Sitka Mountain Gear
Tick Question... Paging the doctor...
Connecticut
Contributors to this thread:
Will 07-Jan-16
spike78 07-Jan-16
bb 07-Jan-16
Oneeye 07-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 07-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 07-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 07-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 07-Jan-16
Oneeye 07-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 07-Jan-16
Oneeye 08-Jan-16
Will 08-Jan-16
notme 08-Jan-16
spike78 08-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 08-Jan-16
Will 08-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 08-Jan-16
shawn_in_MA 08-Jan-16
Will 08-Jan-16
Mike in CT 08-Jan-16
shawn_in_MA 08-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 08-Jan-16
shawn_in_MA 08-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 08-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 08-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 08-Jan-16
Mike in CT 08-Jan-16
Toonces 08-Jan-16
Mike in CT 08-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 08-Jan-16
Toonces 08-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 08-Jan-16
Will 08-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 08-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 09-Jan-16
airrow 09-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 09-Jan-16
airrow 09-Jan-16
SixLomaz 09-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 10-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 10-Jan-16
Mike in CT 10-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 10-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 11-Jan-16
Oneeye 11-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 11-Jan-16
Mike in CT 11-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 11-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 11-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 11-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 11-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 11-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 11-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 11-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 12-Jan-16
tobywon 12-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 12-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 12-Jan-16
notme 13-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 13-Jan-16
notme 13-Jan-16
deerman406 14-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 14-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 14-Jan-16
Mike in CT 15-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 15-Jan-16
Mad dog 15-Jan-16
airrow 16-Jan-16
Mike in CT 16-Jan-16
tobywon 16-Jan-16
notme 16-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 16-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 16-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 16-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 16-Jan-16
Mike in CT 16-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 16-Jan-16
Mike in CT 23-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 23-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 23-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 23-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 24-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-16
Toonces 26-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-16
Toonces 26-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-16
spike78 26-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-16
Bloodtrail 26-Jan-16
bigbuckbob 26-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 26-Jan-16
Toonces 27-Jan-16
Cory Valerio 27-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 27-Jan-16
notme 29-Jan-16
Dr. Williams 29-Jan-16
From: Will
07-Jan-16
Ill be curious everyone's thoughts on this, but especially Dr Williams.

I'm curious, why, as deer density has fallen precipitously in my neck of the woods (central MA, near quabbin reservoir... deer density decrease is fact, not opinion so to speak) that Lyme disease has only increased.

Is it possible that we (I use that loosely) are missing something, and that deer are a vector, but perhaps a bigger vector is another creature - say mice or chipmunks or what not? Could also be confirmation bias on my part given I'm not aware of actual, research on this topic in my neck of the woods...

Perhaps this has been researched well in other areas (sounds like this was the point of the whole Reading thing that's the focus of the other thread), I'm not real up to the moment with reviewing the lit on Lyme disease, outside strategies to minimize ones contracting it after exposure (CDC treatment protocol etc)... it just seems weird that, at least in this area, way fewer deer are around but way more Lyme cases are too.

Is the disease just a "new" malady and it literally was not around 30 years ago or 25 years ago, and now it is?

Legit question that's bugged me for a few years here. I'm not trying to start a Richard measuring contest :)!

From: spike78
07-Jan-16
I believe since their are more smaller creatures then deer that you would get more ticks with more mice then a few deer. Try this one out Doc, kill off the coyotes equals more mice equals more ticks. Try that for a study.

From: bb
07-Jan-16
40- 50 years ago, I never remember seeing ticks at all and I spent almost every waking minute in the woods, it was unheard of to see a tick at least in my stomping grounds, Clinton, Killingworth, Deep River, Chester, Essex Westbrook Old Saybrook That seems to have changed late 70's early 80's, we started seeing ticks but certainly not to the degree that we do now.

From: Oneeye
07-Jan-16
Its a fact that the smaller animals specifically mice are the source of the increased deer ticks. Yes the adult ticks are found on the deer but the number of mice is a much better indicator of lyme diease carrying ticks per acre. Case in point a yale study showed the high density occurance of barberry and multiflora rose increased lyme diease by 800%. In shaded damp areas under those bushes allow ticks to thrive and that is where mice love to run and nest. "Deer " tick is almost a total misnomer.

From: Dr. Williams
07-Jan-16
Actually One eye, you are quoting my own research back to me. It was an Ag Station publication that I wrote based on my research. Your numbers are a little off, but I appreciate the shout out. This is pretty complex and I'm at the gym. Let me hit the treadmill, think about this, and I'll get back to my fellow MassHoles in a bit. Thanks.

From: Dr. Williams
07-Jan-16

Dr. Williams's Link
Some popular reading on the topic.

From: Dr. Williams
07-Jan-16

Dr. Williams's Link

From: Dr. Williams
07-Jan-16

Dr. Williams's Link
And here.

From: Oneeye
07-Jan-16
The question i have is with an increase of predators why has cases of lyne increased? Obviously some of that is better diagnosis but as predeators of small animals like coyotes and bobcats have increased why not a drop in cases?

From: Dr. Williams
07-Jan-16
So the sentiment I'm getting here is that guys want to blame anything else beside deer for the tick and disease epidemic. I've seen it before and I'll do my best. The tick life cycle requires a large mammal to feed adult ticks to be able to lay eggs. Research shows that 90% of adult ticks feed on deer. And that if you reduce deer, tick abundance drops as well. If you reduce deer density to less than 10/sm, ticks virtually disappear.

Now the disease cycle. Immature stages of ticks feed on small rodents, mostly mice, that have the pathogens that cause diseases in their bloodstream. Ticks feed on them, uptake pathogens, feed on you or me, and we get sick.

So more deer = more ticks. More mice = more ticks infected with pathogens. More ticks = more infected ticks.

There has been computer modeling research that has shown if you increase mouse predators like foxes (or coyotes, owls, snakes, hawks, etc.) you should see disease decrease. Problem is, it's computer science. No one has shown that to work in reality. Basically mice are too small and too prolific to be able to control in the wild.

Barberry. Yes, it provides a humid environment the ticks love. Ticks also do well there. But controlling mice is near impossible, controlling vegetation regionally is expensive, but deer management is well, manageable. Well, kind of. But has yet to be shown to be effective on non-islands. Working on it.

From: Oneeye
08-Jan-16
I call bs on the deer thing. claiming one mammal is a cause or cure is misdirecting the problem. If deer are reduced other mammals will fill the void so ticks will continue to be present. A whole sale approach to mice would be just as effective or more likely more effective Its my understanding yale has a research study now where mice run thru a box treated with permethrin to reduce ticks. I have purchased cotton balls soaked with permethrin (tick tubes) and had better success in reducing tick population then trying to remove all deer. But hey ill be honest and admit i used the "deer tick lie" to gain permission for hunting properties as i know many "tick committees" use for towns.

From: Will
08-Jan-16
Dr Williams - Thanks for the links. Ill check them out this weekend. Modeling can be interesting and can show direction for sure. I'm not sure how well it has been developed or how well it works in a wildlife/environmental study though... I'm only estimating from modeling tools used in the study of human performance which are not perfect, but certainly can approximate actual performance fairly well where they are used.

So, it's the mice that carry the pathogens and the ticks take the pathogens up from the mice... then are enabled to travel greater distances when picked up by a larger mammal (deer for example) and thus increase the rate they pass the pathogens around?

I'm I getting that correct?

Again, I'm asking legitimately, not trying to troll or get more arguing going. This is one thing I've really pondered.

