Mathews Inc.
CWD Cull - Science?
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
APauls 16-Dec-21
[email protected] 16-Dec-21
Treeline 16-Dec-21
KY EyeBow 16-Dec-21
greg simon 16-Dec-21
Bowaddict 16-Dec-21
Bowaddict 16-Dec-21
Bowaddict 16-Dec-21
Bowaddict 16-Dec-21
Bowaddict 16-Dec-21
bentstick54 16-Dec-21
RT 16-Dec-21
JohnMC 16-Dec-21
JohnMC 16-Dec-21
RT 16-Dec-21
Grunter 16-Dec-21
12yards 16-Dec-21
txhunter58 16-Dec-21
Copperhead 16-Dec-21
jjs 16-Dec-21
jjs 16-Dec-21
Ambush 16-Dec-21
Bowaddict 16-Dec-21
Bowaddict 16-Dec-21
txhunter58 16-Dec-21
azelkhntr 16-Dec-21
txhunter58 16-Dec-21
txhunter58 16-Dec-21
JohnMC 16-Dec-21
Jaquomo 16-Dec-21
[email protected] 16-Dec-21
Corax_latrans 16-Dec-21
txhunter58 16-Dec-21
Jaquomo 16-Dec-21
txhunter58 16-Dec-21
Muleysareking 16-Dec-21
Hilltop 16-Dec-21
Charlie Rehor 16-Dec-21
Jaquomo 16-Dec-21
[email protected] 17-Dec-21
Vonfoust 17-Dec-21
Brotsky 17-Dec-21
txhunter58 17-Dec-21
[email protected] 17-Dec-21
Mike Ukrainetz 18-Dec-21
txhunter58 18-Dec-21
Missouribreaks 18-Dec-21
Corax_latrans 18-Dec-21
Pete-pec 19-Dec-21
tradi-doerr 21-Dec-21
krieger 21-Dec-21
From: APauls
16-Dec-21
As our lovely province kicked off a cull program slaughtering thousands of whitetails over 1 confirmed case of CWD, I am wondering - does anyone know of any science that actually supports this? I mean I understand that if you wipe deer off the landscape you will no longer have CWD in deer, but then again I can tell you how to get rid of COVID or any other disease...there just won't be much of humanity left lol.

I am not a researcher but so far as I know, anywhere that has culled deer has CWD come back as soon as the animals come back because you basically can't kill the prions. Just curious if anyone knows of any research that actually supports a cull before I go off half cocked?

16-Dec-21
Based on what we saw here in CO, it wont help anything where they tried it. Whitetail numbers luckily recovered a few years after the culling. Muley recovery has been a decades long struggle.

CWD is just as common as it was before they culled

From: Treeline
16-Dec-21
It almost seems that the culling causes an increase in CWD.

It definitely has not made it go away in any place it has been tried.

If you look at the prevalence before and after culling in any area (CO, WI, etc) where it has been done, CWD expands and is back at a higher prevalence afterwards…

From: KY EyeBow
16-Dec-21
I hope the deer biologists read this thread.........................................

From: greg simon
16-Dec-21
If the deer population was extremely high I could maybe see where bringing it down to capacity might be smart. But wholesale slaughter is crazy. I see it like this: We have this disease present that has already taken out those most susceptible to it. How could it possibly be a good move to kill a bunch more healthy deer? Potentially killing those most resistant or possibly immune to the disease.

I am aware of no studies that confirm culling is effective at containing CWD. Unless of course you consider having a deer population of zero as contained!

From: Bowaddict
16-Dec-21
I live in the hot zone along the front range. The large ranch bordering my place allowed the cpw sharpshooters in on their ranch for the slaughter. The rates are the same as they were before and as stated it’s taking a long time for recovery! We still are no where close to when I moved to this property in ‘99. Now they want to try hammering all the mature bucks…..

From: Bowaddict
16-Dec-21
I live in the hot zone along the front range. The large ranch bordering my place allowed the cpw sharpshooters in on their ranch for the slaughter. The rates are the same as they were before and as stated it’s taking a long time for recovery! We still are no where close to when I moved to this property in ‘99. Now they want to try hammering all the mature bucks…..

From: Bowaddict
16-Dec-21
Sorry, think I did a double tap on submit button.

From: Bowaddict
16-Dec-21
Sorry, think I did a double tap on submit button.

From: Bowaddict
16-Dec-21
Nebraska started a questionnaire/survey for future cwd mitigation this year….I cringed when I read it. Are they next?????

