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Do You Live in fear of a CWD Zone?

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January 26, 2011

Do You Live in fear of a CWD Zone?

By Scott Bestul

I do. Because today the Minnesota DNR announced that lab tests confirmed that a doe killed by a bowhunter last fall has tested positive for the disease. Here’s the story, released this morning by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The CWD-positive deer was shot near the town of Pine Island, about 50 miles from my home. Interestingly, there was a large captive elk herd in the same area that had to be destroyed a couple a couple of years ago, after (you guessed it) CWD was discovered during random testing.

Now don’t mistake me; I harbor no paranoia about the disease itself. But I live just across the Mississippi River from Wisconsin, where an entire hunting culture was thrown into disarray when CWD was discovered. The DNR set an early—and in my opinion, impossible—goal of “eradicating” the whitetail herd in a large area surrounding the first positive. I know people who live in this zone, and to a man they will tell you that deer hunting has never been the same.

Should we test for and monitor CWD? Absolutely. We should also study this mysterious killer of whitetails with a reasonable application of manpower and finances. But drastically alter population goals and disrupt hunting opportunity because we fear a disease that we know very little about? You’ll have to convince me on that one. So what are your thoughts? If you live in a CWD-positive state, are you happy with how your state agency has responded? And if you don’t, are you afraid your DNR will over-react in the wake of that first “positive”?

Comments (14)

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from bowhuntermike wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Pa hasnt found cwd in the state yet but i know many states around it have its only a matter of time. Its one of those thing no hunter wants. But yeah i believe there will be a big uproar once it is discoverd in the state

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

NH hasn't had any CWD nor have any states surrounding us. But there is always the concern that it'll find it's way in.

People have to learn that feeding deer in the winter is not good for the deer. It only increases the chance of CWD communication.

I agree the effort to understand this disease is necessary, but I have no idea how it's being tackled - state-wide or nationally. Perhaps an article describing the research efforts and findings will appear here or in a winter issue of F&S.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Colorado has CWD, and I don't think it's a terrible thing. They have it set in a way that requires mandatory head testing in known CWD units, and non-CWD units have optional testing at a cost. You don't hear about deer herds going extinct, or a complete loss of animals, or any of the crazy things that non-cwd aware folks think about. I think CWD is just a new name for a previously unknown condition, it's the equivalent to BSE, you just can't teach an animal not to eat on grass that another deer pissed or crapped on 3 years prior.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

In WV we have CWD in 2 counties, next to the VA state line. We have had it for probably 15 years and it has spread only to these two counties. The state has taken some common sense measures I think. I'm a retired CO and was involved in the project from the start. You can't transport whole deer from that location or you have to bone out the meat to keep from transporting the bones. You can transport the rack if the spinal cord area is removed. It seems like the DNR hasn't paniced yet. They may get more strict if more are found in a larger area.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Whackdaddy wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

It's the biggest damn witch hunt of our day.

Eradicating a herd in fear of a mysterious disease that might eradicate a herd. Sounds to me like the DNRs need an Obama grant so they can do something constructive awhile.

Used to live in Western Nebraska where they wiped out our mule deer to prevent the spread of CWD. Thanks guys. Sure am glad you were there to save the day – so glad I moved the hell out of there.

My $.02, it's been here since the dawn of time, or something like it as the good Lord's way of controlling populations. You can't fight lightning with fire. And I hope they quit trying.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

i just can't agree with killing the whole herd because of one case of CWD.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

CWD is indeed bad, but I agree that some states have over reacted.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from rcmich wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

In Michigan, the DNR has completely jumped off the cliff over CWD. A single deer in an enclosure was found to have it about 3 years ago. Immediately there was no baiting or recreational feeding in the lower penninsula to help stop the spread of the disease... except that we are now in the 3rd year of testing and millions of dollars and have yet to turn up a single case in our wild herd.

HOWEVER, it is still perfectly legal to bait or feed in the upper penninsula. Go figure.