From: notme
08-Jan-16
Deer..big giant animal , mouse...ittie bittie animal...easier to justify spending money on something you can see over something barely seen...kinda like Obama's gun control,guns can be seen..mental health not so much

From: spike78
08-Jan-16
Uh oh, notme, these guys are gonna murder you. I hunt a few areas with deer and zero ticks. I honestly believe it's the habitat more then the creatures that live there. If it was about different species then I would say no deer would not necessarily mean no ticks. I hunted areas here with 10 or less dpsm and had a ton of ticks. I do find however that you get the most on you in thick brushy areas more then oak or pine forests with scarcer undergrowth.

From: Dr. Williams
08-Jan-16
Sorry Will. I never answered your question that started this thread. I am sure deer density has dropped, but not to the threshold that dramatically impacts tick abundances. Densities of 10-12 deer/sm will see ticks virtually disappear, and we are trying to show that is the case in non-insular settings. As for the increase in Lyme disease, if deer are reduced, then the same number, or slightly reduced number of ticks need to seek a bloodmeal on another host. So they feed on small and medium-sized mammals; mice, chipmunks, squirrels, voles, shrews, etc. It is these smaller guys that are the reservoirs for the various pathogens, or host competent reservoirs for the pathogens. Deer are host incompetent, meaning they do not pass the pathogens onto ticks. So basically they are a dilution host, meaning they feed ticks and make more ticks, but don’t do anything for disease. So basically, with lots of deer you have lots of ticks with a lower percentage of infection with the pathogens. With fewer deer, you have fewer ticks, but not substantially fewer, which have a higher infection percentage with these pathogens so greater likelihood you are going to get sick if you are bitten by one. With no deer or at very low density, ticks virtually disappear.

Ticks are the vector, meaning they are the ones that pass the pathogens that get us sick onto us. The mice and small mammals are the reservoirs for those pathogens, meaning the pathogens are in their bloodstream. The vector (ticks) take the pathogens out of the reservoir bloodstream and puts them into ours. And the transmission cycle of these guys is pretty ecologically complex, but makes sense. And it is a relatively new disease that people keep discovering new aspects every couple years. And yes, the juvenile tick stages feed on mice and stay local. Adults hitch a ride on deer and travel.

BB. Your area of CT (and mine) is the epicenter for tick-borne diseases in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. Maps show Lyme disease originating on the CT Shoreline and spreading out throughout the rest of the East Coast. Babesia, another tick-borne disease that can be fatal, is not as prolific as Lyme, but is also following the same pattern of spread.

Oneeye. Yes predators have increased, but deer are not yet at low enough abundance to cause a crash in tick abundance. They are low enough to frustrate hunters, but continue to frustrate non-hunting residents worried about disease. And like I said, there was some modeling work done saying if foxes increase, mice decrease, and therefore tick borne disease decreases. That is intuitive, and has not been demonstrated in the field because Mother Nature is a lot more complex than a simple computer model like that.

And I knew you were going to call bs on deer. I even stated that in my last response. I am not sure what mammals you think will fill their void. Moose? The bait boxes for mice you describe contain fipronil, the active ingredient in Frontline for pets. And yes, those tick tubes have shown limited success. Purchasing those items for use around your house is a great step for reducing your risk. But if a town like say Redding decides to confront tick-borne disease head on, it would be cost prohibitive to purchase those products for every resident. Seeing as deer are hosts for 90% of adult ticks, they range over dozens of people’s properties, and research has shown if you reduce deer sufficiently, ticks disappear, it makes sense to target deer density to have an area-wide impacts on ticks.

From: Will
08-Jan-16
Dr Williams - that's very interesting info - thank you!

This is why it's so odd to me. 20~ years ago in my area of MA, we had 60+d/sq/mi in quabbin and immediate surrounding area was not to different.

Now if I remember correctly, mdfw feels this area is at 6-8d/sq/mi.

Lyme disease was almost unheard of in this area 20 years ago.

Today, I know more people who have had it, than that have not.

20+ years ago fishing, hiking, hunting, mountain biking, etc... almost never a tick seen and if one was, it was a "dog tick" vs a "deer tick".

today, same areas, ticks often seen, and just as often or more often deer ticks than dog ticks.

Note that by areas, i'm not talking about specific patches of cover, I'm talking about the eastern border of the quabbin reservoir - so about 20~ miles of area in a straight line.

That's why I've been curious about the deer numbers and ticks thing. It seems like, if deer numbers impacted tick disease transmission rates, we'd be a poster child for why deer numbers are not a factor. But, with fewer deer, there is more lyme disease (and increasing rates of the other diseases like Babesia).

It's made me think, the deer are not the problem, but that the environment (warming perhaps or fragmentation, or loss of old growth etc) is more related to the disease's proliferation.

Like I said at first though, I could very well have a case of confirmation bias given I'm looking very locally and extrapolating from observations mixed with a few facts, certainly not a well designed trial ;)

I appreciate your thoughts and the paper links.

From: bigbuckbob
08-Jan-16
The CDC doesn't mention killing deer as a suitable method for tick and disease control. Preventing tick bites and reducing the risk of ticks in your yards, on your pets and on yourself are all given as viable solutions to the tick problem. So if disease control is the #1 reason for killing deer, I think the CDC would at least list it as an option.

http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/index.html

From: shawn_in_MA
08-Jan-16
Will I agree 100% with your last post. Any time you spend time in or around Quabbin you will definitely be covered up in ticks. It certainly wasn't like that 20 years ago. The numbers I have repeatedly heard for this area of the state are either 6-8dpsm or 8-10dpsm. It is most definitely lower than the 10-12dpsm that ticks are supposed to disappear at. Walking at Wachusett Reservoir you will get covered in ticks as well, but that is expected as the deer density there is through the roof.

From: Will
08-Jan-16
Exactly Shawn. Am I crazy, or do you recall 60+ per mile as the numbers noted in the quabbin pre hunt? I'm pretty sure that's correct.

From: Mike in CT
08-Jan-16

Mike in CT's Link
Will,

You're hitting the nail squarely on the head; unless you're talking about some very specific situations there hasn't been any correlation shown between a reduction in deer numbers and a decrease in lyme incidence.

To begin with there is a fair amount of literature on the ability (virtually none in practical terms) to eliminate any zoonotic (passed between animals and humans)disease; start with Harvard School of Public Health for one good source of information on this topic.

You can also get some good information thought the Centers for Disease Control (including charts that show areas of the US with high deer numbers but low lyme incidence and vice versa). In 2010 for example, despite having large areas with deer densities of 4 dpsm the state of Maine ranked 5th nationally in lyme incidence.

Perhaps an even better illustration would be the town of Westport, CT. Westport does not allow hunting and has a stable deer population of approximately 30 dpsm. In 2014 there was only 1 confirmed case of lyme, and 5 probable cases, down from 57 cases in 2005. The town decided to coexist with nature rather than to try and artificially "manage" nature. The results speak for themselves.

Like any vector-borne disease you have "options" to deal with lyme. Option 1 and possibly the best long-term option would be vaccine development. The Lymerix vaccine had been tried between 1998 and 2002 but was eventually pulled from the market. The link I attached speaks to a potential new vaccine that shows real promise.

Option 2 would involve take precautions (or preventative steps if you prefer), many which hunters and seasoned hikers have been doing for years; checking thoroughly for ticks upon leaving the woods. Homeowners, children can also take certain steps to reduce risk of exposure.

Option 3 would be to try to control either the hosts or the environments that facilitate population growth of the ticks. Option 3 is likely the most expensive to undertake and realistically probably offers the lowest return on investment.

As someone personally impacted by lyme (my wife has damage to both knees from it) I have little love for the little black bugs. The reality is though that unless we're talking about insular settings (such as Monhegan Island for one) where many variables are easily controlled and where you can realistically pound deer numbers down to very low if not zero killing deer to reduce lyme in non-insular settings is at best a fools errand.