16-Dec-21
I have always wondered where they have had these massive culling projects, what do they do with all the bodies? Do they collect them and move them all to a central disposal site? If they do not, would not the prions in any infected deer, be released into the soil upon the body decomposing? Plus my undestanding is that the prions can live in the soil for many years, so if deer start repopulating an area that has been culled, would not they just be exposed to the prions anyway?

From: RT
16-Dec-21
Why not just give out more deer tags rather than waste all of these animals? Typical backass thinking.

From: JohnMC
16-Dec-21
They are doing it again in CO by giving out lots of tags trying to kill all the mature bucks. Not sure why they think it will work this time when it did not work the first time. I saw where MT was extending there season to kill more deer due to CWD. I'll see if I can find the article.

From: JohnMC
16-Dec-21

JohnMC's Link
Montana extends deer hunting season due to Chronic Wasting Disease concerns - see link

From: RT
16-Dec-21
It's better than wasting them.

From: Grunter
16-Dec-21
APauls-trust the science. Kill all deer (or most) in a 20 mile area. Then watch as it still spreads into surrounding areas. IMO you cant stop it from spreading. That tactic hasn't worked that i know of. WI killed thousands of deer to try and stop it. It still spread to most of WI.

Captive deer farms seem to have a high probability of having CWD. Its one theory of how CWD started. Theres been too many cases of deer farms with postive deer to be a coincidence. Not sure why they all havent been shut down. Thats where i would start.

From: 12yards
16-Dec-21
A situation where the cure is worse than the disease.

From: txhunter58
16-Dec-21
I am a veterinarian and have more than average knowledge in this area. I can see no reason to decimate a herd because of CWD. As stated, once the prion is in the environment, nothing to date has been able to eliminate it.

I don’t think the increased tags (and increased hunting on mature bucks) in Colorado has anything to do with trying to eliminate the disease. Their thinking is it will slow down its spread. I can see the science in that, but it only slows down the inevitable. I guess they are trying to “lower the curve” LOL. All things considered, I think it is a mistake.

From: Copperhead
16-Dec-21
I know this may be too logical but. Why would you not study how to kill the prions, without harming the deer or their surroundings, then try to find a way to introduce that pathogen into the ecological system where it is prevalent, to get rid of CWD?

From: jjs
16-Dec-21
Fauce has the answers, jab em and mask em then all is well.

Just went through a CWD test on a buck that was killed in north Mn. this fall because an idiot that had a deer farm went and disposed his infected deer on state forest land. DNR are just removing the lymph glands for testing on kills but the DNR gent didn't think it will go to a total kill. Tough to do in a high forest areas, but nothing is impossible.

From: jjs
16-Dec-21
Fauce has the answers, jab em and mask em then all is well.

Just went through a CWD test on a buck that was killed in north Mn. this fall because an idiot that had a deer farm went and disposed his infected deer on state forest land. DNR are just removing the lymph glands for testing on kills but the DNR gent didn't think it will go to a total kill. Tough to do in a high forest areas, but nothing is impossible.

From: Ambush
16-Dec-21
Deadly disease has been part of the animal kingdom for countless thousands of years, it's only recently that we've had the technology to identify and categorize it. A disease hits a species and many die, but the survivors are the ones passing on to their offspring that survival trigger. It seems particularly stupid to kill the apparently healthy deer living amongst the sick ones. Let the sick die. The prions are here already and seemingly forever. So you can wipe out the whole area, but with infill the disease will reestablish among a herd that has no resistance. Let the strong survive! What makes no sense to me is when people say "lets kill all the deer so there's no deer, just incase CWD kills all the deer and then there's no deer".

And killing a bunch to "flatten the curve"? Yeah well, doesn't seem to be a winning strategy.

From: Bowaddict
16-Dec-21
Azelkhntr, killing entire herds makes no sense and is not the best way for reasons you stayed for throwing expensive equipment away! The prions stay in the soil for a long time! First deer back in come in contact and it starts again. The case rates In Colorado have stayed relatively consistent, leave them be and keep studying! Stick with normal management of herds.

From: Bowaddict
16-Dec-21
Azelkhntr, killing entire herds makes no sense and is not the best way for reasons you stayed for throwing expensive equipment away! The prions stay in the soil for a long time! First deer back in come in contact and it starts again. The case rates In Colorado have stayed relatively consistent, leave them be and keep studying! Stick with normal management of herds.

