Article. CWD: No Shortage of Deer Bones and Bodies

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

  1. Waif

    Waif

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    Lets use/credit modeling as near accurate enough.
    When it's close to what we see ,(see meaning do homework to get estimates of our locales,vs what we see on a random sit) we can more easily choose what needs to be reduced first. While not hindering general reduction in the process where needed.

    We do have a young herd. Age wise per individuals. More so with bucks in general.
    Problematic areas are those with many more doe than buck.
    Unless trying to increase numbers , doe in many locals can be targeted the most to keep numbers in check.

    Buck age goal for oldest bucks in "appreciable" numbers?
    There's a dicey one if disease involves higher possibilities of infection by age.
    Outside of disease areas ,(and I'm not saying bucks =disease because C.W.D. is spread only by bucks , so kill all bucks) we could have any age as a goal.
    Age though with what we measure legality for /with is not going to be high with an A.P.R. of four on a side in rich soil low winter severity areas.
    Four on a side is a compromise that I'm not convinced suits more than the Southern half of the lower. Nothing new there.
    IF yearlings are being advanced in appreciable numbers , then two year olds can be measured by antler characteristics by region. Diet,soil,winter severity,but two year olds.
    Once confirmed (it already is ,right?) two year olds can be managed for. Beyond that , outside of restricting amount of tags ,it's out of my wheelhouse...

    I'm not afraid of overkilling doe.
    I have had a small role in decimating a herd though.Part of the history of the D.N.R. and hunter cooperation when Fremont's (and other areas in those years) herd was brought to a screeching halt.
    With deer a rare sighting following the reduction , a clean slate existed for further management.
    What that management needed going forward was D.N.R. and hunter cooperation to continue in a participated in goal that suited both parties.
    Some hunters recoiled. Understandably. Far as I know decades later the herd remains a fraction of it's previous high.
    I drive through peeking on occasion. No longer hunting the area though.

    IF hunters cooperate with reduction , the smaller herd will increase competition for prime targets. At least less targets will be obvious. Prime meaning whatever is considered the best kills by hunter choice vs D.N.R. desires.
    Will two year old bucks be acceptable hunter targets? Most are now. More will be if fewer are seen.
    We can say we would pass more because they are fewer. But targeting the oldest around gets kinda tempted by a hunter's nature after a couple seasons of not tagging a buck. Percentage of kills wise by model/harvest data anyways.( A kind of link to prior yearling harvest rates. Always willing volunteers to pop them.)

    Too great a real or perceived reduction of a herd will yield similar results.
    Benefit for deer in deer competitive habitat mostly , and reduced sightings and former kill options for hunters.

    I like pick a number still. In my locale. (Yours or anyone else's for that matter).
    Get the herd to a number that suits the habitat first.
    Then work on the herd for age and sex ratios agreed upon by hunters and the state.
    Herds already young.
    Cooperation killing bucks is doable as evidenced.
    That leaves doe numbers.
    Now pick another number...
    Hunter education will happen with or without the state behind it if a herd is reduced too much.

    Faith in the state is vital to greater hunter cooperation.
    Are you convinced the state has deer management secure , with both biologists and hunter interests and reasoned desires in mind?

    We have the tags to reduce the herd.
    We have the choice of kills. (though varied by region , there's a way to reduce deer if desired by hunters, and to pass what anyone wants to personally pass.)

    Whats being passed by whom where it/they should not be passed at a high enough rate to inspire regulation change?
    It's doe in some/any areas. Doe that where too high in number we already have enough control over...Tag wise.

    Buck regulations here. Doe there. Not both on one license.
    Saving me from buying a doe tag is not why I kill doe.
    Heck , five are/were free here on private.
    Having an accepted understandable and goal orientated (by hunter) reason to kill a doe or doe matters more. Without that , are we really going to kill more doe in appreciable numbers if one of our buck tags can be used?
    By state data , yes. I killed a doe and tagged it with one of the combo tags.
    Yet, it was not because of the combo. It was because a doe was the target/goal of removing her portion of the herd.
    If it's a buck next season , did the combo option cause it?
    We're blowing hot and cold with the same breath. Not my kind of understanding management.
    Doe (regulation and number goal) here. Buck (regulation and number) here.
    Then number and age of doe/number and age of buck finesse attempts. Together; but separate.

