Article. CWD: No Shortage of Deer Bones and Bodies

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Disease' started by Luv2hunteup, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. LabtechLewis

    LabtechLewis

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    Such a challenging undertaking. A written goal with real-time data collection, reporting and feedback loops are often foundational motivators. Very difficult when the majority of kills occur in just a few weeks. No time for all of that. Activity moves faster than analysis can keep up. I was encouraged by that pilot effort last year. Too bad the goal seemed lower than desirable. Flexing those muscles was a good start, though.
     
  2. mbrewer

    mbrewer

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    Yeah, so many variables, kind of a catch 22. I absolutely would not trust trail cam data, too site specific and worthless without a coordinated and detailed plan.

    I think you could model based on harvest data but to do so hunters would need equal access to all age groups.
     
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  3. Justsayin

    Justsayin

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    I agree, challenging indeed. The goal, reporting & feedback loop has merit but not when established arbitrarily or so easily manipulated. We need to get real & honest with ourselves about what the primary objective is and is not. What is Michigan’s objective? Is it to limit the spread and prevalence of CWD or to expand mandatory APRs?

    It cannot be both. These two objectives are contradictory. Accomplishing one compromises the success of the other, a painful, yet fundamental truth. As stated by our own wildlife experts, it is a false premise to believe accepting a greater negative impact can be offset by targeting a lessor impact.

    APR’s are NOT a valid or effective CWD management strategy. An opportunity to be leaders in disease stewardship and CWD management has been thwarted for a chance to leverage it for gain. The pseudo goal was just the give, increase antlerless harvest, and the get, retain and expand mandatory APRs. Let’s not make this weakly defined goal out to be more than it actually was. If this sorta goal drove the desired behavior why greatly expand antlerless opportunity in the coming season?

    Can objective driven meaningful goals influence hunter choices? Possibly... Would they if the reward is not for personal gain but for the greater good? That is the question. If the only effective rewards result in moving further away from objectives, we accomplish less than nothing. Challenging indeed.
     
  4. Waif

    Waif

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    Lower incidence rate among all tested deer in the township than prior to A.P.R. being added.
    (I'm not going to be the one personally doing the measuring /data gathering though...)
     
  5. Waif

    Waif

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    Site specific , is my best answer...

    Taking the oldest doe would not ensure steady or any increase in fawns in my opinion.
    The few old gals (and no illusion , a fourish year old is rare on my site. Though I don't have aged jaws as proof.
    I consider a doe that drops twins on a good year and more importantly has fawns make it to spring as a hoppin success.
    Of the couple such doe I watch , they are not targeted for removal.

    I've noted for years now fawn recruitment as being poor.
    Last year was an exception. (one in five year event with multiple fawns surviving coyote and the usual gauntlet of "life as a fawn").

    Maximum age?
    In doe , where doe are few , till health starts to fall off with a noticeable fawn production ceasing. When/if. Not to be confused with fawn mortality not related to the doe post birth.

    In bucks , where bucks are few , above yearling (in theory) is the law here.
    Otherwise if habitat is stressed , take bucks of any age IF doe need less feed competition and doe are being reserved.(Rare yes. But not unheard off).
    In a perfect world , hold back at least a quality (healthy specimen that has quit growing bone /4 or better years old) stud per mile. Till health falls off , but be careful to have multiple second stringers on hand to compensate for unexpected mortality by multiple sources.
    Bucks can get stressed by each other enough without climate or vehicle stresses..

    Without ag. or plenty of in season plots ,deer are more nomadic. Within a range of course but that range can vary.
    Till that range average is known , managing a site for age has to consider the range beyond.

    Roughly here last season...Several deer. Near 50/50 in sex ratio.
    Doe ages have minority couple older gals , higher number of two year olds and yearlings and a fawn. Or two.
    Habitat shows when in a group and a horsey face has same shoulder height as younger doe.
    Less deer and more feed maybe is showing.
    A heavy doe is on site due to security , more than preferred range. " More resident"doe have not been massive ,with one exception who also is offsite as part of range.

    Bucks...(I repeat) are near half the sex ratio. One fawn. Yearlings. One suspected two year old. Yes , older exist but we don't share ground time; at least in my sight.

