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
You got it huntfishdoug, that is why its prevalent in bucks. Never going away so live with it. Just remember no tests are 100% so there is always going to be the risk, probably another reason of hunter decline. Reading some earlier posts it looks like it may have transferred to humans (Mad Man Disease) just kidding.
In Adams County, access to deer is a huge problem. It is a problem for hunters who want to harvest game. It is a problem for CDAC's who manage deer populations.
Kona good comments, couple of things I would like to see more data on.Concerning Iowa county prevalence rate of 25-30% positive on deer tested. How many deer actually die due to CWD? What has its impact been on the herds overall average age? Has average lifespan changed.
Well stated Kona.
Getting back to the original CWD topic we do have all our deer tested. The guys I hunt with are all over the state ( NE, SE, and SW-Wisc).. We do most of our own deer processing and sausage/brat making but do take some meat in to commercial places and are not really that concerned about potentially eating CWD meat. We mainly test the deer as our part to give the DNR more data on where CWD is in the state.
My main concern with CWD is that it has had a negative impact in certain states ( data has been posted on this already).. I also understand that an infected CWD deer will die (does anyone have disputing data on this??). I believe Iowa County is now up to a 25%-30% CWD level on deer tested.. Yes, there are lot of deer in the area and I get that argument, but that may not always be the case.. Agree that CWD is almost impossible to control with baiting bans, carcass laws etc but I would like to see WI (and other states) continue to do more research to better understand CWD and possible ramifications.
As far as deer numbers in the state that discussion is driven by numerous factors depending on location. Agreed that the DNR gave away too many tags for several years in parts of the state and yes we have too many predators up North.. Of course no one forced guys to shoot 2-3 does those years with liberal tags up North. I would argue that in many Southern Cty's that access to land is the biggest issue. Way too many deer on lands that can no longer be hunted and public lands get over harvested. That is an impossible scenario for the DNR or CDAC's to address/control.
2 quick solutions.
1. Bettter predator control in areas that need it. Bears, wolves coyotes need better control pretty much central Wis and north. More bear tags, and I know wolves are a federal issue now, but if they every get unlisted, they better clean house on them.
2. STOP with all the doe tags. Every hunter gets a either sex tag with each license purchased, gun and bow. Thats it, no bonus tags, no $2 tags. No one can complain that they couldn't harvest an animal because they didn't have a sex appropriate tag. It worked that way for many years and there were no problems. Heck when I started hunting in the late 80s, you only got a doe tag every other year, the hunters choice tag. I say lets go back to that if anyone thinks 1 either sex tag would be unfair.
Interestingly, we saw exceedingly few hunters in the nortwoods by Plum / Razorback lake. When I was in my 20’s, the public hunting grounds had a truck parked on the side of the road every 100 yards or so. This year we saw 5 vehicles in total - it was darn near a ghost town. No hunting pressure whatsoever...
On the way home (300 miles), I didn’t see but 6 hunters in the woods. Certainly far from scientific, but remembering past years, certainly fewer hunters in the woods.
In regards to CWD, when I started hunting, you had to send in for your hunters choice, it seemed like about every three years you would get one.
Then the DNR issued the either / or tags - you could shoot one deer of either sex with the purchase of a license. They were trying to lower the deer herd due to CWD concerns.
They didn’t see the reduction they were looking for, so then in addition to the either / or tag, they offered bonus tags for 3 dollars a piece - that was the undoing of the deer herd in the northwoods. Folks shooting 3 does a piece was commonplace. They certainly got their wish, the deer herd was substantially lowered.
Fast forward 15 years, and the deer herd in the northwoods finally appears to be recovering.
My point in all of this is that the average doe has two offspring. If you shoot a doe in year 1, you take three deer out of the herd, the next year you take 9, the next year you take 27 - the math blows me away.
The regulations were aimed at reducing CWD, but all they did was lower the deer herd to an unsustainable number - and lowered the number of hunters willing to chase them. I don’t believe the research backed up the increased bag limits.
With the average age of Whitetail being just a few years, they will either die of CWD, or die at the hands of a hunter.
It appears to me that the State was so afraid of CWD, that they placed overly generous bag limits on Whitetail - which in turn led to fewer hunters in the woods.
I’m glad to see that Vilas County only had a few hundred doe tags this year, which will allow the herd to grow.
I understand that we all have our own perspective, but I’d like to see the bag limits (and doe tags) reflect the science, and not based on fear when we really don’t understand the details.
It will always follow with an excuse. Some years it is bad weather, some years hunters were lazy, some years the rut was over (late rifle season), too much standing corn, etc. My guess is when the numbers come out it will be because too much standing corn, rut is over (late rifle season), and hunters were lazy. Can't blame the weather this year. Everyone knows that every year there is a reason the deer kill is low