    You know a good balance when you see it ,IF you see it by all points of what is tolerable for all parties. Including deer health and better habitat volume than deer browse pressure of preferred foods and thermal cover in mid-late winter of a decade worst winter. (A more difficult combination than it is a common one if all of Michigan is considered).
    What amount of Michigan's whole then, is balanced?
    Does harvest data provide the answer?
    Can the percentage of oldest bucks success rates per hunter numbers reflect balance?
    It would not have to be viewed as success = more hunters kill more older bucks.
    View it as X amount of hunters killing X amount of the herds older(est ) buck makes sense because we managed according to habitat ,state, and hunter goals, to have a percentage of older bucks.
    But only if doe numbers were at goal in the same areas.
    I'd be willing to take bucks off the table if hunters pass ten times the doe to kill a buck where doe need reduced and then still not kill doe. And justify it by stating one word. Balance.
     
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  2. Waif

    Waif

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    Topic is managing deer in a C.W.D. environment.
    The O.P. article mentioning ages of bucks we do not commonly see here inspired question as to what age bucks we can/should manage for. For me, getting ages on bucks here like in the O.P. article would take a lot more than the N.W.'s A.P.R..I've hunted there. Friends hunt there, (Muskegon to Ludington and farther inland. For decades with serious scouting pre and during seasons. It's no 5-6 year old buck herd. As you well know. Great that C.W.D. has not been found there. Celebrate.


    The O.P. has nothing to do with the N.W.12. But if you believe an A.P.R. prevents C.W.D. , by all means keep it upfront.
    If you has found the four on a side generated a age level that has plateaued , toss it out. I'll gamble 4 year olds and above are not well represented on the kill chart. IF aging is accurate. So how (if desired for the sake of debate) to get older than three year olds with any consistency?
     

  3. Hillsdales Most Wanted

    Hillsdales Most Wanted

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    Thousands upon thousands of deer tested each year for cwd in the LP. How many are tested in the NW12???? Appears the dnr doesnt want to find cwd in the maprs zone:shhh:
     
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  4. Dish7

    Dish7

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    I'm always confused when I read about the MDNR's stance on maprs in these threads. Some say the MDNR is secretly against maprs while others say the MDNR protects them. Sounds like the "deep state" has me right where they want me. :16suspect
     
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  5. Waif

    Waif

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    But...Hows your herd balance?

    Not sure what I expected with an M.A.P.R..
    What mattered considerably was prior hunter choices. Made it a fairly smooth switch and for those hunters passing most yearlings prior , no change really.

    Adding C.W.D. to the equation , hunter choices of kills mattered too.
    The state gave us the ability to kill all the local deer at one time or another the past five years.
    That certainly put(s) hunters in charge of local deer management. Or at least in charge of the reduction that followed.
    Adding the A.P.R. last year meant the few yearlings (not a big antler area on average so yearlings were not in high jeopardy under it) had a good chance of being around next season/year. No guarantee as there are other causes of mortality. But hunters were removed from the equation.

    It will be on hunters (again) when going forward , what is left is what can be hunted.
    What is left is what will generate more or less deer of any sex , and certainly will determine age by what was left.

    Herd ratio (and this is by no means meant to represent anywhere but where I hunt) is pretty darned good at roughly half each by sex.
    Numbers of deer are roughly at or below hunter numbers.
    Age is well mixed (though lightest on older than legal under A.P.R. bucks) with a low enough fawn recruitment rate to keep it in mind without expecting a flush of success percentage wise of fawns through their first winter , until proven.

    Improving last years odds of one in seven (approx.) hunters being able legally to kill a/the oldest buck at three(?) years of age should happen this year or next.
    IF hunters keep the herd balance repeatability can be approximated after that.
    IF they target more doe , buck fawn production will be reduced. As will odds of older bucks being more common simply do to reduced recruitment , birth through two years of age survival first.. (Per my math theory.)