    With herd steadily reduced (there is a road in the area not to cross or get shot at) for multiple years in a row to where choosing a deer to remove takes annual considerations (mostly due to fawns with doe fawns a part of the future of fawn production)...
    What deer should I have removed last season?

    Bucks are affordable to the herd if a herd is on the high side of habitat.
    And they are affordable if doe are too few.

    Doe can be reduced where recruitment is crudely assured replacing them.
    But a doe fawn is no replacement for an older doe that gets fawns through beyond birthing them. At least not until she is proven. Not a problem if many doe exist.

    I pick a number. How many deer are tolerable. What age and sex and why?
    Being the number of existing has trended down to where I left all deer alone from removal a couple seasons ago ...I am getting even more picky about what I remove.
    Combined with waiting for cool enough weather to hang deer for days...

    IF I transferred my logic effectively , you may guess what deer I removed last season. Age and sex and why. And your first guess might be wrong....
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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  6. motdean

    motdean

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    Waif...they have already said that the study can’t measure that.
     
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  7. Waif

    Waif

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    You didn't ask how "they" would measure success....I'll measure it by perceived decrease in cases compared to before. (Despite the reduced herd since C.W.D. was detected.) And to do that I'll need township sized reports going forward.

    There is little I expect from the experiment.
    I've made that clear since before it was started.

    The A.P.R. itself is not expected to change hunter participation (by observation) from my property much , as it's private around me and owners/guests hunt as part of tradition.
    Many of them hunt elsewhere during seasons as tradition also.
    Those who hunt less or not at all around me anymore are affected by scouting pre season results. When/if the deer they want to see turn up , they'll likely hunt here more.
     
  8. LabtechLewis

    LabtechLewis

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    Based on your decision tree, I’m going to say you selectively removed a yearling buck meeting the MAPR because it was most expendable according to your observations.

    Fawns have enough predators in your system.

    Does are necessary for recruitment, if you are not assured quality, then go for quantity.

    You have a soft spot for that one 2YO, so I know he’s off limits. For now.

    You don’t see the older bucks, eye to eye.​

    So, if you did, in fact, remove a deer last year (forgive me, I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember that success story) then you took a little buck meeting MAPR. Or maybe it’s a trick question and you only lined up the cross-hairs and said, “bang”, as a declaration of victory. :)

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
     
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  9. LabtechLewis

    LabtechLewis

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    I guess it depends on the identity of "Michigan". Me personally? I would much prefer limiting spread and prevalence of CWD as an objective than expanding MAPR as an objective.

    I get it. But you have to start somewhere. I thought it was refreshing to see posts on the local QDMA pages about getting out and reducing population based on the perception of possibly falling short of the stated goal (the feedback loop in action). There is value in that as a pilot program to make that type of communication more sought-after, valued, and acted-upon. I think objective-driven, meaningful goals will definitely influence hunter choices. The shortcoming is the state's ability to effectively communicate these goals from a position of authority and in alignment with all other reference materials / sources of information (e.g. the regulations promote the concepts contained in the narrative and there is no fear of transparency because confidence in information instills decisiveness). We need leaders in the mold of Matthew 7:28-29.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  10. motdean

    motdean

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    Double L.....We know that the communication of shoot more does could have come without the handicap of having to force the passing yearling bucks in a disease zone.

    It certainly appears to me as a "we will support you if" type of endeavor...

    It was pretty telling that as soon as the Thumb 5 was shot down, one of the public speakers at he NRC started beating the drum of we need APR's in the Thumb 5 now because we are scared of CWD and our populations are too high".

    Well, where is the communication in the Thumb 5 that populations need to be reduced NOW out of fear of CWD, even without the implementation of APR's? I have a feeling we will revisit that when the next APR proposal comes up....or CWD is found in that area.
     
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  11. LabtechLewis

    LabtechLewis

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    Well sure, but my comments were highlighting the potential value of the process, not the message. The beauty of the process is that it can be replicated with any message and still function effectively. And not to derail this, but when I see the behavior of our state's fisheries professionals (at NRC meetings and even on this forum), I can't help but compare that to the deer professionals. :( But, that's just a gut reaction, I really don't pay that much attention to it in the grand scheme of things.