They admit they don't know much about the disease except that every deer that gets it, dies. They know it is in urine and feces from an infected animal. It remains active in the soil for YEARS. There is no cure at this time. But they are convinced that deer swapping spit at a feed station is how it is spread. I guess our biologists haven't spent much time watching a doe lick and clean her fawns or watching bachelor groups of bucks engage in mutual grooming, or watching any deer at licking branches. Deer engage in this kind of spit swapping activity ALL THE TIME. But hey, if we don't bait or feed we can slow or stop the spread of the disease that we can't even prove exists in our wild deer after 3 full years of testing. The baiting/feeding ban has led to all kinds of insanity (and a $500 prize for the DNR each time they catch someone). It's perfectly legal to hunt next to an apple tree full of apples but when the tree's fruit is consumed, it is illegal to dump a bag of store bought apples under the now barren tree. Apparently, somehow only known to the DNR, deer only spread the disease when eatin the store bought apples. Ok, that's a little sarcasm, to be sure.

Truly, I don't mind if they outlaw baiting if they would let us continue recreational feeding during the non-hunting season. Ah well, it was good to vent after 3 years this paranoia.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Sarge, thankfully none in recent years, but we've seen a few around home that were absolute skin and bones and could not move out of their tracks, probably CWD. How's the knee?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Doing pretty good the gals at therapy seem to think I am right on schedule. I'm walking pretty good. I am supposed to be using a cane but I forget to use it most of the time. It still hurts quite a bit in therapy which I am assured is normal.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Now don't go showing off for those therapy gals and hurt yourself even worse! haha. Best..............

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

007,
I ordered myself a present, really I did some trading, today and orrdered a Sako A 7 Stainless in 300WSM. I have been wanting a Sako for a long time and I had a firearm that I didn't need so it became trading material. I don't have a stainless firearm and I decided that I would like one. I have a couple of Tikkas and they are made in the same factory and they are great. I can't wait to get it. I have a Nikon Buckmaster 3 X 9 X 50 to put on it. I won't get out to shoot it for a couple of weeks but it will be ready when I am.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

I know I keep saying it and one day I really am going to show up on your front step, cased .338-06 in hand. I want to see that Sako. I hear the trout are hitting in the Smoke Holes if you can stand the cold.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Even though I live in WV my daily newspaper is from the state of MD. Todays paper had an article that a deer killed about 60 miles from me in MD had tested positive for CWD. I am curious to see how the state of MD reacts to the news and how they decide to start a program to test and set seasons and trasnport deer meat in light of this news. I have always wondered just how wide spread that CWD is and how big of impact it will have on our deer herds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Koldkut wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Colorado has CWD, and I don't think it's a terrible thing. They have it set in a way that requires mandatory head testing in known CWD units, and non-CWD units have optional testing at a cost. You don't hear about deer herds going extinct, or a complete loss of animals, or any of the crazy things that non-cwd aware folks think about. I think CWD is just a new name for a previously unknown condition, it's the equivalent to BSE, you just can't teach an animal not to eat on grass that another deer pissed or crapped on 3 years prior.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Whackdaddy wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

It's the biggest damn witch hunt of our day.

Eradicating a herd in fear of a mysterious disease that might eradicate a herd. Sounds to me like the DNRs need an Obama grant so they can do something constructive awhile.

Used to live in Western Nebraska where they wiped out our mule deer to prevent the spread of CWD. Thanks guys. Sure am glad you were there to save the day – so glad I moved the hell out of there.