    Still , it's on hunters.
    Limited access helps and is part of why the deer are what they are here.
    Hunter choices and decisions allowed by the state are more important in the results than what is legally allowed.
    A hunter passing a particular deer for more management decisions than the states , or neighbors, or other areas, is in a way restricting access. But are more accurately adjusting the herd IF the herd balance is their goal.. What's passed matters. But so does what is not passed.

    C.W.D. zone hunting in a reduced herd is doable. As is managing that herd going forward while keeping it in balance enough to try not to draw deer into (to fill voids in decent habitat) ,or expand out of home ranges more than prior to C.W.D..
    We'll see more of what the A.P.R. does for hunter participation and success on older bucks.
    What older bucks in the reduced population will have to do with C.W.D. remains to be seen. IF seen.
    My guess is local hunters will be slightly more than causally considering what odds are before and after each season. As usual.

    The missing previous older buck hunters and lower hour participating hunters following reduction will be of interest . And easy enough to notice if they return or increase participation.
    Trend was/is scout first (with cameras part of that, but eyes on sites too) ,hunt where desired targets exist.
    Obviously there are hunters with multiple site options that are producing desired targets elsewhere. Or, more of those desired targets.
     
  6. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    Doesn’t MAPRs force hunters to concentrate their efforts on the population segment that has the highest chance of being CWD positive? Older bucks and does being the primary target animal. For some unknown reason, even with supporting data, some believe it’s not true.
     
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  7. Waif

    Waif

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    How many hunters do you know that claimed a doe kill last year was forced upon them by A.P.R.?

    How many old bucks did you see last season , and how many doe?
    Ratio? Did your forced tags balance the herd? Or is more force needed on your property?
     
  8. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    I did not see any 4-1/2 year old or older bucks last season.
    I did not try to age does, there are no antlerless tags available with the exception of Native American tags. No archery season exemption for does either.
    There is no CWD found in low density deer herds anywhere in the state.
    I’m also in favor of no closed season in DMUs with more than 10 confirmed CWD deer. 24/7/365.
     
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  9. Waif

    Waif

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    What of the sex ratio of bucks to doe?
    Balanced?
    Why do hunters demand no doe kills?

    I'm not for no closed season in C.W.D. hot zones.
    As vacuum draws deer into voids it will be attended with stressed (pressured) deer.
    Stressed deer susceptibility may be expected to create more vulnerability to C.W.D..
    Meanwhile , deer rousted back across invisible borders drawn from due to gunning pressure are not going to pause for disinfecting.

    How far will a deer go when pressured?
    How far unpressured?
    Meanwhile , across the boarder that is crisscrossed to deer being deer...

    IF reduction is key , reduce before C.W.D. is prevalent. Pro-active vs. our reactive measure(read C.W.D. plan and hunter participation) that has not eliminated either deer or C.W.D..

    That means lower herd numbers. With a better sex and age ratio to appease the most hunter desires.

    Yet...What's goin on at your place?
    Growing the herd by protecting doe.
    Waiting for C.W.D. to arrive to acknowledge C.W.D. has mobility , and then react..(With what plan? No closed season? )
    Non improvement = full participation in the status quo.. Quite the trend you're running.
    But hey , you get to watch more does in the meantime.

    Meanwhile I get 5 months of deer hunting. More doe tags than needed or desired.
    Free disease tags for any age or sex. (Still have some outdated ones in the truck).
    An A.P.R.. (Not sure if that balances the herd when disease tags are any deer , but hey ,who's balancing anything?).


    If I can't kill enough deer in four/five months ,I'm not likely to do so year round either.
    Last season the temps were not right till Nov..

    Fall fat deer ,even on lean years trump summer deer.
    And I've eaten enough scrawny summer deer to not be interested in more.
    Eaten downer cattle too. Not interested in more. Even if you despise cattle.
    Lean beef is not lean like lean venison. So it has that going for it on non prime kills.
    But lactating cattle or deer? I'll pass. Hell , I can smell the scrawn now.
    And just recently had extra lean beef. Tolerable due to pre killing diet and animal condition. Which if you you've compared and declared which is more tolerable given the choice was not summer green and lactating.