From: shawn_in_MA
08-Jan-16
Yes that is correct as well to the best of my knowledge. Inside the Quabbin boundaries they have done a good job lowering the deer numbers to as low or I would dare say even lower than the surrounding land. The forest is certainly healthier now (as long as they start cutting in there again soon)too. Moose are becoming more and more prevalent in there though. Our group of 6 guys hunted Hardwick this year. I was the only one to see a deer this year (one horned spike which I chose not to shoot) but the other guys saw 6-8 for sure different moose during the hunt

From: bigbuckbob
08-Jan-16
The CDC doesn't mention killing deer as a suitable method for tick and disease control. Preventing tick bites and reducing the risk of ticks in your yards, on your pets and on yourself are all given as viable solutions to the tick problem. So if disease control is the #1 reason for killing deer, I think the CDC would at least list it as an option. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/index.html

From: shawn_in_MA
08-Jan-16
Ok thanks for posting the same info again bob.

From: Dr. Williams
08-Jan-16
Mike. You guys keep saying there is no correlation between deer reduction and Lyme disease, but there is. From right here in CT, published in 2014 in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Kilpatrick, H. J., A. M. LaBonte, and K. C. Stafford, III. 2014. The relationship between deer density, tick abundance, and human cases of Lyme disease in a residential community. Journal of Medical Entomology 51:777-784.

I have included the title page and Figure 5 from said publication below.

If you look at Lyme incidence in Maine in 2014 (instead of 2010), it ranked #1 nationwide at 88 Lyme disease cases per 100,000 population. Connecticut was 6th with 47.8/100,000. Data as you know can be seen here: http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/tables.html. And it can be argued that any state has large areas with deer densities as low as 4/sm: downtown Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Meriden, Boston, Worcester, Portland, Augusta, Candlewood Lake, Sagatuck Reservoir, Bradley Airport, etc. etc. Funny you mention Maine because it is the state where LD is emerging (as seen here) and we are collaborating with a research crew up there on another big project.

Westport manages deer by hitting them with their vehicles. Not exactly the best for animal welfare. And I am sure that Glen’s FLIR survey this year will show there are 7.5 deer/square mile in Westport, 25% of 30.

I do agree with your disease prevention options, and I just heard today that Merck is coming close to a human vaccination. I am sorry your wife is dealing with long-term effect from LD, but also a tick is not a “little black bug”, it’s not an even an insect, it’s an arachnid like spiders and scorpions. And it is easy to say reaching such low densities of deer will not work on ticks in non-insular settings and that it “is at best a fools [sic] errand” when it has never been investigated. It might not work, but presently, we can only speculate that it probably will given that it works on islands and peninsulas.

From: Dr. Williams
08-Jan-16

Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
Dr. Williams's embedded Photo

From: Dr. Williams
08-Jan-16

Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
Dr. Williams's embedded Photo

From: Mike in CT
08-Jan-16
Scott,

Correction; I have said that correlation has only been demonstrated in insular settings, a statement you have also posted. Stating it has not been demonstrated in non-insular settings is again consistent with what you have posted.

Regarding Westport and DVA (deer-vehicle accidents); while I don't want to minimize the financial, not to mention personal ramifications if the population is well above what the established threshold of success was in insular communities (such as the citation you've posted above) then it is certainly valid to point out the low incidence of lyme as a function, or relative to deer population.

As the results in insular settings are not in dispute I don't see what is to be gained by re-posting them; if/when studies in open settings show that correlation that would be an entirely different matter. As there are many examples (easily obtained from a search of CDC statistics) of high deer, low lyme incidence and vice versa and we are looking at a cause-effect relationship in similar open settings in CT, that is where the focus belongs.

Yes, we can speculate on what might work or we can look at what similar settings have shown and draw an entirely reasonable conclusion that other factors in open settings play a more important role than deer.

Thank you for you kind comments with regard to my wife; I don't think anyone imagines the realistic prospect of needing double knee replacement before the age of 50.

From: Toonces
08-Jan-16
Doc,

Maybe this is answered somewhere in the study but deer density and lyme disease numbers were already dropping prior to hunting being implemented.

What caused the drop in deer between 1997 and 2000 if it wasn't hunting?

Also what caused the massive spike in Lyme disease cases between 1996 and 1998? That spike doesn't seem to correlate with that dramatic a spike in deer numbers?

Could that spike have to do with diagnosis either correctly diagnosing it or incorrectly diagnosing it? Is it possible the Spike involved a doctor or doctor making a series of misdiagnosis? Does the study include a margin for error to take that into account?

Not trying to be argumentative (seriously not), just curious, as from what I understand lyme disease is not easy to diagnose.

From: Mike in CT
08-Jan-16
Toonces,

As with many infectious diseases methods of diagnosis improve over time; this has defintely been the case with lyme disease. The increasing improvements in diagnostics techniques such as PCR have facilitated improved diagnosis.

One other factor to weigh is also the fact that in a disease where symptoms can mimic a variety of conditions differential diagnosis can be challenging. For example, people don't always develop a bulls-eye rash; if a person was not aware of being bitten by a tick, didn't develop the rash than a doctor might be concerned with an autoimmune disease like lupus, for example as a possible cause of joint pain/damage.

Increasing public awareness can also help improve diagnosis; once the public became more aware of lyme they became more vigilant in looking for symptoms and taking note of any type of bite, whether a rash developed or not. Ask any clincian and they'll tell you the better the patient history the better the likelihood of a definitive diagnosis sooner, rather than later.

Some decreases in lyme disease are also attributable to improvements in diagnosis. For example, the human body manufacturers different types of antibodies; IgM is made quickly after exposure and detection of this class of antibody is highly indicative of active infection. IgG on the other hand develops over time and can confer immunity to a disease (you measure titers of this antibody when confirming effectiveness of vaccinations, for example some employers require documentation of immunity to diseases like mumps of hepatitis-an IgG titer test would confirm this immunity).

If early tests only looked for IgG class antibodies to Borrelia burdorferii (the bacterium involved in lyme) you can get positive results that do not indicate active infection, only past exposure. Refinements in diagnostic techniques would eliminate these "positive" and thereby lead to a decrease in number of cases as measured against past years.

Hope this was helpful and good questions.

From: bigbuckbob
08-Jan-16
Mike sorry to hear about your wife's own this hope she gets better soon. I have a friend who's been dealing with Lyme disease for about 20 years all the symptoms are just about gone but he never knows if it's going to come back

From: Toonces
08-Jan-16
Thanks,

So assuming diagnosis has improved on this over the time period of the study, it is possible that decline in diagnosed cases between 1997 and 2007, might be partially explained by less misdiagnosis?

Did something happen between 1997 and 2001 that may have improved the accuracy of diagnosis that contributed to the leveling of diagnosed cases after 2001?

Again - haven't read the study, nor do I plan on it, but based on the graph alone all I see is a corollary between lyme disease diagnosis and deer numbers.

If the study made a definitive conclusion that less deer cause less lyme, there needs to be more to it than just a corollary. There has to be a showing of cause and affect, and the removal of alternative causes.

Again I assume there is in the study.

From: Dr. Williams
08-Jan-16
I have had a few back and forth conversations with David Stainbrook and he estimates deer density somehow by modeling using harvest and not by surveys. Am I right? Some colleagues of mine and I feel he has a tendency to underestimate densities. But if he is talking numbers that low, there can't be a lot around. Would be interesting to try vetted aerial survey methodology up there and see what we see from the air. I think we may have offered that to David and nothing came of it.

From: Will
08-Jan-16
Dr Williams,

I think Dr Stainbrook (I think he's a PhD correct?) started here maybe 2-3 years ago. The high numbers were from pre hunt - so like 20 years ago... I'm not sure if that was Steve Williams or whoever was after him.

