any home and other normal agricultural practices. In other words, it is now illegal to feed wildlife. Symptoms may be delayed for some time before being manifest. They include apparent confusion in the animal and severe emaciation. It is almost 100% fatal to deer. To date, there is no evidence it can be spread to humans or any other animals. Obviously, common sense dictates some precautions should be taken. Do not eat or handle any deer that appears sick. I suggest you kill it if possible-regardless of sex-and immediately call a game warden. Do not handle the animal. If you cannot kill it, notify a game warden immediately and report the animal. TWRA Director, Ed Carter said, “…finding that many infected deer at once is unprecedented. Finding such a large number of infected deer in indicative that CWD has likely been present in the area for a long time, perhaps years.” It is my opinion, one I have made public for years, that CWD has always been present in significant populations of cervids. I do not believe we discovered CWD. I believe we discovered the test for it. There is no cause for panic, no reason to stop hunting, no reason to stop eating deer meat. Simply apply some common sense and immediately, stop all supplemental feeding of wildlife. I have killed five deer this year. All appeared healthy, all went into freezers. However, for many years, I have worn shoulder-length gloves in field dressing deer. I also do all my own meat processing and know what I am eating. I eat a lot of deer meat, have for years. Just use some common sense. CWD has been officially found in TN. In all probability, it has always been here. Our TFWC is taking some logical and appropriate action. In the future, I would hope to see a tightening of supplemental feeding laws and a return of check stations on weekends in all counties. That will not eliminate CWD from our wild deer population. It may have some limited impact on the spread. But it will provide more accurate data. Yes, CWD is in TN. Probably, it always has been. It is not a cause for panic or to stop hunting and eating deer meat. ###
I have no idea about immunity. Certainly, some animals must be resistant. As to why, I have no idea. I also have nothing to back up my statement of it not being 100% fatal. I just feel that some animals probably do recover. Are they then resistant? I have no idea. Are we killing animals that are resistant? I feel sure we are. But there is no way to tell. If left alone, nature will take care of that. But we cannot and should not, leave it to nature.
"stop all supplemental feeding of wildlife"....... so I can continue with my food plots, but the old guy down the road, gets arrested for putting out 10 apples,,,,,, that happened this year in Wisconsin.......... the food plot industry, that genie is out of the bottle,,,, so that is not going to happen.....
Ambush, there is tons of research going on and they continue to learn about it. Last data I read, the infection rate here in N. CO is level at around the pre-slaughter percentages, although the deer herd hasn't fully recovered from the genocide. But they are coming back in a big way.
A little further south, in the Boulder foothills, they found some herds with higher infection rates, which they attribute to people feeding them (and mineral blocks) and which concentrates them where more are exposed. But even there, the herd numbers are doing pretty well considering all the other non-CWD factors (winter range degradation due to fire suppression, high saturation of unhunted coyotes and cats).
We don't have CWD in BC yet, but there is talk about it and tons of misinformation and outright bs being flung around.
Listening to the biologist in JTV's link, I got the definite impression that the man was campaigning rather than educating. And no answer was suggested, just some nibbling around the edges. There was not a course of action laid out to achieve a certain effect. Kill all the deer? Reduce numbers to the extreme and if that, then when do you let them rebound. I got the impression that something had to done whether it was good, bad or indifferent. Just anything! The opening the door to wolves as a disease management tool struck me as odd and the biologist skirted around the rationale for it.
It all seemed to boil down to, the landscape needs way less deer. Not a popular option for hunters. And maybe that's where the wolves come in. You don't have to manage them with seasons or encourage them to thin out the herds.
People need to be conscious of CWD and mindful of how they take care of their kills but some of what is getting spewed out is fear mongering and speculation at best. CWD research has not gotten the fame or funding behind it to get real answers and hopefully some of the hype will get some money thrown at it.
There has never been any kind of study to show that the prions in the soil or bound in plants has infected a deer. There is research going on at LSU that is linking a wall less bacteria with TSE’s and prions are not the cause but the result of infection. Here is a link with a lot of good info http://tseresearchcenter.org
Hey ole buck, know why they haven't found it in Louisiana yet? They haven't tested enough deer yet. I truly believe this has been in our ecosystems for a long time, and theres not a damn thing we can do about it other than wait for a disease resistant genetic strain to dominate our herds. Test em if you want, you've probably already eatin several infected animals in your lifetime. Thanx for gettin me to dig into that "occurrence" a bit!
Pretty much what we've been saying. Nothing they've done here in Colorado the last 50yrs and we see game departments back east doing the same thing ours has done the last 30yrs expecting different results. Try something different or leave it be. There is no answer in the current toolbox.