My $.02, it's been here since the dawn of time, or something like it as the good Lord's way of controlling populations. You can't fight lightning with fire. And I hope they quit trying.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

i just can't agree with killing the whole herd because of one case of CWD.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bowhuntermike wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Pa hasnt found cwd in the state yet but i know many states around it have its only a matter of time. Its one of those thing no hunter wants. But yeah i believe there will be a big uproar once it is discoverd in the state

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bernie wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

CWD is indeed bad, but I agree that some states have over reacted.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

In WV we have CWD in 2 counties, next to the VA state line. We have had it for probably 15 years and it has spread only to these two counties. The state has taken some common sense measures I think. I'm a retired CO and was involved in the project from the start. You can't transport whole deer from that location or you have to bone out the meat to keep from transporting the bones. You can transport the rack if the spinal cord area is removed. It seems like the DNR hasn't paniced yet. They may get more strict if more are found in a larger area.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rcmich wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

In Michigan, the DNR has completely jumped off the cliff over CWD. A single deer in an enclosure was found to have it about 3 years ago. Immediately there was no baiting or recreational feeding in the lower penninsula to help stop the spread of the disease... except that we are now in the 3rd year of testing and millions of dollars and have yet to turn up a single case in our wild herd.

HOWEVER, it is still perfectly legal to bait or feed in the upper penninsula. Go figure.

They admit they don't know much about the disease except that every deer that gets it, dies. They know it is in urine and feces from an infected animal. It remains active in the soil for YEARS. There is no cure at this time. But they are convinced that deer swapping spit at a feed station is how it is spread. I guess our biologists haven't spent much time watching a doe lick and clean her fawns or watching bachelor groups of bucks engage in mutual grooming, or watching any deer at licking branches. Deer engage in this kind of spit swapping activity ALL THE TIME. But hey, if we don't bait or feed we can slow or stop the spread of the disease that we can't even prove exists in our wild deer after 3 full years of testing. The baiting/feeding ban has led to all kinds of insanity (and a $500 prize for the DNR each time they catch someone). It's perfectly legal to hunt next to an apple tree full of apples but when the tree's fruit is consumed, it is illegal to dump a bag of store bought apples under the now barren tree. Apparently, somehow only known to the DNR, deer only spread the disease when eatin the store bought apples. Ok, that's a little sarcasm, to be sure.

Truly, I don't mind if they outlaw baiting if they would let us continue recreational feeding during the non-hunting season. Ah well, it was good to vent after 3 years this paranoia.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Sarge, thankfully none in recent years, but we've seen a few around home that were absolute skin and bones and could not move out of their tracks, probably CWD. How's the knee?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Doing pretty good the gals at therapy seem to think I am right on schedule. I'm walking pretty good. I am supposed to be using a cane but I forget to use it most of the time. It still hurts quite a bit in therapy which I am assured is normal.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

Now don't go showing off for those therapy gals and hurt yourself even worse! haha. Best..............

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

007,
I ordered myself a present, really I did some trading, today and orrdered a Sako A 7 Stainless in 300WSM. I have been wanting a Sako for a long time and I had a firearm that I didn't need so it became trading material. I don't have a stainless firearm and I decided that I would like one. I have a couple of Tikkas and they are made in the same factory and they are great. I can't wait to get it. I have a Nikon Buckmaster 3 X 9 X 50 to put on it. I won't get out to shoot it for a couple of weeks but it will be ready when I am.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 3 years 10 weeks ago

I know I keep saying it and one day I really am going to show up on your front step, cased .338-06 in hand. I want to see that Sako. I hear the trout are hitting in the Smoke Holes if you can stand the cold.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Even though I live in WV my daily newspaper is from the state of MD. Todays paper had an article that a deer killed about 60 miles from me in MD had tested positive for CWD. I am curious to see how the state of MD reacts to the news and how they decide to start a program to test and set seasons and trasnport deer meat in light of this news. I have always wondered just how wide spread that CWD is and how big of impact it will have on our deer herds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from NHshtr wrote 3 years 11 weeks ago

NH hasn't had any CWD nor have any states surrounding us. But there is always the concern that it'll find it's way in.

People have to learn that feeding deer in the winter is not good for the deer. It only increases the chance of CWD communication.

I agree the effort to understand this disease is necessary, but I have no idea how it's being tackled - state-wide or nationally. Perhaps an article describing the research efforts and findings will appear here or in a winter issue of F&S.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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