Why is everything with the DNR and some members of the public in regards to CWD a crisis and sky is falling scenario? CWD has been around since the 1960s out west. It was discovered in Wisconsin over 10 years ago. It was going to wipe out the deer herd and the economy. Be a threat to deer hunting as we have known it. The DNR tried to eradicate the deer herd around Mt Horeb and other places where CWD was prevalent but to no avail. If CWD is such a threat to wipe out the deer population, how come the deer population is higher than ever near Mt Horeb and other areas where is prevalent? Lot of people claim the past approach on CWD as not being aggressive enough. What do people want done ? Killing more deer or eradicating has not been the solution or showed any effect. People screaming we have to do something an acting on pure emotion and not logic is not the answer. To date I don't think anything scientifically has been proven to be the answer. Why keep killing or over harvesting does in many areas because they might have CWD? If the deer is unnecessarily killed by a hunter or dies if CWD it is dead either way. Amazing how the DNR is influencing the CDACS in many areas to issue doe tags in many areas when not needed especially in the northern third of the state where in many areas the deer population is low due to over harvest of does in the past using a flawed SAK population formula for many years by DNR. Since CWD is much more prevalent in older bucks if anything dnr should encourage shooting of bucks not does. I am not buying the deer herd has recovered up north in 2-3 years cause it hasn't. The DNR and others are using CWD as an excuse to kill more deer and possibly sell more doe tags that aren't needed keeping the deer population numbers at or near 30 year lows in areas up north. Reading a recent article in Wisconsin Outdoor News quoting Bob Nack of DNR. States we are losing deer hunters. Hunters aren't happy. They aren't seeing deer. Getting out of the sport. Do you blame them. Memo to Bob Nack and Kevin Wallenfang of the DNR, if you want to sell more licenses and keep people in the sport and bring new people in, increase the deer population in many areas. It isn't rocket science, a lot of hunters are not happy. I wish the DNR would stop posting all these bogus pr deer forecasts saying deer hunting will be great all over the state when it isn't. Deer hunters would have a lot more respect for the DNR if their reports were accurate and hunters don't have false expectations. Back to CWD. What do people want done in regards to CWD when nothing has proven to work. ? I think testing if hunters want to know status of deer they shot and good disposal of carcasses are the only things to be done now in addition to banning baiting statewide permanently period. What do others think?
CWD in Wisconsin
Im not at all concerned with CWD. I don't bother with testing. I just ignore it as I find it a non-issue.
I found this webinar very informative on CWD, very little bias, straight forward, about an hour long.
There doesn't look to be a lot of information out there, but I did find this along with a few other articles. They are obviously working on vaccines (for both humans and cattle), but it seems like they have a ways to go. I agree implementing a vaccine into the deer herd would be a major hurdle. I'd assume any resistance obtained from a vaccine wouldn't be passed to offspring.
Many experts/researchers do believe it is possible. Sorry, no source, just google it. Implementation would be through bait piles/feed stations. Ironic, I know.
I don't think you can vaccinate against a protein and if you could, how in the world would it be implemented?
In regards to your last post, I couldn’t agree more. Doing something just to do something is a waste of resources. Put the time, money and effort into research for a vaccine and nothing more imo.
Reducing deer populations where there is a CWD hotspot is sound science and makes sense.
CWD is contagious. It is primary spread is via deer to deer contact. Reducing the deer population where there are known CWD hotspots will slow down the spread of the epidemic.
Yes, the epidemic is spread in other ways. But the primary spread is done via deer.
If the number of deer in a township is reduced by 50%, the spread of the disease is also reduced.
"We should be doing what we can to contain the spread of CWD like carcass management and banning or reducing feeding and baiting. "
One of a couple comments on doing what we can. From my extensive research, there is ample data to prove that humans cannot stop the disease from spreading geographically whatsoever. There is VERY little that can be done to control prevalence - eradication/keeping deer populations extremely low has shown some success where the prevalence is extremely low. The kicker is, once you keep deer populations to unhuntable levels, how many hunters are going to be buying a license if there are few deer to shoot? The only tool the DNR has at their disposal to kill deer is at risk of being gone once deer are kept at unhuntable levels.
Carcass management: overhyped in my educated opinion, unless you have a method for containing/covering/destroying the carcasses. If carcasses are going to a landfill 30-40 miles away, you are shipping prions 30-40 miles away. Since prions have been proven to be viable through the intestinal tracts of coyotes and crows, the landfill does nothing to prevent the spread of prions. This also does nothing for the deer that die "naturally" from CWD, CWD infected deer not recovered (car kills, predation, or unrecovered/wounded deer), or entrails left in the woods. Crows, eagles, coyotes have some pretty large ranges from my limited knowledge. Perhaps if we pass laws that make it illegal for scavengers and predators from flying/traveling more than 200 yards from a kill site we can contain the disease. Some landfill leachate goes to wastewater treatment systems, and solids are filtered out. Guess where the solids are routinely disposed of....farm fields. Wastewater treatment systems do not destroy prions.
Baiting and feeding: also overhyped in my educated opinion. CWD has spread faster in areas where baiting and feeding was either banned 17 years ago, or in areas were it was never legal to begin with. If you think deer don't touch nose to nose, don't yard up and lay in other deers' feces and urine, eat under the same apple or oak tree, lick from the same mineral lick, drink from the same puddle, visit the same scrapes, or eat on the same soil in a 1/4 acre kill plot...exposures occurring during an ENTIRE year...then I don't know what else to tell you. No scientific proof has ever been published which proves banning baiting (for the purpose of KILLING deer) results in slower disease spread. You simply cannot control exposure for a disease that has an 18 month latency period when so many other exposures exist. Banning baiting is more of a social issue, but banning baiting for the purpose of somehow stopping or slowing CWD is purely doing something for the pure sake of doing something.
Sorry, nothing can be done in any reasonable manner from the human side of this issue unless a vaccine is discovered. Otherwise, we can wait dozens of generations until natural selection takes over. It makes people feel good to do something, but it is a waste of effort doing things from an emotional perspective. It does nothing for the science end of this issue.
I support research on testing, species jumping (bovine or human), determining vectors (ticks, mosquitoes, crops, predators, etc.), cause (prions, spiroplasma, viral, etc. - I am not 100% confident on prion theory), and vaccine research. Eradicating deer is not the answer except MAYBE where prevalence is extremely low/new outbreaks. A lot of what has occurred, in my opinion, is a waste of effort and money to make people feel better.
JC, good points. This statement "They have been able to slow the disease down (prevalence) through eradication." is simply theory because if there are no deer, they have no deer to test for the disease, thus its no longer present. So on paper, it looks like this is true or fact, but in reality it might not be true or fact at all.
Jellymaker makes a point I've been suggesting to DNR/CDAC for a long time: "banning or reducing feeding and baiting". You see, if they really wanted to reduce the spread of the disease, they would ban baiting in all of the state. Because they do not do this, tells us they care more about collecting revenue $ than they do with CWD. Eventually CWD will be in every county statewide, so why not ban baiting right now?