From: txhunter58
16-Dec-21
CWD is a man made disease from some experiments with sheep gone wrong at CSU. None of the other Prion diseases (Mad Cow or scrapie in sheep) last in the environment. At CSU, they removed the topsoil, put down lime, replaced the topsoil and didn’t put deer back in those infected pens for several years. When they did, the deer got CWD. And as stated, can’t even kill it with very high temps.

From: azelkhntr
16-Dec-21
Tell me Bowaddict. What do the ag authorities do when a case of anthrax is detected in a herd of cattle? CWD and Mad cow diseases originated in captive deer game farms and MC in cattle in Britain. It came about because they wanted to utilize dead animals as feed, an economics decision. They would grind the animals up; sheep, goats, cows, and make a mixture of grain and grasses to the flesh and bones; bone meal; and then feed that back to the livestock. This wasn't a standard practice in the US. Captive deer were denied the protections afforded by the free exchange of DNA between the wild animals for long long periods of time and that helped in the creation of CWD. Often these captive deer were just released back into, or escaped, the wild and there you go. At least that's how I understand it came about. Didn't exist prior to the establishment of game farms.

From: txhunter58
16-Dec-21
Most of the evidence points to the creation of CWD in the US in the experimental pens at Colorado State university in the 1960s. They were doing experiments with scrapie in sheep (prion disease) in which they put them under lots of stress including starvation trials. Somehow, the prion mutated and was picked up by mule deer that were in the same pens. If you look at a US map of CWD cases, the epicenter/ most cases is very close to CSU.

How did it spread around the US? First by natural migration in all directions, even adjoining states, where it got into the whitetail herds. Somehow it made it into captive whitetail herds. At that point it leaped across the country in trailers. Except for the natural migration of CWD cases in west Texas and the panhandle of Texas (from New Mexico), all other cases in Texas can be linked to movement in trailers to deer farms.

So, captive whitetail herds are not responsible for its creation and initial spread, but is the way it showed up in remote locations where no other cases had been seen

From: txhunter58
16-Dec-21
Can’t really compare CWD to Anthrax. Anthrax is a terrible disease and can even be transmitted to/ kill humans, but it is very sporadic and usually occurs only in certain geographical areas under certain weather conditions (generally a wet winter and spring followed by a hot dry summer). You see cases for a short time every few years and then it goes dormant for years. We had such a year this year and we did an autopsy on a Kudu that died suddenly. Turned out to be anthrax. It is an equal opportunity disease! It will kill pretty much any mammal.

The people that were exposed to that animal had to be on antibiotics for 90 days. But am I very worried for myself or for the local deer? Nope. Chances are we won’t see another case for a number of years. And there is a vaccine for that for domestic animals.

From: JohnMC
16-Dec-21
txhunter as a vet what your thoughts on eating a CWD postive deer? Would you eat one that tested postive. If answer is no. What about deer from a know CWD area that was not tested but appeared healthy. Would you test deer then before eating? I live in Northern CO. I have only had deer tested when required. I would not eat one that came back positive(non so far) but not worried about a untested deer.

From: Jaquomo
16-Dec-21
CWD appeared in a reindeer herd in Norway, in a rare mountain range where no contact with North American animals has ever occurred. Researchers there are studying the possibility of spontaneous prion folding, because they can find no other explanation.

When we interviewed ranchers in the hot zone in northern CO for an article on CWD in the Wall Street Journal, old timers reported finding deer that exhibited CWD symptoms and death for many decades before it was "discovered" in the C.S.U. deer pens. Those local deer regularly nuzzled wild deer through the fence, according to my former fishing buddy, who was the manager of of the C.S.U. deer pens when it was "discovered" inside the pens. He believes it came from outside, just as captive deer herds can transmit into outside deer via nuzzling and saliva exchange. But if the ranchers are to be disbelieved, then the scrapie-CWD-wild deer jump is plausible. But then how did it get into the reindeer herd? Nobody can explain that.

Bottom line is we will never know the origin. But there is strong evidence that some sort of natural immunity exists. Otherwise the level of infection in hot zones would not remain virtually constant. So by exterminating all individuals, it is possible that those with immunity, possibly genetic, are being killed as well....

16-Dec-21
I live 15 minutes from CSU. I'm not sold that it was created there. Caribou in Norway have it. I know bucks cover some ground during the rut but 4600 miles and an ocean is a step or two.

16-Dec-21
“ If the deer population was extremely high I could maybe see where bringing it down to capacity might be smart. ”

Keeping the herd at or below the carrying capacity is always smart.

Keeping densities down to limit potentially infected animals straying from one region to infect another herd is also a damn good idea.