The 6-10 range that I noted (6-8) and Shawn noted (8-10) is from recent years, and point blank, I think before Dr Stainbrook started here. He may have numbers that he's using, but I'm not sure.

I just poked the google machine and saw a paper noting 20-50/sqmi in the res at the time of the hunt starting 1991 while the state avg at that time was supposedly 8-10/sqmi. Another paper suggested the quabbin number as 60/sqmi in 1991 at the start of the hunt.

Looks like year 1 came with about 575 deer taken. This year, 48 were taken. I couldn't find concrete current numbers for a dpsm estimate.

From: Dr. Williams
08-Jan-16
Stainbrook is not a PhD. And yes he has only been hired a few years and he's young. Give him a couple years as he figures this out.

Those numbers are all over the place. I guess it's even harder to come up with densities if you don't have a baseline and don't do any survey work. That MA biologist job, and most actually, are pretty thankless. There's been a lot of turnover in that position. I hope he does well.

From: bigbuckbob
09-Jan-16
Does the chart reflect the impact of hunting on the deer herd? Hunting was able to drop the deer herd to near zero levels?

From: airrow
09-Jan-16
Bob - Mumford Cove in Groton, CT. was a test study the State of Connecticut did and it became the basic model for all the deer reduction and tick propaganda currently being used in Zone 11, Fairfield County. When you look at the graph in 2002 you see they exterminated the deer from the 1/3 square mile area, (peninsula). From 2007 through 2014 Mumford cove has seen an increase in Lyme disease incidence.

" There is no study demonstrating either: (a) the reduction of tick disease as a result of deer reduction in a mainland community comparable to Newtown; or (b) the reduction in tick-borne disease as the result of a moderate reduction in deer density anywhere. Decreases in tick borne incidence as a result of deer reduction have been reported only where deer were eliminated or reduced to 10 dpsm in small and geographically isolated communities such as islands and peninsulas. Even there, a recent re-analyzed Mumford Cove study, one of the DEEP`s most intensive and best-known deer reductions efforts, found that since the cull was implemented, Lyme disease incidence has not declined to a statistically significant extent and is indeed nominally higher than in surrounding control areas of Groton.

From: Dr. Williams
09-Jan-16
Is Mike ghost writing for you Glen? Show me the data that corroborate the statement "From 2007 through 2014 Mumford cove has seen an increase in Lyme disease incidence." I find it rather convenient that you (or Mike) would say that given the graph I provided where the X axis stops at 2007.

From: airrow
09-Jan-16
I'm sorry, I just assumed you'd kept up with the CT Department of Health statistics on Lyme. I took it as a given that you'd be aware that they compile them every year; besides the years shown on your chart they've done so for the years 2008-2014, just so we're clear.

From: SixLomaz
09-Jan-16
Touche ... pussy cat ... touche!

From: bigbuckbob
10-Jan-16
Ouch!

From: Dr. Williams
10-Jan-16
Ouch? Touché? Seriously? Let's rehash. Mike says there are no data linking LD cases to deer. I provide the peer-reviewed data counter to his argument. Glen makes a bogus statement that I ask him to back up with some kind of reference. Then he tells me that DPH keeps stats on LD. He's right, but that is not proof that "From 2007 through 2014 Mumford Cove has seen an increase in Lyme disease incidence."

Still waiting. . .

From: Mike in CT
10-Jan-16
Scott,

I think you should grab a bag of Tostitos, some salsa, turn on the TV and relax over a football game; you are coming unglued and really need to chill.

Let's rehash. Mike says there are no data linking LD cases to deer.

I know you're having a bad day when this statement runs counter to an earlier statement you made on this very thread; allow me to refresh your memory:

"Mike. You guys keep saying there is no correlation between deer reduction and Lyme disease, but there is. From right here in CT, published in 2014 in the Journal of Medical Entomology."

I hope you realize there's a vast difference between questioning a correlation between reduction in deer numbers to Lyme disease and stating there is no correlation between deer and Lyme disease. Your statement above only questions my posting about reduction of deer numbers and LD, so at least a day or so ago you knew I was not making any such claims as no correlation between LD and deer.

I'll chalk this boo-boo up to a bad day and let it go. Kindly do not repeat this misrepresentation again.

Now, as to what I actually said, here is my response to Will:

"Will,

You're hitting the nail squarely on the head; unless you're talking about some very specific situations there hasn't been any correlation shown between a reduction in deer numbers and a decrease in lyme incidence."

Let me know if I really need to go back and list the probably dozens of posts where I've acknowledged successful reduction in LD incidence in insular settings like Mumford Cove and Monhegan Island. God knows I've posted them plenty of times.

As to the peer-reviewed article you posted it's one I've acknowledged multiple times and have never disputed; as I said, it's clear you're not having a great day.

I could of course point out how you've misrepresented that peer-reviewed data when working with FCMDMA to get communities like Redding and Newtown to sign on to deer reduction citing this study in spite of no evidence to support the results in such non-insular settings.

Unlike your opening salvo at me that one of mine would sink your battleship, wouldn't it?......

From: Dr. Williams
10-Jan-16
Ok Mike, so you are ". . . questioning a correlation between reduction in deer numbers to Lyme disease." Did the reference I posted help clear up that question of yours? The work on Monhegan Island just showed that if you eliminate deer (thanks to White Buffalo BTW) then tick abundances collapse and remaining ticks seek alternate hosts, in this case, rats. Nothing about disease because their were so few residents with which to draw up definitive conclusions on disease impacts. That is what makes Howard's paper so important, direct link from deer reduction to reduction in human diseases.

I'm still waiting on those data showing an increase in Lyme disease in Mumford Cove from 2008-2014. . .

11-Jan-16
I say that all CT. townships should hire WB and sharpshooters to eliminate every mouse in the state first. Maybe a discount of $5.00 per mouse.(they can certainly make taxpayers pay for this right?) Then we go for chipmunks squirrels and raccoons and end up eradicating every deer in the country. Sounds like a great plan eh guys? We'll all be safe from Lyme then.

11-Jan-16
Not many may appreciate my sarcasm and I'm fine with that. Talked to my buddy in Texas today and asked him if they had ticks. He said Yup. WE got 'em and some deer are loaded but in no way would their wildlife biologists consider shooting the deer just to control them. They are pretty smart down there when it comes to managing their deer herds. Granted their ticks don't carry Lyme like they do here, but they do get isolated cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. They worry more about CWD down there. His advice? Wear long sleeves tuck your socks in use Permathrin and protect your families the same way. These nasty critters are not going away by killing off deer populations. With our unusually warm winters they are here to stay.

From: bigbuckbob
11-Jan-16
MikeP

if you're going to use common sense to protect yourself from ticks and Lyme disease, then I'm just not going to read your posts!! It makes far more sense to kill all of the animals since there's more money to be made by paying your friends at White Buffalo! Come on now, use your hear! ;)

From: Oneeye
11-Jan-16
Towns would be much better off buying tick tubes and giving to residents and promoting education about lyme diease rather then focus on killing only one of dozens of vectors of deer tick, bears coyotes bobcats mice foxes etc. But hey theres no federal money in that and then i couldn't knock on land owners doors and say i want help you to remove "deer" for the "deer" ticks. Shh dont let out the secret

From: bigbuckbob
11-Jan-16
Oneeye

I see no harm in explaining to landowners that deer carry ticks and you want to help them with the problem. Since there's no factual evidence to show that less deer equals less Lyme disease in non insular settings you can't lie and say it will definitely reduce Lyme disease, that would just be dishonest.

11-Jan-16
Haha BBB! Love it!

From: Mike in CT
11-Jan-16
Ok Mike, so you are ". . . questioning a correlation between reduction in deer numbers to Lyme disease." Did the reference I posted help clear up that question of yours?

