Start watching at the 20:30 mark. Testing is easy and simple.
Test Your Deer - Please...
There has been a lot of research relating to different soil types binding better to CWD prions than others. If you google "cwd prion soil transmission" or something similar, you will find a litany of articles and studies regarding this. Certain types of soil bind better to CWD than others, and studies have shown that certain clay-bound CWD infected study animals faster than just ingesting the prion alone...which is incredible really. Don't remember the study, but I am sure you can find it with a google attempt.
Don't know if a study has been done by feeding infected soil to deer, but it has been done on other animals with positive results. Also, scrapie (similar prion disease in sheep) has been long known to be spread through previously infected pastures years later.
"JC you said that there is no proof that baiting has had any impact on the spread of CWD but there is no proof that it HASN't either. We just don't know. "
If you really study the epidemiology of the disease, especially if you have had classes in epidemiology, you can understand where I am coming from. Baiting, yes, it does increase nose to nose contact. In almost all cases of disease I would agree that it would be potentially effective to slow disease spread through banning the practice. But, there is not a statistical probability that baiting will have a measurable effect on wild deer herds when a disease is transmissible through soil, water, and nose to nose contact (and potentially plants) for YEARS. You may stop the spread at the bait pile, but you can't stop the spread if the disease is transmissible at a deer yard, or years later under an oak tree, or years later in a wetland where they drink. You also can't prevent potential vectors such as crows, coyotes, eagles, or insects from migrating and spreading disease. You simply can't stop deer from licking each other's faces or sniffing urine for a period of years either, unless we pass laws prohibiting them from doing so of course.
If you look at the disease trend in the CWD area where baiting is banned, it is rising at an ever increasing rate. These infections are occurring at places other than bait piles. My argument is that once CWD is in an area, you are going to end up with the same result no matter what human influence is introduced. We can't regulate our way out of this. To think banning baiting is going to measurably reduce the rate of spread is wishful thinking at best. It will also result in more hunters quitting the sport - especially in the large tracts of land in northern WI. It will negatively impact the only tool DNR currently has to maintain low deer numbers - hunters leaving the sport.
COULD it slow the disease somewhat? Maybe? To any measurable degree? Probably not. Will it change the outcome? Never.
Boy nothing gets peoples panties in bunch like baiting does. JC you said that there is no proof that baiting has had any impact on the spread of CWD but there is no proof that it HASN't either. We just don't know. I like most of you love deer and deer hunting and to see that go away would suck- big time! If that means a few of you bait hunters have to give up your corn pile then I say too bad. For some of you its like asking to give up a kidney! Jeez! We hunters should get rid of deer farms and keep it Fair-Chase hunting. It seems obvious that many core areas that start/spread CWD are near deer farms so lets work to get rid of them. We as hunters should be on the DNR arses to attack this issue and we should stand by what the smartest people in this country know and say about this disease. Not some bar-stool biologist BS. But like JC said and I said in a previous post- until someone dies from eating CWD positive meat nothing much will happen
"If it truely does stop the spread or at least slow it down wouldn't you ban baiting state wide before it is found"
Exactly. It doesn't stop the spread, and has never shown any measured positive correlation to slow the disease. Many people erroneously think baiting spreads, or even CAUSES CWD from all of the hype. If baiting stopped the spread, why is CWD being newly discovered in areas that baiting was always banned?
My theory on most of those rallying against baiting: Most people don't support something unless it benefits them. Those with private land with ag fields, or private land with food plots, would love to see baiting banned - it makes their land that much better as large land tracts don't have as many food sources in late Fall. Deer like food (surprise surprise), and if you remove the "unnatural" food (corn or apples) in any nearby area, "natural" food (scientifically managed food plots) are just that much more enticing. The percentage of those folks against baiting is much higher than public land hunters on large tracts (especially bowhunters in the north) from talking with many hunters over the years.
One thing that never made sense to me. Baiting is legal until CWD is found in the county. If it truely does stop the spread or at least slow it down wouldn't you ban baiting state wide before it is found. To me that is like buying a milking machine and then hope to someday get a cow. I fed lots of venison to my children years ago when they were growing up. To the point they may have nubs on their heads. I do worry about the long term exposure to CWD. I still eat venison yearly but should get my deer tested. If I had a positive I probably would not eat it.
This has been rehashed over and over, and like was said earlier, bans on bait, feed, food plots, etc. will NOT stop the disease. In addition, there is absolutely no proof that feed bans have had ANY impact on rate of spread. The disease has spread faster in areas where baiting was never allowed in the first place. Bait bans would work for a disease that comes and goes quickly like most diseases, and for pathogens that die quickly in the environment (like most diseases). But CWD is the perfect pathogen because it is latent and transmissible in cervids for years, and stays infective in the environment for at least a decade. When you are talking years of potential infectivity, you cannot control nose to nose contact, nose to soil contact, prevent deer from drinking out of the same creek or puddle, etc.
There is absolutely nothing humans can do to make a positive impact on CWD transmission beyond completely slaughtering and poisoning the deer herd for at least a decade. Bait bans are a futile attempt by humans to make it appear they are doing something to prevent the spread. CWD is something we simply have to live with and will be around forever unless an oral vaccine is developed, which would be best effective and most economically beneficial to be deployed with deer baits. Until humans are proved to be infected by CWD tainted meat, funding will be insignificant to develop a vaccine.
Deer do gather at certain times of the year but by putting food plots and bait piles you get a higher concentration than what normally happens. Reducing the herd was about making a choice that too many deer make too many chances of transfer. Large tracts of land hold lots of deer with out food plots and bait piles. My 2 cents is we have troubles when a business can be made selling ideas to make deer stay in one place.