I highly recommend Where Elk Roam, written by Bruce Smith, who used to manage the Jackson refuge. He was a classmate of mine in Laramie in the late ‘80s when he was getting his PhD. Really solid guy, avid Elk hunter. Not a Political type at all - just a damn good scientist.

From: txhunter58
16-Dec-21
It makes no sense that the Norway CWD is related to cases in the United States. Nature has an infinite ability to change/mutate on it own, and it appears that’s what happened in Norway. As far as the ranchers, I 100% believe them, that they have been seeing deer with chronic debilitating diseases way before CWD was discovered. But you can say the same thing about pretty much any deer herd. I see those kinds of deer on my ranch. Have even killed a few of them and tested them: all negative for CWD. There are many many diseases which could cause those types of symptoms.

From: Jaquomo
16-Dec-21
Mystery DP

From: txhunter58
16-Dec-21
John, that is the $24,000 question. Certainly tens of thousands of people have eaten CWD infected meat. And there has been zero cases of transmission to people. That said, I wouldn’t knowingly eat positive meat. But if you want to pay me $1000 to eat one, I would. I would also not ever want to feed it to my grandkids.

If it ever jumps to people, I think it might be someone who is severely immune compromised. Like someone on chemo.

I personally know two guys who killed very nice, mature bucks in Colorado a couple years ago. Both bucks were the picture of health. Both were positive….

16-Dec-21
Two yrs ago I killed a deer in eastern Co. and it tested negative for CWD. The day before I had the warden come out and dispatch an obvious very sick deer. He said it was certainly CWD. Later, I heard from G&F they had checked over 600 deer and had just over 40% positive hits in that area. The next year I hunted 38 days and never found a single carcass. To be clear, I spend 95% of my time walking, and don't tell me coyotes clean them up completely. I never saw an obviously ill or even skinny deer. I look them over for this very reason. It has always seemed counter to common sense when 2 deer run out of a draw, 1 is healthy and the other ratty looking, which will be shot? We kill the one that may have a genetic resistance to CWD and we let the sick one live. But I never got that chance since I never saw an obviously ill one, even though you would think 40% should have perished in the preceding year or been very sick by that time. There is a lot they aren't telling us or THERE IS A LOT THEY DON'T KNOW! But G&F departments are more than happy to "Do Something" .........Mike

From: Hilltop
16-Dec-21
Look into what happened in Wisconsin. In the southern part of the state they tried to eradicate deer. Lots were shot but now the bucks are bigger now either through improved habitat due to population reduction or people not hunting out of fear of CWD.

Like most things in life, you pick your position and live accordingly. Some have processed 4 deer in a season, waited 3 months for the test results, and have thrown it all out. Others don’t bother with the testing. Now, many years after it was found, most in the state where it’s found infrequently don’t get them tested. In the hot spots in the southern part of the state, they do. Check out the WI forum and I’m sure you’ll find more comments than you care to read.

I live in central WI and our group shot 6 this year, none were tested and still tasted delicious!

16-Dec-21
As Rush always said “follow the money”.

From: Jaquomo
16-Dec-21
I live in the CO core "hot zone" and don't personally know anyone who gets animals tested anymore except for moose, which are required to be tested.

17-Dec-21
I'm eating a chunk of jalapeno cheddar summer sausage from an untested deer killed in an area that was part of the initial culling as I type.

Anyone worried should definitely process your own game and only after testing (I don't). The process of killing prions on knives, saws, tables, grinders, etc. is 900 deg F sustained for several hours so obviously that ain't happening. No one is throwing away their favorite skinning knife, their Sitka pants that got blood on them or replacing the bed of their truck after getting a positive test.

From: Vonfoust
17-Dec-21
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0223659

From: Brotsky
17-Dec-21
They tried culling here in SD when CWD first appeared. It was a massive failure and the deer herd in the cull area is still struggling to recover. The prions are in the soil and are virtually impossible to kill. Good luck.

From: txhunter58
17-Dec-21
Good points Glunt

17-Dec-21
USGS paper, 2020,Old Data, New Science

Managers have long used animal harvesting or hunting policies to slow the spread of CWD. Agencies often adjust hunting regulations in CWD-affected areas to help reduce cervid population density and curtail animal-to-animal infections once CWD is detected. However, the effectiveness of this strategy in slowing CWD has been difficult to measure.

18-Dec-21
APauls, to answer your initial question, basically “Is there any science to back up the large scale killing of deer to stop the spread of CWD?” NO, NO and NO! None ever. Please if there is a CWD biologist, scientist, researcher reading this call me out on it?! Tell me of one single place where the spread of CWD in wild deer has ever been stopped by the mass killing of them? EVER?!

