Sitka Gear
Worth watching, CWD presentation
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
[email protected] 11-Jan-23
Jims 12-Jan-23
Missouribreaks 12-Jan-23
Jims 12-Jan-23
cnelk 12-Jan-23
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-23
[email protected] 12-Jan-23
Charlie Rehor 12-Jan-23
rattling_junkie 12-Jan-23
wytex 12-Jan-23
Mike Ukrainetz 12-Jan-23
Missouribreaks 12-Jan-23
Jims 12-Jan-23
Jims 13-Jan-23
11-Jan-23
DENVER - A short two-part documentary film is increasing awareness about chronic wasting disease (CWD) to help people “witness” this disease through the eyes of others.

Even though most hunters and landowners are not "seeing" infected deer in areas with high CWD prevalence, the films demonstrate how CWD is certainly present, explains why it is a major concern, and how stakeholder cooperation is the key to managing the disease.

Two-part documentary film Part 1 - Ride along with Josh Melby, CPW District Wildlife Manager, as he speaks on the importance of working with private landowners to address CWD. Hear from landowners about their personal experiences with CWD on their properties.

Part 2 - Listen to wildlife professionals from Colorado and Wyoming speak to what we’ve learned about CWD and the importance of teamwork to manage the disease.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) developed these films in partnership with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, Colorado Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and multiple private conservation organizations.

About CWD CWD is a prion disease that affects deer, elk and moose. The disease generally lasts 2 - 3 years in deer and is always fatal. CWD is primarily spread from infected animals coming into contact with uninfected animals, and concentrations of animals in small areas increases transmission.

Visit CWD-Info.org for more information about CWD in North America. This info was attached to my CPW E-News. Can be found there on the CPW website.

From: Jims
12-Jan-23
Lots of basic, non-scientific rhetoric in the 2 CWD videos. Nothing said in the videos is new or carries much weight. Lots of generalities are mentioned with absolutely no answers to so many questions. We've heard the same ole things for years and years.

The CPW is well aware that large-scale culling operations are a mistake. They don't even bring that option up in their videos. The CPW learned that culling operations didn't work over 40 years ago when CWD prions were first introduced into Colorado soil. The CPW can also not say that CWD is 100% lethal and how many years before every deer that contracts the disease dies. The CPW and WG&F also have no answers to whether CWD resistance is present in deer and if in fact there is a possibility of resistance alleles. Hunters may actually be killing some of the best genetics in the herd by harvesting older age class bucks that have survived years of CWD prions being present in Colorado and Wyoming soils.

There also is no mention by the CPW that predators do a heck of a good job of SELECTIVELY killing weak and sick CWD deer. Hunters can not selectively harvest CWD positive deer because most CWD deer show absolutely no symptoms.

The research studies conducted in the Estes Valley using tonsil immunohistochemistry (IHC) concluded that large-scale culling of only CWD positive deer didn't significantly impact does and there was only a slight decline in bucks. They were actually testing 1/2 of the herd and killing all positive deer for a number of years. Culling that many positive deer had very little impact on the prevalence of CWD positive deer since the same CWD prions exist in the soil for years and years.

Here is an interesting article you may want to read: https://bioone.org/journals/journal-of-wildlife-diseases/volume-54/issue-3/2018-01-015/EVALUATION-OF-A-TEST-AND-CULL-STRATEGY-FOR-REDUCING-PREVALENCE/10.7589/2018-01-015.full

12-Jan-23
With predators being so efficient at preying on weak, and humans not efficient, are you implying we need more predators such as wolves on the landscape ? Could that be why most game managers prefer more predators ?

From: Jims
12-Jan-23
Yep, coyotes, mtn lions, bears, bobcats, and even wolves could all be our best friend when it comes to combatting CWD. I'm not saying we need more of them. The predators we currently have do a fantastic job of preying on the sick and weak. That's one reason why we see very few CWD positive deer alive that show signs of CWD. Predators are a lot more efficient at targeting sick than any culling or hunting program will ever be. The Estes Park study puts a closure on that idea! Thinning deer and elk populations does absolutely nothing to rid the soil of prions or prevent the spread of CWD that have existed and accumulated in the soil in Colorado and Wyoming for up to 40+ years. We also haven't had a catastrophic die-off anywhere in the US or in the areas where it started back in 1981. When is this mysterious die-off going to happen? We still have old age class bucks in areas where it's been around that long.....how is targeting older age class bucks going to do any good?