Scott,

Please dispense with this continued fixation of trying to miscast what I've said. As you're perfectly well aware I've questioned the link between deer numbers and Lyme incidence in non-insular settings.

While I appreciate your endless pimping of Howard's paper it is irrelevant to that discussion. What is relevant, indeed all that is relevant is that those results have only been achieved in an insular setting-period.

What is especially relevant, and I'm heartened to see it recognized above is that to use that paper in presentations to non-insular communities in FF county is at best misleading. As an advisor to the FCMDMA I would have expected you to address that misrepresentation long ago. Perhaps you've merely been waiting for that perfect opportunity to step up and do the right thing?

When you can stand up in the scientific community and cite peer-reviewed literature that conclusively shows a link between deer numbers and Lyme incidence in non-insular settings then I would certainly be in support of disseminating that information to the public in the best interest of the public.

In blunt terms, disseminating misinformation under the pretense of serving the public good is not in anyone's best interest; unless, that is if parties benefiting have an agenda that is served by such unethical practices.

From: bigbuckbob
11-Jan-16
I know some guys who are really, really well educated when it comes to cars. They've studied long and hard and can tell you things about an internal combustion engine and automatic transmissions that would make your head spin. But these aren't the guys that I would ask "How do I drive a race car?" That would be a foolish thing to do, and I'm not a foolish person.

Since what I love to do is to enjoy the outdoors and finding mature bucks, I love hearing from guys that know the woods, and how to find those smart, old deer. Some of them may, or may not have their HS diploma, Associates Degree, BS, BA, Masters or Phd, but I wouldn't hesitate to listen to them and put weight on their hunting ability and knowledge of the game we chase.

I want to know more about the life cycle of that mature buck, where he goes, what he does, what he eats, where he sleeps, and to hell with the tick. The only thing a tick has to do with my hunt is,...."I flick them off my clothes when I find them." They're an annoyance, nothing more.

Just trying to things in perspective.

From: Dr. Williams
11-Jan-16
I have said it before and I will say it again. Deer reduction was one treatment used in Redding. There were two others as well that were used to determine the best treatment combination to control ticks. This was not a deer study like you guys have made it out to be. And Bob, if the CDC does not think that deer are part of the problem, why then did they fund a $975,000 grant application that included deer removals as part of that application? And yes, prevention is the best remedy for preventing tick-borne disease for those that are high risk. This is a deer hunting website so you guys are going to use whatever data you can muster up to steer the focus away from deer and just disregard all the data that support it. Just like classic conspiracy theory mentality. But, the problem is, deer play a role in all this. Period.

From: Dr. Williams
11-Jan-16
Thanks for the clarification Mike. That was one of the objectives for the Redding project, to see if deer reduction only in a non-insular setting can reduce tick and disease prevalence. I have said that 100 times on this site. But I appreciate you pointing that out yet again. And yet again, I will say that question went unanswered due to hunter interference. And I will say again, that if hunters had let it unfold, there may have been irrefutable scientific proof to what you are claiming, that deer reduction only does not work to control ticks in a non-insular setting. But now, the only vetted, peer-reviewed, scientific proof we have is that in fact deer reduction alone DOES reduce tick densities and human cases of Lyme disease. You can add all the caveats you want, but that last statement is 100% accurate. If you want, I can show you the literature to back that claim.

From: bigbuckbob
11-Jan-16
This is like the SNL skit about the "Guest that wouldn't leave!!" Some people can't take a hint.

Can anyone help me find some big, mature bucks in the NW corner? I know where a couple are, but always looking for more options.

From: Dr. Williams
11-Jan-16
Barkhamsted Reservoir Bob.

From: bigbuckbob
11-Jan-16
Do I use a boat?

From: Dr. Williams
11-Jan-16
Yes. Swimming deer only.

From: bigbuckbob
12-Jan-16
I'll bring my snorkel and face mask for recovery :)

From: tobywon
12-Jan-16
Don't forget your dinghy Bob :)

From: bigbuckbob
12-Jan-16
My dingy is broken. It leaks, doesn't hold air so it kinda limp and doesn't get much use.

From: bigbuckbob
12-Jan-16
I also can't find anyone who wants to ride it anymore :(

From: notme
13-Jan-16
Eww

From: bigbuckbob
13-Jan-16
notme

I think I need to buy a patch kit that they advertise at 4am each morning. :)

From: notme
13-Jan-16
I used those before..what a pain cleaning the area only to find out it still leaked..was easier to just buy another Suzie Homemaker ehhhhhhh dingy,ya that's it..dingy...

From: deerman406
14-Jan-16
Dr. Williams has anyone done an extensive study to find out why certain animals cannot contract Lyme? I believe cats are immune to it, yet dogs can get it fairly easily. Shawn

From: bigbuckbob
14-Jan-16
deerman

yeah, let's hunt cats :) Too many of them!

From: Dr. Williams
14-Jan-16
I've wondered the same thing to Deerman. My only guess is that wild animals that evolved with it over time and have dealt with it handily. And my guess is that domestication has bred that resistance out of animals like dogs and horses. Cats one could argue, are hardly domesticated as they can so easily revert and survive life in the wild as millions and millions readily do. Perhaps due to this feral trait they have maintained that resistance? Just a scientific wild ass guess, a SWAG.

In this case, I agree with Bob. Feral cats are a scourge to native birds and small mammals, senselessly killing billions of each annually. I'd be happy if every feral cat was removed from the natural world. But boy, is that a can of worms you don't wanna open. Tylenol has been shown to effectively "remove cats from breeding populations" . . .

From: Mike in CT
15-Jan-16
But now, the only vetted, peer-reviewed, scientific proof we have is that in fact deer reduction alone DOES reduce tick densities and human cases of Lyme disease. You can add all the caveats you want, but that last statement is 100% accurate. If you want, I can show you the literature to back that claim.

Sorry Scott, but results obtained in a setting where much greater control of variables is possible is hardly a caveat; it is a significant point of deviation. You can play semantics all you want and that does not alter that open settings present a much different set of variables.

Now when you can show me literature that shows equal lyme incidence reduction in open settings with only deer reduction by all means please do.

Until such time it would be much more appropriate to add the caveat to the FCMDMA publications and to disclose in presentations that no such results have been demonstrated in open settings. Absent those it's nothing short of willful misrepresentation.

From: Dr. Williams
15-Jan-16
Mike. You don't know when to quit, which is what makes this so much fun!

Hunters intervened in a scientific attempt to determine if deer reduction alone could reduce ticks in a non-insular setting. Right? Goals were not met because of hunter intervention? Right? As a result, the only peer-reviewed studies out there, regardless of setting, show that deer reduction = fewer ticks and recently, if you reduce deer densities, you will reduce Lyme disease in humans. THAT is exactly my point. There is no study to show sufficient deer reduction reduces ticks in non-insular settings, therefore, the literature base shows that deer reduction equals a reduction in ticks and Lyme disease. That is all we can conclusively say now. Right?

From: Mad dog
15-Jan-16
Hey Doc and the others. Has there been any research on Ticks preferring some human hosts over others? A guy a hunt with almost ALWAYS has a few on his body after a hunt and I rarely do. We hunt the same areas, sometimes within a few hundred yards of eachother. Mad Dog

From: airrow
16-Jan-16

airrow's embedded Photo
airrow's embedded Photo
The CAES has done exactly what they said they would do; summed up in the CDC ITM test study proposal stating, " we will incorporate established and novel components that will enhance the outputs and outcomes of the project. " What they really should have said was; we will manipulated the facts and the protocols for the CDC ITM study to promote ourselves and the pre-determined outcome of the study.

From: Mike in CT
16-Jan-16
Scott,

You should have quit while you were only behind, not continued regurgitating the same talking points only to be deservedly buried. Let me know if you find this "fun".