We tried it in Alberta with millions of dollars. Sharp shooters from helicopters killed thousands of deer in the open prairies of Alberta and dumped their carcasses in open pits. CWD may have been temporarily slowed down, maybe, or infected deer may have even fled the killing area and caused more spread. No one knows. Biologists got big government money to do it, and write scientific papers on it and it did zero to stop the spread.

CWD HAS BEEN IN COLORADO FOR OVER 50 YEARS AND SASKATCHEWAN FOR OVER 30 YEARS. BOTH PLACES STILL HAVE SOME OF THE BEST MULE DEER HUNTING IN NORTH AMERICA. THE DEER SHOULD ALL BE DEAD BY NOW. THEY AREN’T. YOU CANT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT AND YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO MANAGE THE DEER AS ALWAYS. IT’S TOTAL BULL.

From: txhunter58
18-Dec-21
Whether it’s Covid or CWD, I say follow the science. But I can see no valid scientific evidence that culling works to do anything but maybe slow it’s spread slightly. To me that is like chewing off one foot that is caught in the trap. Works in the here and now, but what happens when you get the next foot caught? And when something has been around 60 years, I think the horse has already left the barn.

I don’t know why they don’t consider physical barriers. They wouldn’t really help in the mountains, where animals have to migrate, but in places like Texas, they could erect deer proof fences along strategic highways to halt or slow its spread. And stop hauling them around in trailers!

18-Dec-21
I do not think science is reported without media bias.

18-Dec-21
It’s not usually REPORTED without bias, but the vast majority of it is CONDUCTED without bias.

If you really want to know what happened, you have to go back and read the original research as it was published… After being peer reviewed by people who are in direct competition with the author for grant money and have a vested interest in making sure that no BS gets published or funded.

You guys need to realize that nobody goes into science seeking fame or fortune, and almost nobody makes it through who is on some kind of a mission to prove a point about something/anything, because you can’t do intellectually honest work that way, and that’s the whole point of the exercise.

If you are skeptical about a study the first thing to do is to find out who funded it. I prefer to believe that the vast majority of scientists are unwilling to compromise the quality of their work in order to please whoever is funding it, but I don’t live in La La Land, either…

The thing about wildlife biology decisions is that there’s probably just not enough money in it to make it worth corrupting.

From: Pete-pec
19-Dec-21
Why do people insist on testing? The most counterproductive thing you can do, if you still want to hunt deer. I live in southern Wisconsin. I've witnessed the attempt at eradication. I know people who live in hot zones. I know people who have eaten CWD-positive deer. I know most people refuse to test (now). The only positive thing that came from CWD, was the bait ban, that made people learn how to hunt again. If I offend people who bait, sorry, that's not hunting, that's simply killing. If you think eradication is the answer to stop the spread, sorry, I don't care. If you want to see the herd completely obliterated, tell the dipshits they can kill every single one.....and they will comply. The only thing that saved the herd from total eradication, was the private landowners getting wise, and telling the DNR to kick rocks. I live in a hot zone. I'll never test a deer, and I'll feed it to my family. Let's first figure out if it is transmissible to humans (so far, not happening), and how we can stop something that likely existed, long before someone decided to test for it. In my honest opinion, it is all about nothing. Sorry you have to watch it unfold. I can say this, the dumpsters full of dead deer is disgusting. Shot, untested, and land filled.

From: tradi-doerr
21-Dec-21
"I live in the CO core "hot zone" and don't personally know anyone who gets animals tested anymore except for moose, which are required to be tested."

Lou, when I checked in my bull moose head this year CWD testing wasn't required, I was asked if I wanted to have it tested and would have been charged the $25 fee, I declined as I don't feel it's necessary to be concerned about CWD.

In the early 2000's the leading CWD expert at CSU stated that in order for CWD to jump to humans it would be a 1/1billion chance and only if the right genetic markers existed. As stated CWD has been around since before the 1960's at least, but only discovered /named in the '60's, but only had mass testing done recently? I'm pretty positive that hunters have been eating CWD infected deer long before the it's discovery.

From: krieger
21-Dec-21
CWD was handled just about as well as Covid was. " Follow the science " I'm all about science, it's the morons interpreting what they think the science says, is where the mistakes are made. Rarely have scientist been correct on the initial hypothesis, regardless of the situation.

I spend lots of time and money fighting invasive species that gov't " science " thought was a good thing for the environment.

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