    Back to the topic at hand...

    I'll ask you the same question I asked others earlier in this discussion (although maybe with a bit more clarity). What maximum age for bucks and does are you personally willing to tolerate in the herd? Are you agreeable to a harvest with 10% 5+YOs of either sex and 10% 4YOs? Or would you prefer to see it top out at 3YO of either sex (in measurable numbers)?
     
  12. Waif

    Waif

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    I hunt under A.P.R. waiver during a couple hunts.
    But it is an A.P.R. experiment going on so I hunted accordingly. My stomach was not stuck to my backbone so adhering was no problem.
    Which buck to kill /remove would have been an interesting debate among yearlings....
    Nothing outstanding , so does the runt get it to spare better specimens? L.o.l..

    Older doe were treading water as far as numbers so I (hoping) let them continue to try to be productive in fawn rearing this year.

    No buck needed killing. Arguable if an A.P.R. buck was even seen. If so it needed a better year of trying to grow a rack. No , I don't need bigger racks to be happy. I don't count on light yearling weights to encourage a prime local deer herd though. IF numbers hold out one can be removed next year. I'm not against a couple older ones around.
    Last years yearlings were overdoing it fighting. That taxes (in my opinion) breeding efficiency.

    Should a wall hanger (by my definition) have loitered too much he'd have got popped. Probably.
    I need to wait for the right weather to hang one, so early season when hunting is best for my getting around and first whack with a rifle during the disabled hunt, warm weather has spared a couple deer I'd have killed by it being too warm at night. But that's o.k. too. Seeing a deer a hunter wants to see is more than half the battle. The work after killing one , and it's timing ; is important but secondary. Yet factors for me. (Watch , now this coming season I'll pop a buck on a seventy degree evening...)


    I went in lieu of coyote depredation trend blipping downward for once and more fawns existing this past season , and took a young doe.
    Argued about the biggest doe early in the season , but couldn't justify the weight alone as a good reason.
    Either her or another biggest by comparison to others messed up a second time and browsed in my scope again. Leaving her alone (again?) was easier that evening on feeble management thoughts argument.
     
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  13. LabtechLewis

    LabtechLewis

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    Thanks for letting me play "Waif's Big Game Management" simulation. I think you were hasty in response to a 1 in 5 year event. But, who am I? I don't know your deer herd. You obviously do.

    I quoted that paragraph above because it's so relatable. For those reasons you mentioned, additional or "surplus" harvest beyond what one truly desires requires discipline. Most individuals don't include discipline as part of a recreational activity. If filling 10 doe tags is easy, then it's probably equally necessary.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
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  14. Waif

    Waif

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    I'd like to see decent fawn recruitment again this season. That would have a hind-site confirmation in last years kill choice.
    Also wouldn't mind that couple older doe staying around and claim the couple local fawn rearing sites.
    If they don't/ didn't , other doe would. (Assuming doe spreading out due to fawning sites competition in nearby areas fill the void.)

    I'm not chewing my nails over C.W.D.. But those immigrating doe are doe I don't have health certification status on either.
    I'm already accepting that bucks are arriving from a mile or more at times.
    It creates the recruitment of bucks through my site. Without that movement I'd be taking buck fawn's doe out. And last time I tried that , the buck fawn was found in my field emaciated from a gunshot wound. My biggest question was who shot it? Being no one around me has admitted to such a choice. And I'm confident he had not traveled far to get shot , then return.
    Poaching at night might be the answer...But I'm not certain.

    Not crazy about having the majority of all deer being new arrivals from elsewhere.
    If no local deer existed, (local meaning deer I recognize and see regular off and on) then arriving deer from elsewhere would be welcome. But stay at home type appeal for now . At least with doe.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  15. motdean

    motdean

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    Outside of a disease zone, they can make up whatever they want.

    However, for setting who is on the team that provides the suggestions to those that set the rules, let's draw names out of a hat instead of having the Director select who he wants on the team.

    In my opinion, the representatives from the special interest groups should make up, at most, the same percentage of those that are hunting in the state.
     
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