Your study goal was pointless from day one regarding the component of attempting to show a correlation between deer reduction and a decrease in lyme incidence in an open setting.

That component was unecessary from day one as CT had an excellent "test lab" for 10 years; Westport.

Westport has had a stable deer population of approximately 30 dpsm and in 2005 had 57 cases of lyme disease. After adopting a proactive strategy of eduction/prevention the succeeding 10 years has resulted in Westport having only 1 confirmed case of lyme disease in 2014.

No reduction of deer was required to acheive this impact-none.

Please though by all means continue to spin a limited scope study as a magic bullet. Continuation of this practice only highlights at minimum your complete lack of attention to relevant facts (literally right under your nose) and your unholy alliance with a group of individuals solely devoted to destroying wildlife when peaceful coexistance is demonstrably (and highly successfully by the way) quite possible.

Perhaps if you spent more time reviewing scientific literature instead of trying to manufacture it you'd have already realized the evidence was in.

From: tobywon
16-Jan-16
Holy crap, let it go man!!! For someone who just got royally schooled with the accusation that they were flying over Fairfield, you sure have some stones to keep at it.

From: notme
16-Jan-16
Maybe the poor residents of Westport let the servants contract lymes thus the actual residents never came in contact with it...

From: Dr. Williams
16-Jan-16
Glen. The irony of you posting that makes me laugh. I know deep down that is truly what you think we did and it makes you SUPER pissed that you can't figure out how we did it. And this is precisely why I started posting here. I am a public employee and everything I do is open to the public. Through the multiple Freedom of Information Act requests you guys did, you have everything on the project, everything. What you are searching for is simply not there. And I think I have shown that to the guys on this site time and time and time again. There is no conspiracy. We did the project and there are a ton of deer out there. Isn't that the logical explanation? Not for you guys. First it was the correction factor, then it was the area we surveyed, then it was the baiting, then it was that we searched for large concentrations of deer, then it was that we know where all the wintering areas are, and most recently, as Toby pointed out, it was that we actually were searching for deer in Fairfield. Did I miss anything else? Do you think White Buffalo and Davis Aviation have made careers and decent money with conspiracies and manipulation on every project they do, or just in Redding?

From: Dr. Williams
16-Jan-16
Dog. I too have noticed this. I think people's different body chemistries are more or less attractive to ticks. I'm like a tick magnet. My female technician gets maybe like 5% of the ticks I do.

From: Dr. Williams
16-Jan-16
Uh Oh. Looks like Dr. Williams hit a nerve with Mike, who again doesn’t know when to quit. And yes, this is fun. So here we go again.

“Your study goal was pointless from day one regarding the component of attempting to show a correlation between deer reduction and a decrease in lyme [sic] incidence in an open setting.” Why do you say this? Because you can’t hunt in Westport? That doesn’t make sense.

“That component was unecessary [sic] from day one as CT had an excellent "test lab" for 10 years; Westport. Westport has had a stable deer population of approximately 30 dpsm and in 2005 had 57 cases of lyme [sic] disease. After adopting a proactive strategy of eduction[sic]/prevention the succeeding 10 years has resulted in Westport having only 1 confirmed case of lyme [sic] disease in 2014. No reduction of deer was required to acheive [sic] this impact-none.”

So let me get this straight. My study of looking to see if an experimental variable (deer reduction) would have an impact on tick abundance was “unecessary [sic] from day one” because reported Lyme disease cases dropped in Westport. Hmmmmm. Mike, I hate to break it to you, but that is not very scientific. So Lyme disease cases drop and your conclusion is “Well duh, you can’t hunt in Westport, so it’s obviously not the deer.” Let’s see how far along the publication process you get with an experiment of that kind. It is a little more complex than that and your synopsis of that situation is incredibly obtuse, close-minded, and self-serving of you. I thought you were a scientist.

And Jeez Mike, you sound like you belong in PETA when you make statements like these: “. . .destroying wildlife when peaceful coexistance[sic] is demonstrably (and highly successfully by the way) quite possible.” I’ve got a handle on the literature. And I am not trying to manufacture it, my profession requires me to add to it.

How did I do with my quotes THIS time? Ok??

From: Dr. Williams
16-Jan-16

Dr. Williams's Link
From the Department of Public Health webpage: See link too. There is also a link that addresses deer and ticks.

The reported incidence, which sets the trend for Lyme disease over time, is due to many changing factors that include:

Weather

Tick abundance, habitat, and infectivity rates

Deer population and habitat

Recognition of the disease by those infected and health care practitioners

Living in a wooded area

Potential for contact with ticks, including recreational activities

Disease reporting by the healthcare provider

But all Mike sees is DEER. My point that I feel I shouldn't have to make is there are a lot of other variables. That is why we do scientific experiments, to control for other variables.

From: Mike in CT
16-Jan-16
Why do you say this? Because you can’t hunt in Westport? That doesn’t make sense.

Hunting has nothing to do with it; decrease in lyme incidence with 3 times the population levels cited as desirable for lyme incidence reduction does.

This makes perfect sense unless the position staked out centers on deer reduction. It that's the case then being obtuse makes for a passable defense I suppose.

So Lyme disease cases drop and your conclusion is “Well duh, you can’t hunt in Westport, so it’s obviously not the deer.”

No, the conclusion is deer numbers remain 3 times above cited target levels for lyme incidence reduction yet lyme incidence declined. The conclusion is it appears that it is an oversimplification to place the blame on the deer given those respective numbers.

Pretending I ascribed that reality to a lack the argument when it shows the holes in your thesis.

And I am not trying to manufacture it, my profession requires me to add to it.

Your profession requiree you to develop a study protocol and then adhere to it. Materials and methods are set at the onset of a study and remain constant. Changing those parameters during the course of a study invalidates the study. To borrow one of your favorite words it renders the results of that study "junk." As a scientist that's the last thing that should ever need to be pointed out to you.

BTW, your quoting skills have improved by leaps and bounds. Add in improvements in reading comprehension, accurate representation of what's actually said and strict adherence to valid scientific practices and you may amount to something yet.

From: Dr. Williams
16-Jan-16
This is a pretty lame "study." This wouldn't pass the 8th grade scientific method litmus test. And would not get published in Reader's Digest. But it supports your and Glen's determination that deer play no role. Just as VisionAir's crappy results support your conclusion contrary to every other survey done by qualified individuals. For you guys to even attempt to flip this around and suggest that I behaved in the same manner that you guys are on this forum is downright laughable.

From: Mike in CT
23-Jan-16

Mike in CT's Link
This is a pretty lame "study."

I’d agree if I’d ever (or anyone else for that matter) presented it as a study. You know that isn’t the case but misrepresentation seems to be your default setting when things like facts undermine your position.

This wouldn't pass the 8th grade scientific method litmus test. And would not get published in Reader's Digest.

Yet another pointless non-sequitur that only highlights the inconvenience these facts present you with. As a deflection technique I doubt this “analysis” of yours would get published in the “Run Spot Run” books, let alone Reader’s Digest.

But it supports your and Glen's determination that deer play no role.

No, it supports my position that there is evidence that strongly suggests that decimating the deer herd is not a prerequisite for reducing the incidence of Lyme disease. If you wish to advance the argument that going from 57 cases to 1 confirmed case is not a reduction in Lyme incidence by all means please do so. The entertainment value should be as the ad campaign states “priceless.”

Just as VisionAir's crappy results support your conclusion contrary to every other survey done by qualified individuals.