When I was a kid in the 50’s there was no CWD we were aware of. A sick deer was extremely rare, but deer were not as plentiful. No one fed deer, baiting was illegal, and salt blocks too. Food plots were a cut-over corn field and no one leased or posted. We are reaping what we have sowed. I live in Northern NH up on the border. CWD has been found in Quebec. It is only a matter of time. People up here feed like crazy, bait, and because of the deer yarding up in back yards, the timber companies are logging the traditional yards. Our only saving grace so far is that we have few deer due to hard winters. Still, we are a disaster waiting to happen if Fish and Game doesn’t grow a set and stop the baiting and feeding. If all that money thrown into grain went into conserving and enhancing our traditional deer yards, we would be better off. Trouble is, hunting has become an instant gratification sport,, so we are waiting for disaster.
Scientists in Norway have no frickin' idea how it got into the reindeer herd there in one specific isolated valley (they have now exterminated the entire herd) or in three moose 400 km away that have no contact with the reindeer, or now in a red stag in Finland a long way from either outbreak. "Sporadic, spontaneous outbreak which then spread horizontally" is how the lead biologist believes it arose.
Finally made the TV-news here. Got an email, said it was just sickening. I replied, "Is EHD sickening? Are car/vehicle collisions sickening? Both kill more deer than CWD. It is just Mother Nature at work." Ewww, what she called me. LOL.
As for me, I'm headed for Al in three-days. Y'all have good'un. (Oh, heard any reports about CWD, in AL...LOL-You can't find it if you don't test for it.)
Dirk-agree 100%. Have had, for several years, a running battle with a backyard neighbor-several houses removed-about her feeding deer. had the great pleasure of informing her yesterday, it was now illegal and I would be informing the game warden if she continued. I have seen as many as 28 in her yard at one time. I thought she was going to explode.
There may be an upside to CWD. It may, at least here in TN, tighten the laws on supplemental feeding and hopefully cause a return to mandatory, physical check-in, at least on weekends. I realize that is a burden on hunters. The telecheck was so handy, but it is also the best way to gather accurate data and to some degree, reduce violations. I am preparing a proposal for our commission and now that I know I have their ear, I am hopeful they will at least listen. The greatest problem facing us here in TN is a growing deer herd and a shrinking number of hunters. There is no other explanation for the decline in the kill numbers and the increase in the population. Perhaps, CWD is the answer. I realize, it is hard for hunters in some states to understand a daily limit of three-does per day for well over 100-days. I know that is impossible to do but it is indicative of our problem. We simply are not killing enough deer. A few years ago, when I was stronger and healthier, I routinely killed 10-12 deer a year, most years, all does. Today, I am just not physically able and the younger hunters, just won't kill that many does.
Hopefully the feeding ban finds it way across the border into NC. I hunted our property in November and dumped 300 pounds of corn out the day before I left which was also opening day of rifle season. My thought was to potentially help a few deer make it through rifle season, even if I only helped one buck make it another year it would be worth it from my perspective.
There was a doe and fawn standing in the corn an hour after I put it out, I had no idea how much deer liked corn. All the neighbors hunt and at least 3 of them bait, probably more. The deer in our area are obviously accustomed to corn but I underestimated the attraction.
Dirk, our yards up here hold anywhere from a few deer to maybe 20. The big feeding yard in Wilson’s Mills, Maine has several hundred. It is the reverse of what you posted. I survey natural deer yards for Fish and Game in winter. We collared a spike that averaged 11 miles a day going from backyard to backyard. That is unnatural up here when deer metabolism slows down to conserve energy. The town of Pittsburg, NH, loses over 100 deer to trucks and autos because the deer are crossing Rte 3 from house to house looking for grain. We estimate that winter kill in natural yards would be much less. Couple that with people feeding bread and there goes more deer because they can’t digest gluten and die of enteritis. Deer are incredibly adapted to survive our brutal winters. They need habitat, not buckets of grain. The wardens now have the regulations this winter to stop feeding along busy highways or when coyotes move in to dine on both grain and deer.
"I'm envious of the bag limits for sure Bowriter. How receptive are the landowners to hunters?"
The problem, as it is in many areas, is shrinking habitat. Much of the once available land is now in subdivisions. Landowners are quite open to hunting...if they know you. Each year, I get asked to come hunt. But large tracts of land are a different story. We are starting to see a lot of leasing. However, we do have over one-million acres of public land and much of it holds good populations. Within minutes of my house are many acres of public land and I have killed a lot of deer on it in the past. We don't get a lot of out of state hunting because our trophy potential is so low.
If TWRC was really interested in reducing the number of does, they'd do away with the Type-94 license and do away with "bonus" bucks. The Type-94 license costs $25 and is required for a hunter to shoot an antlerless deer during gun season. With a generous 2 buck limit and additional "bonus" buck opportunities, the typical deer hunter who only wants to put a deer or 2 in the freezer, has no reason to buy this and shoot a doe.