CWD epidemic in Wisconsin

backstrapsaregood

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Joined
Nov 29, 2017
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43
Location
Moscow, Idaho
Wow! That’s some scary stuff... what’s the best thing to do if you don’t live in Wisconsin? Anyone know of any conversation groups to join/contact to help stop this? I am a member of bha already and sounds like they are doing what they can. but anybody know of some other groups who can help with this? Or other actions to take? I am pretty new to this conservation activism stuff.
 
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Chad.frank

Chad.frank

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Nov 29, 2017
Messages
106
Wow! That’s some scary stuff... what’s the best thing to do if you don’t live in Wisconsin? Anyone know of any conversation groups to join/contact to help stop this? I am a member of bha already and sounds like they are doing what they can. but anybody know of some other groups who can help with this? Or other actions to take? I am pretty new to this conservation activism stuff.
No matter where you live you can contact any organizations you are a member of and ask that they start doing more about CWD. The state of Wisconsin has a fish and game fund of about 24 million. They were planning to budget 1.2 million to the surveillance of cwd in the state. That was until the politicians decided it was a good idea to do what they did.


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260madman

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Dec 15, 2017
Messages
117
Location
WI
It’s at the southern edge of my county and has been for a while. We can’t bait (not that I do) but every Tom Dick and Harry with 5 acres has corn on it. Same thing as baiting so the deer will be in close proximity. Not sure what the answer is for stopping or slowing it. I’m pretty sure the biologists don’t have an answer either.

100k going to deer farms? Nope. Don’t agree with that at all.
 

freebird134

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Mar 13, 2012
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476
Things were going well until Scott walker gutted all the biologists from DNR then put people like Cathy Steppe, who have zero natural resource experience, in charge.




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Chad.frank

Chad.frank

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Nov 29, 2017
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Contact your representatives and let them know how you feel about this. Also contact any of the conservation organizations that you belong to and tell them that they need to get involved in the CWD talk at the state level. BHA has been the only one doing anything in Wisconsin.


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Jmitch1488

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Feb 1, 2017
Messages
11
I live and hunt right square in the heart of cwd country and have had deer test positive. I 100% do not agree with the 100k going to deer farmers and am not a fan of Gov Evers but I also dont know what else to do. Besides monitoring and testing which in my opinion was already fairly convenient, free, and pretty fast(I've had negatives in less than a week and positives take longertho). And research which more could be done on this front I'm sure I don't know what people want the state to do. Hire sharpshooters to kill 1000s of deer over bait again? Put a bounty system in place? We tried those things 15 years ago and the herd was decimated in the core areas but here we are 15 yrs later still at 50%ish percent infection of mature bucks in the hot spots. At this point what else do we do?

I hunt square in the middle of one of the hot areas. Our land is a small part of a large ridge system with 5 or 6 owners and we have a ton of deer and likely a ton of cwd. In winter it is common to see 50+ deer feeding in a single field in our area. From all the other groups I've talked to nobody seems overly worried about it. Some test some don't. a few groups talk about going aggressive after does to get the numbers down but never seem to do anything. I view our area as a microcosm of the whole cwd "epidemic". It's mostly on private land and from what I understand the majority of hunters/landowners aren't overly concerned at this point so what can the state do? Force people to kill or other action on land they own? Kill from helicopters if they don't? Lis before I have no idea what I would even support or suggest and I'm sure the state has to be in the same spot. Remember they went all scorched earth when it was first found and that went horribly for them
 
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Chad.frank

Chad.frank

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Nov 29, 2017
Messages
106
I live and hunt right square in the heart of cwd country and have had deer test positive. I 100% do not agree with the 100k going to deer farmers and am not a fan of Gov Evers but I also dont know what else to do. Besides monitoring and testing which in my opinion was already fairly convenient, free, and pretty fast(I've had negatives in less than a week and positives take longertho). And research which more could be done on this front I'm sure I don't know what people want the state to do. Hire sharpshooters to kill 1000s of deer over bait again? Put a bounty system in place? We tried those things 15 years ago and the herd was decimated in the core areas but here we are 15 yrs later still at 50%ish percent infection of mature bucks in the hot spots. At this point what else do we do?