I also eagerly await your posting the credentials you possess that qualify you to weigh in on any aerial survey company’s results. As you tend to gravitate towards obfuscation those would be YOUR credentials, YOUR expertise in the field of FLIR wildlife surveys. (Seeing as you have been unable to provide locations of "deer" on the Davis film one has solid footing to question that you have any expertise at all.) Basing your “expert analysis” on the discredited Davis analysis of the Vision Air survey doesn’t count either. You remember that one right Scott? The one where “error” was ascribed to flying over deer while changing from scan to zoom mode on her “camera”? The one that was ignorant of the fact that her equipment has “multiple cameras” (unlike his hand-held camera). The same “expert” who missed the resolution of her camera equipment by a laughably wide margin?

For you guys to even attempt to flip this around and suggest that I behaved in the same manner that you guys are on this forum is downright laughable.

The fact of the matter is it is you who is attempting to flip the script here. I wish you’d behaved in a like manner as Glen and I (and others here) have. We’ve been properly focused on conservation of deer; no one can find a single post from you that even hints at conservation, only an unending stream of posts carping about deer destruction.

Kindly point to any incidence you can cite of Glen or I (or any of the other posters here) have of advancing a position (or argument) while posting under an assumed name. By all means please demonstrate a similar lack of integrity exists and then deign to compare your behavior to anyone else’s here. Talk about laughable!

We’ve focused on carrying on the hunting tradition and passing it on to the next generation of hunters; you’ve posted nothing but ridicule for those who hold that tradition dear.

I’ve properly pointed out that quantifiable evidence is right around the corner from Redding (literally) that suggests deer decimation is not the absolute prerequisite for Lyme incidence reduction you maintain it to be. Moreover you serve in an advisory capacity for an organization (Fairfield County Municipal Deer Alliance) that promotes that very decimation of deer and does so by misrepresenting a paper that does not show the results that organization touts as a necessary step for the reduction of Lyme incidence in a non-insular setting. (Tell me again about those sterling scientific ethics you claim-really laughable given how quickly you dispense with them when convenient.)

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), an organization vastly more qualified on the subject of zoonotic diseases than you will ever be does not advocate culling deer to control Lyme disease incidence. My position is in line with theirs (not surprising as between the two of us I am the only qualified clinical microbiologist.)

The CDC by the way also tracks Lyme disease incidence by state and has statistics showing high populations of deer in areas with low incidence of Lyme disease (similar to Wesport) and vice versa.

It is you, not I who have failed to adhere to study standards by establishing baseline parameters and then adhering to them for the duration of the study. In expanding the size of the test areas, expanding the areas of baiting and expanding the areas of deer culls you have precluded any hope of drawing meaningful conclusions from your “study”. So that others reading this may be aware that I know of what I speak the link is provided to show I have a base of knowledge to draw from; publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

While you may be able to salvage the non-deer portions of your study the deer portion of it has been rendered “junk” by your actions in purposely altering your baseline parameters as mentioned above.

The facts support my position of the deer/Lyme issue, not yours. This is not spin or re-writing scientific fact, merely the accurate reporting of same; you might want to try it; it might accidentally stick.

What you have proven conclusively on this thread to all who are truly paying attention is that you have neither the interest nor comportment to address valid points that run contrary to your staked-out position(s). If you had the ability to refute the evidence, presented history is clear; you would have done so and done so with a systematic laying out of your supporting evidence.

What we’ve gotten instead is a steady stream of non-sequiturs, misrepresentations of statements and simply ridiculous drivel.

Just so we’re clear; I have no interest in going beyond this post to respond to further manifestations of your inability to deal ethically or honestly with contrary viewpoints that have sound science fact behind them. You have already wasted exponentially more of my time than you are worth.

From: bigbuckbob
23-Jan-16
Mike

thanks for those comments! I wish I could state things as clear and concise, because you hit it on the head.

I can't think of anyone else that has been on this site promoting some self serving topic. It would be like a bow mfg posting thread after thread for 2 years about why his bow is the ONLY bow you should be using and anyone who thinks otherwise is just ignorant. No room for opposing views.

I've never seen a post from Scott about "hunting", either a live hunt or a story about his hunt yesterday. All we get is the propaganda on wiping out the deer herd to save the general public from Lyme disease. Why? Because that's his area of study. That promotes his agenda.

From: Dr. Williams
23-Jan-16
Mike, you're still here?

From: Dr. Williams
23-Jan-16
Mike. I'll get around to reading your latest diatribe soon. I can't do it now, but out of curiosity, I did click your link. A very impressive piece of pharmaceutical literature you co-authored. No one here doubts your intelligence, including me. But see where I quickly grow impatient is when you get on here, talk to me like I'm a child, make false accusations, when it is you who are completely wrong or misinformed or making such a rookie mistake as to enter in the wrong coordinates. See the difference is, I'm not on a pharmaceutical blog lambasting you, incorrectly, about say the assessment of Difco ESP 384 blood culture system by terminal subcultures: failure to detect Cryptococcus neoformans in clinical specimens. Why, because I will readily admit I know little about pharmaceuticals. I know what viagra does, when I have a headache, I take a couple ibuprofen, and I know prescription drugs are good but can be really really bad in the wrong hands. That's about the extent of my knowledge on the topic: but I don't feel the need to get on pharmaceutical message boards and announce to everyone as such. I leave that to the experts.

From: Dr. Williams
24-Jan-16
Mike. Just read your harrangue. Classic Mike, quoting me back to me and pointing the finger back at me. Snore. Vision Air's data and technique sucks and produces worthless data. Period. Anyone in the deer management world knows that. I couldn't produce the Davis GPS data because I don't have them. But if you would use your brain and tone down your insecurities and misguided anger, read the Davis report, or read my FOIA thread here, you will see I/we gave you guys the answer on how to obtain those data on your own. Jesus man. Clearly this is not about the "cause" but about hatred of state government and its employees.

25-Jan-16
Thanks Mike. Good post. You obviously have the passion and perseverance to put a thoughtful message out here. We fellow bow hunters appreciate this. Doc (Scott) clearly stated in another post that he's tried bow hunting but didn't warm up to it. Well guess what man? It's only for an elite group of men and women willing to go that extra mile. We are not the idiots you claim us to be. Many of us may not have college degrees but many of us do. Popcorn time! This site sucks now!

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-16
Haha. MikeP. You're funny. I'll counter with an equally ridiculous "study." There were 14 cases of Lyme disease in Westport in 2008. In 2009, there were 25 cases. Therefore, with an increase like that, in the absence of hunting, we have to deduce deer abundance is positively correlated with Lyme disease cases. Right??? With Mike's logic anyway.

Now. Say I lived in Westport and I didn't cut my lawn for a year and Lyme disease cases went down. Clearly, we would have to deduce that grass length in inversely correlated with Lyme disease cases. Right?? Jeez. I should right a paper about that.

My point is you need hard science to back your point, not just seek out only the data that supports the answer you desire.

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-16
Mike P

I agree, these posts have grown tiresome. Scott is a typical government employee who treats the people he's supposed to be working for as subordinates, not worth his time or effort. Disagree with his point of view and he hides behind with his Doctorate degree as though it were a shield that protected him from all criticism or difference of opinion.

There are those of us that have degrees and find no need to address ourselves as "Dr" while posting here or in our professional setting. I didn't go to college to impress people with a title and I would never call myself Dr or ask others to do the same.

I've stopped replying to any of Scott's posts on this site and suggest all others do the same. Then and only then will he go back to the CAES and look for more ways to waste taxpayer's money on other failed studies.

Let's back to talking about hunting experiences and sharing knowledge to help each other succeed.

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-16

Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
Oh Bob. You are shutting me out after all we have been through together?? Awwww, so sad. But you couldn’t resist ignoring me without getting a few digs in could you now?