Humans must kill a boat-load of deer in order to kill the few CWD positive sick animals that exist. As I mentioned above, culling or targeting older age class bucks is fruitless when prions will exist in soils for years upon years after culling projects. Read the Estes Park study in my post above and it pretty much says the same exact thing in their conclusions. Yep, predators are our best friend. Do we need wolves.....heck no I'm not saying that. The predators we currently have are highly efficient CWD killers!

From: cnelk
12-Jan-23
Just more government politics...

12-Jan-23
We’ve been dealing with CWD in Alberta for 20 years, 30+ years in Saskatchewan, 50+ years in Colorado.

Here’s how it works, the biologist says CWD is going to kill all of your deer so we need to kill them first to stop the spread. You ask, “does a concentrated effort to kill all the deer work?” Answer, NO, it continues to spread.

Colorado, Alberta and Saskatchewan are some of the best places for mule deer in North America. They have had CWD for a very long time. Quit trying to wipe them out, manage the deer like you normally would, end of story.

12-Jan-23
Predators take the sick and weak when opportunity arises but a CWD infected deer is shedding prions for a year or more before symptoms start showing. Culling was basically experimental because no one knew if it would help. It didn't. But, with no other tool in the tool box, managers keep wanting to reach for it.

Doing nothing works as good or better than doing something. For once the best solution is something government beauracracies are good at. I hope they give in and just let it be.

12-Jan-23
Rush always said “Follow the money”. If a state has CWD they get Govt. money.

12-Jan-23
Manitoba had their first 2 cases in their mule deer herd in 2021. They reacted by killing many deer in a certain area from helicopters. This past hunting season they opened the mule deer season for the first time. Some great bucks were taken, I didn't realize we had such good mule deer hunting in MB. The season has remained open until Feb. 5, so that pregnant does can be killed. So, instead of having a draw system to allow hunting opportunities they want all deer to be shot so there are no more opportunities. Makes sense (eye roll).

From: wytex
12-Jan-23
Charlie I sure wish that were true as we know many studying CWD and the feds have not helped that much. It has been the state trying to get a handle on it and manage it. Fed money is only just starting to come into play for CWD for the most part.

12-Jan-23
As Charlie, says follow the money. The government money will come from the state or the feds and the biologists love it. Gives them a chance to run studies and get their work published. It will do nothing to stop the spread. Alberta proved it with millions of dollars put into extensive helicopter killing in the open prairies. It didn’t work.

12-Jan-23
The Feds are involved now, should get real political, and interesting.

From: Jims
12-Jan-23
Lots of basic biology/ecology that the CPW and WG&F seem to have forgotten or totally ignored!

It's actually a pretty simple predator-prey concept. If CWD % in deer increases there is a pretty decent chance that predators will be healthy and potentially predator #'s will also increase. If CWD remains low there is less weak/sick deer to fill predator bellies. The last time I checked there were plenty of coyotes, lions, and bears to feed on weak and sick deer in Colorado and Wyoming!

Also, "survival of the fittest" and "natural selection" come to mind.....gradual genetic change occurs over time to a group of living things. It describes the mechanism of natural selection by explaining how the best-adapted individuals are better suited to their environment. As a result, these individuals are more likely to survive and pass on their genes. Is there CWD resistant alleles that are passed on to those deer that remain fit and survive from 40 years of prions being in Colo soil? Does the CPW know for a fact they aren't complicating things and preventing CWD resistance by targeting mature bucks that likely carry the very best genetic material in deer herds? If CWD is so lethal to older age class bucks would there currently be mature bucks left in deer herds where prions have existed for 40+ years?

Pretty basic and common sense ecology if you ask me!

From: Jims
13-Jan-23
One of the most promising things currently available for fighting CWD prevalence and spread that was brought up in the CPW videos is promoting landowner awareness. Anyone that has spent time hunting public land in Colorado and Wyoming is aware of the extreme amount of hunting pressure that occurs on public land. Both deer and elk know the private/public fence lines and congregate on lightly hunted private land. What is the worse scenario for CWD infection and spread.......the concentration of animals!

Opening up private land access for hunters through Walk-in and HMA programs set up in Wyoming are a great start in the right direction to harvest concentrated animals and scatter big game across the landscape. I think the walk-in programs that have been started in Eastern Colorado and hopefully this program spreads to the Front Range and Western Colorado.

If the CPW and WG&F really want to put their CWD grant money to work, how about working in cooperation with landowners to open up more private land to hunting that will immediately impact CWD prevalence rates by spreading concentrated animals?

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