I hunt square in the middle of one of the hot areas. Our land is a small part of a large ridge system with 5 or 6 owners and we have a ton of deer and likely a ton of cwd. In winter it is common to see 50+ deer feeding in a single field in our area. From all the other groups I've talked to nobody seems overly worried about it. Some test some don't. a few groups talk about going aggressive after does to get the numbers down but never seem to do anything. I view our area as a microcosm of the whole cwd "epidemic". It's mostly on private land and from what I understand the majority of hunters/landowners aren't overly concerned at this point so what can the state do? Force people to kill or other action on land they own? Kill from helicopters if they don't? Lis before I have no idea what I would even support or suggest and I'm sure the state has to be in the same spot. Remember they went all scorched earth when it was first found and that went horribly for them
That’s an excellent question, one that the answer has been fraught with complex social and political battles in an ever changing science landscape.
The most simplest management strategy that we can afford to do here in WI is to “buy time for science”. When CWD was first discovered in WI, the initial management strategy was eradication. It became apparent later how difficult the CWD prions are to get off the landscape, and with pressure from landowners and hunters alike, legislators stepped in and took away some management tools and tactics from the WI DNR toolbox.
Southern WI has excellent habitat for WTD, and they thrive if numbers are not kept at recommended management levels. Over the past decade, as we have seen the rise in deer numbers, there is statistically significant evidence that CWD prevalence is rising at an exponential rate, and new CWD foci are occurring. In states where CWD prevalence reaches high enough, the deer numbers and herd health decline. This is in the future of WI, it’s just hasn’t reached that tipping point yet.
When it comes to management strategy, there are things we as humans can do to lower prevalence of CWD in deer herds in endemic areas and lower the chance of new areas becoming infected:
1. Lower deer densities via incentives to harvest does. Create hunting season structure that is acceptable by county based on prevalence.
2. Reduce human assisted movement of CWD prions by limiting transportation of carcasses and creating an end reservoir by placing those carcasses in dumpsters that end up in clay lined landfills.
3. Stop using hunting tactics that encourage nose to nose contact.
4. Captive cervid industries in WI need to secure against breakouts and all facilities should be required to follow guidelines set forth by USDA APHIS (currently it is voluntary)
5. Increase funding for DNR to test deer for CWD.

All of these strategies are supported by evidence based research. It’s just that WI has been blocked by legislators to use these strategies. Other states have looked to what has been happening here, and have learned from us and are more aggressive with their management and are seeing better containment of the disease and lower prevalence.

It’s not “game over” for WI wild deer herds. We can stop the spread and prevent the rest of the state, and our neighbors form getting new CWD foci. It will take money and work and cooperation.

The bottom line is the deer herd health and human health, and both are worth fighting for.



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Chad.frank

Chad.frank

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Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
106
I live and hunt right square in the heart of cwd country and have had deer test positive. I 100% do not agree with the 100k going to deer farmers and am not a fan of Gov Evers but I also dont know what else to do. Besides monitoring and testing which in my opinion was already fairly convenient, free, and pretty fast(I've had negatives in less than a week and positives take longertho). And research which more could be done on this front I'm sure I don't know what people want the state to do. Hire sharpshooters to kill 1000s of deer over bait again? Put a bounty system in place? We tried those things 15 years ago and the herd was decimated in the core areas but here we are 15 yrs later still at 50%ish percent infection of mature bucks in the hot spots. At this point what else do we do?

I hunt square in the middle of one of the hot areas. Our land is a small part of a large ridge system with 5 or 6 owners and we have a ton of deer and likely a ton of cwd. In winter it is common to see 50+ deer feeding in a single field in our area. From all the other groups I've talked to nobody seems overly worried about it. Some test some don't. a few groups talk about going aggressive after does to get the numbers down but never seem to do anything. I view our area as a microcosm of the whole cwd "epidemic". It's mostly on private land and from what I understand the majority of hunters/landowners aren't overly concerned at this point so what can the state do? Force people to kill or other action on land they own? Kill from helicopters if they don't? Lis before I have no idea what I would even support or suggest and I'm sure the state has to be in the same spot. Remember they went all scorched earth when it was first found and that went horribly for them
And to the point of neighbors not caring about this or not testing their deer and not knowing if it’s CWD positive, that is entirely their right. However, it’s the same disease as scrapie or BSE, and I wouldn’t feed scrapie infected meat or BSE infected meat to my family or anyone. The prions are susceptible to mutation as well, and we don’t know what will happen down the line. But it is unconscionable to allow CWD to affect herd dynamics like it is doing in some counties in WI with high prevalence rates and let it just continue to spread.


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260madman

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Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
117
Location
WI
Getting people to shoot doe is hard to do. They’re too concerned with antlers. A lot don’t even eat the meat they just give it away. There’s 4 of us that hunt 200 acres and we took 3 doe and 2 guys took 2 small bucks that I would have let go because I passed on bigger. I’d rather take the doe at this point to get the numbers down and make the bucks move more. But what do I know, I just hunt and don’t watch the hunting shows on TV.

Next year I’m not passing on doe. I’m planning on 3 minimum and my daughter can take a few if she wants to. It needs to be done. The neighbors have combined have 3,000+ acres and the terrain is driftless area terrain so it’s hard to hunt. Especially sitting on your butt. This keeps the numbers up.
 
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