Since Mike brought up Westport and I was just looking at the Lyme disease case numbers, I thought I would plot out some longer term trends which are clearly more powerful and telling than looking at year to year data. We all agree there is no hunting in Westport right? We all agree there are deer in Westport right? Well, if some whackado animal rights nut takes this graph here to the legislature and says “There is no deer hunting in the Town of Westport and Lyme disease cases have dropped precipitously in the last 15 years. What these data conclude is that hunting does not reduce Lyme disease cases. So the hunters’ argument that they can help control tick-borne disease is bunk.”

THIS is what I have been saying all along. If hunters are going to promise something to a community to increase recreational opportunity, they need to deliver. This Westport example is a believable argument to many if not all legislators with credible data from the Department of Health. I suppose you could counter with “tradition”, but I’m not sure they will understand or could support that.

From: Toonces
26-Jan-16
The two graphs in this thread are interesting.

In both reported Lyme disease is highest in the 1999-2000 range and drops from there.

In one instance there is hunting, in the other instance there isn't.

Looking at the two them it is easy to conclude that there is no corollary between lyme disease and deer hunting.

More so the 1999-2000 spike in both makes me think there could be something else going on, on the diagnosis side.

I don't recall but was Lyme disease in the news a lot that year? Was there heightened awareness among the population and the medical community. Could this have caused a Lyme disease scare during that time period where more people were running to the doctor with a pre-conceived notion they were infected, and more doctors where willing to diagnose it running a higher risk of misdiagnosis? Was the drop in following years caused by improved diagnosis and the scare dying down and have nothing to do with hunting at all? Were their doctors in Westport, or elsewhere, that were making a cottage industry of diagnosing Lyme disease?

To many questions on the case reported numbers for me.

If these have been addressed in the study, then of course I am wrong to call them out. If the case reported numbers are just accepted as fact without further digging, then I skepticism is warranted.

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-16
Toonces, you nailed it. I was hoping someone would bite. You are exactly right. In the case of Westport, there was no intervention and Lyme disease seemed to decline. But as we know reporting rates stink and like you say, there could have been a push to diagnose cases that seemingly inflated numbers in 2000 and maybe people just deal with it now and don't report it and just take a bout of Doxy. So it appears as if cases declined but who knows what is actually happening or what caused the seeming decline. But to attribute the decline to lack of hunting is presumptuous as you are not controlling for any outside factors, hence my grass and anti-hunting example. There are just too many outside variables in play.

In the case of Howard's paper, it was on a much smaller, more manageable scale. Lyme disease cases were determined with direct interviews of several 100 residents after deer were substantially reduced which is much more valid than volunteer reporting on a town-wide level. Howard's paper uses proper scientific methods to suggest that a cause (deer reduction by hunters) lead to an effect (reduction in human Lyme disease cases) while controlling for other variables.

I guess my point is that pointing to junk data that support your cause without regard to collection method and outside variables actually weakens one's argument because it shows desperation to prove your point. Instead of going that route, just prove your point with valid methods. That is what is going to carry weight with managers who use science to make management decisions and approach it with a somewhat open mind. The managers went to school for this stuff and are rather intelligent and can quickly sniff out self-serving bad science that they will not be able to justify to their superiors or their superior's superiors, the CT Legislature.

From: Toonces
26-Jan-16
I guess I don't give Howard's paper any more weight than the other unless he deals with the variables on the diagnosis side and why there was a spike in cases in 1999 - 2000. How did he control variables on the diagnosis side?

You can't just say that Howard's data is better because, it just is.

Did Howard's paper get into the variables involved on the diagnosis side and get into why there was a spike of reported cases in 1999-2000 and why the reported cases were decreasing even before hunting was instituted. Did he address the possibility of a Lyme Disease scare during that time period for both the patients and clinicians? Did he address that improved diagnosis and less paranoia may have caused the reduction in cases, even before hunting started?

Bottom line, I think both graphs are highly suspect unless other factors on the reported cases/diagnosis side are fully vetted.

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-16
Toonces

here's the data from the Westport / Weston Public Health Service & Information dept. They don't mention killing deer as a Lyme disease reduction/control method that they used to achieve the results listed. Education was the key to the reduction in the Lyme disease numbers. You can make what you will from the data, but one thing you can't dispute is that it was done without wiping out the deer herd or reducing it to the magical 8-10 dpsm or spending taxpayer money for hired guns.

Year Number of Lyme Disease Cases in Westport and Weston 2000 169 2001 127 2002 147 2003 63 2004 43 2005 70 2006 40 2007 60 2008 23 2009 43 2010 24 2011 9 2012 11

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of the tiny deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, which lives in the leaf litter and brush founded in and near wooded areas. Ticks become infected with the Lyme disease bacteria when they feed on infected white-footed mice and other small mammals. On average, 20 percent of ticks are infected with the Lyme disease spirochete. Most human cases of Lyme disease are contracted in June, July and August, when the tiny nymphal stage of the tick is most active. Preventing Lyme Disease

There are two basic strategies to prevent Lyme disease.

Reduce the number of deer ticks, particularly in residential areas. Practice personal protection measures, such as daily tick checks.

From: spike78
26-Jan-16
My cousin contracted Lyme a few years ago while hunting in redding and it took two years for a doctor to diagnose him. He went to numerous before they figured it out.

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-16
Spike

My best friend lives in Hebron, doesn't hunt and he got it also. Same situation with diagnosis, took many visits and tests.

From: Bloodtrail
26-Jan-16
Scott, get off your horse. You put your pants on the same way that all of us do. Aren't you the one saying to kill deer to lessen the risk of Lyme Disease??

You point a fat finger at hunters using that tactic to justify killing deer.....I know I have never used that justification to bowhunt. And that reason has runs its course a long time ago when the public was less educated. Stop the insanity already.

Go pick up a bow and watch the leaves like the rest of us.

From: bigbuckbob
26-Jan-16
Blood

But then what happens to the agenda? :)

From: Dr. Williams
26-Jan-16
Howard had a control area that received no intervention with which to compare results from his treatment site where he/they manipulated variables. The culmination of documented and correlated deer, tick, and Lyme disease cases from his treatment site vs control site were solid enough to get through the peer review process and get it published in a very well respected international journal. If his science and writing got through that process, surely it should pass the peer review of the jolly members of CT Bowsite?

Spike. I'd hope that CT doctors would have that diagnosis on the forefront of their minds. Sorry for your cousin. Sucks when it goes undiagnosed. Guys here are high risk and understand tick checks. Joe Public does not yet.

Blood. If Mike is going to create bogus "studies" to prove his "agenda", I'm going to show how and why that is not valid.

From: Toonces
27-Jan-16
I googled last night that in 1999 there was significant attention paid to Lyme in CT and in other states.

I believe that was the year that CT passed a law providing for insurance coverage for lyme disease treatment. (I didn't investigate this thoroughly, but that appears to be the case)

That combined with the increase publicity of lyme at that time could have very likely contributed to the spike of a lyme scare among citizens and increased diagnosis among the medical community.

It is also possible that increased education immediately following the spike lead to a decrease in cases due to the public becoming more aware and exercising reasonable precautions.

In other words there are alternative and reasonable theories that can explained the rise and fall of reported lyme disease cases completely independent of deer hunting.

Did Howard explore and attempt to disapprove other possible explanations for the results?

Peer review or not, I think that report would have a hard time on cross examination, and I am not even a trial lawyer.

From: Cory Valerio
27-Jan-16

Cory Valerio's Link
Here is an interesting study for those interested.

From: Dr. Williams
27-Jan-16
Thanks Cory. I checked it out but haven't read it in full yet.

From: notme
29-Jan-16

notme's Link
http://m.ctpost.com/news/article/Report-More-CT-ticks-linked-to-Lyme-disease-6793032.php

From: Dr. Williams
29-Jan-16

Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
Dr. Williams's embedded Photo
They almost got it right. Lyme disease cases are pretty much throughout the lower 48, with the majority in 14 states.

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