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 :)!
Dr. Williams's Link
Dr. Williams's Link
Dr. Williams's Link
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mike in CT's Link
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
" 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.
Still waiting. . .
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:
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?......
I'm still waiting on those data showing an increase in Lyme disease in Mumford Cove from 2008-2014. . .
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! ;)
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think I need to buy a patch kit that they advertise at 4am each morning. :)
yeah, let's hunt cats :) Too many of them!
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" . . .
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.
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?
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.
“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??
Dr. Williams's Link
The reported incidence, which sets the trend for Lyme disease over time, is due to many changing factors that include:
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.
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.
Mike in CT's Link
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My best friend lives in Hebron, doesn't hunt and he got it also. Same situation with diagnosis, took many visits and tests.
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.
But then what happens to the agenda? :)
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.
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.
Cory Valerio's Link