    A doe kill for me this day? Dig a hole cause I'm having nothing to do with it.
    Nor will I allow it done on my property in summer.

    Antler hunting this day ? Pa-lease...

    So now we're killing fawns for a few pounds of meat. (12-13 pounds come Oct. ,maybe.)
    Worth getting bloody for a couple of generous sandwiches?
    Not for me.
    Besides those buck fawns are almost yearlings if left alone. And buck fawns come from...Well , you know by now per your pro=improvement management.

    Here's hoping C.W.D.'s mobility is not real for ya.
    But will expect you to be killing deer year round if it gets to your hunting areas.
     
  10. Lightfoot

    Lightfoot

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    Prevalence, not spread. On any given day a young spike buck, old doe, spotted fawn or trophy wall hanger could have a pretty similar chance of contracting cwd from something, be it another infected deer, licking branch, pile of apples etc.

    Flip a coin with heads not contracting v tails and contracting cwd, 50/50 on any given toss. A 3% chance of getting a head five times in a row and not contracting cwd. At what percentage chance do you cut your losses and decide to cull? 25, 12.5, 6.2?

    I haven't seen a buck here in 2 years with a rough guess of 50 does, hey, I don't bait and or am a lousy hunter. Those local that do bait, seem to fill their tags easy enough and are selective to what they take. The buck to doe ratio is anybody's guess.

    Managing heard density with migratory deer and winter complexes, baiting/feeding or not, available ag, etc? Nothing is ever simple or easy.
     
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  11. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    This may help. Are you in DMU 017?

    29262B28-095F-488D-AE4E-9A3092EA8F2D.jpeg
     
  12. Lightfoot

    Lightfoot

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    Yeah Mike, 017. I've seen the above info before. If I started baiting, my perceived deer numbers and doe/buck ratios would probably change. The little bit of habitat work I've done has changed that as well. All of the houses around me use bait, and deer are concentrated near those areas. I've spent a lot of time on the public land behind them and the deer don't stray far from the kitchen. The number of trails leading from house to house is almost funny. That being said, if baiting and feeding deer is legal and they want to bait and feed deer, more power to them.

    Well behind the above mentioned houses on public land I followed tracks over a mile one afternoon last fall after some fresh snow. Those three deer wandered from swamp to clearings but mainly followed edges, no surprise, but never crossed tracks from another deer. They eventually moved back into private property and free corn. Hike back into that area in January and you won't find a single track. The closer to the road (houses) the more tracks I find. What's the deer density? Anybody's guess. Do we move back to pellet count transects? Arial surveys after leaves drop? Use the above info you posted as an index which might be best possible?

    That is just one very very very small area of 017. I'm on the northern edge of a deer winter complex. Some of the nearby deer winter complexes are packed with deer, but, are they also packed with houses. I can guess what deer distribution is. Does free corn trump thermal cover?

    Does baiting congregate deer outside of their normal distribution? In my area I believe it does. Safe to say food plots do the same. Ag land, yup. Isolated apple trees, yes. However, isolated areas of crabapple and oak trees I know of that are away from previously mentioned housing do not have or have very few deer. I see zero deer tracks at those locations after winter snow sets in.

    How far will a deer go when pressured?
    How far unpressured?
    Meanwhile , across the boarder that is crisscrossed to deer being deer...

    Here you go Waiff. A quick google and first thing that pops up https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1439179115001668 gives me something to read tonight.

    Density v distribution?
     
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  13. Waif

    Waif

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    Well that was quite a read.

    Agree with deer after being pressured move less and over less ground .

    The night time activity in pressure/risk areas was interesting...Rather than be extra active at night to make up for lost time , what I'll call "ghosting" perception of potential threat is credited with reduced movement. Though...the article mentions missed breeding and browsing activity is more likely to be recovered (in part) due to the perception(if that's the right word) of threat still being valid.

    Similarly , post season/risk/pressure period lags of activity. Vs quick return when risk/pressure is removed.

    Density would(?) then mean if you have few deer , you'll see fewer with pressure as season progresses.

    Distribution (or movement part of it) seems greatest per the study (and many harvest trends) to be early on in a season of risk/pressure.

    If I read it all near correctly...