Wisconsin CWD rates continue to rise steadily

Discussion in 'Whitetail Deer Disease' started by Munsterlndr, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. motdean

    motdean

    Messages:
    7,233
    Likes Received:
    8,286
    Understood. I appreciate that you can recognize the difference and we are not all one issue people....
     
    JVoutdoors likes this.
  2. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve

    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    11,038
    Wouldn't a herd with unbalanced sex ratios weighted towards does mean more deer too? We have had that in this state and populations were at all time highs.
     

  3. Munsterlndr

    Munsterlndr Cereal Baiter Premium Member

    Messages:
    19,596
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Location:
    Traverse City
    It only means more deer if the herd is allowed to grow. With ample antlerless permits hunters have demonstrated in the past that they are perfectly capable of lowering deer populations. See Lake Co. about a decade ago, the herd was reduced substantially through the use of liberal antlerless permits. When the deer population in Michigan was at an all time high (1998) antlerless permits were much less available then during the last 8 years or so.
     
  4. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve

    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    11,038
    Michigan sold 322k antlerless tags in 1990 and 278k in 2014....couldn't find the 2015 numbers.

    I think what you aren't considering was that when buck to doe ratio was at its worst and when deer numbers were climbing to the all time high we were able to shoot 4 bucks in this state. Then we went to a system where you could buy 4 tags but you were on your honor system to only shoot 2 bucks. We sold plenty of antlerless tags in the early 90's people just didn't fill them. It was too easy to shoot sparky with a bow and turn around and shoot sparky again with a gun. Most hunters wouldn't shoot a doe after bagging two deer. Shooting bucks is just more fun for most people. If you increase buck kill doe harvest will go down.
     
  5. Munsterlndr

    Munsterlndr Cereal Baiter Premium Member

    Messages:
    19,596
    Likes Received:
    1,298
    Location:
    Traverse City
    Yet somehow we have been able to reduce the deer population in Michigan from around 2.2 million to about 1.5 million. If the DNR wants to lower the herd size some more, they will be able to accomplish it using hunters as the primary tool.
     
  6. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve

    Messages:
    10,407
    Likes Received:
    11,038
    We lowered the deer herd when we protected yearling bucks and started giving unlimited doe tags in the tb zone. Also increased antlerless tags in other zones. My point here is if we open up buck regulations once again people will go back to not shooting does. You can increase doe tags all you want....shooting bucks is just more fun for most.
     
  7. jatc

    jatc

    Messages:
    2,886
    Likes Received:
    3,112

    If the DNR really wants to lower the deer population all they have to do is drop the price of antlerless tags. I remember when they first got serious about lowering the herd in the SLP, they dropped the tags to either $3 or $5 (can't remember exactly). It was pretty common for a guy to have two or three of those tags in his pocket every time he went out, and if you had a tag already with you it was a pretty easy decision to use one or more.

    At $20 a pop for an antlerless tag these days, many guys will fill their combo tags because they already paid for those two buck tags and MAYBE they bought one antlerless tag. If they could buy six doe tags for that $20 though, there will be a lot more antlerless tags filled.

    I really have no problem with $40 for the combo tag, but making the antlerless tag $20 is just stupid if the goal really is to "shoot more does". Obviously the focus is on the finances of the DNR more than on the need to balance the deer herd based on the antlerless tag costing the same as a buck tag.
     
    JVoutdoors and 12Point like this.
  8. Radar420

    Radar420

    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,987
    Location:
    Royal Oak
    We did? They will?

    IF the deer herd has been reduced it is probably more of a result of changing habitat rather than hunter harvest.

    From the DNR:

    "The success of the DRIP, along with series of mild winters in the 1980s and artificial feeding of deer by the public, further propelled the herd to a new peak of 2 million deer in 1989. Signs of distress in the herd appeared again. Deer-vehicle accidents exceeded 40,000 per year with an average of 5 people killed and 1,500 injured each year. Crop damage reappeared....
    ... Unfortunately, the large deer herd has begun to have a significant impact on their own habitat and the habitats of other animals. In some areas, they have nearly eliminated certain plants, which may provide food and or shelter for other wildlife."

    From the Michigan State Police:

    "While the state's two million deer are most active in spring and fall, vehicle-deer crashes are a year-round problem. Each year, there are nearly 50,000 reported vehicle-deer crashes in Michigan"

    So early 90s DNR estimated 2 million deer and 40,000+ vehicle collisions. Fast forward to 2014, MSP estimated 2 million deer and ~50,000 vehicle collisions.
     
  9. Joe Archer

    Joe Archer Staff Member Mods

    Messages:
    16,966
    Likes Received:
    13,148
    Location:
    New Baltimore Michigan
    Public land yes, private land ...no. Many of the large sections of private land in the NeLP are still over populated.
    <----<<<
     
  10. Rut-N-Strut

    Rut-N-Strut

    Messages:
    3,153
    Likes Received:
    1,367
    Not good news.

    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com...7/dnr-denial-cant-change-cwd-truths/81813430/

    DNR denial can't change CWD truths


    Imagine what you would have thought Wednesday morning had your newspaper’s top headline read, “Super Tuesday II voters provide current snapshot of presidential primaries.”

    And imagine what you’d have thought if the article’s lead paragraph read: “Ohio, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina held elections Tuesday, and generated 13.84 million votes, of which 7.2 million (52 percent) were Republicans.”

    You’d have yelled: “That tells me nothing! Where’s my news?”

    But that’s how the Department of Natural Resources announced the latest bad news Tuesday about chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin’s deer herd. Instead of saying CWD infection rates hit a record 9.5 percent despite record-low sampling efforts, the agency merely announced it found 295 sick deer among the more than 3,100 tested in 2015.

    That says nothing. Where’s our news?

    After reading that deceitful news release, I went online, looked up CWD test results on the DNR’s website, and compared 2015’s data with previous years. Make no mistake: The DNR’s biologists conscientiously keep CWD data up to date and easily accessible on the agency’s website. But there it sits unless you have a computer and Internet access, or know who to call at DNR headquarters to get the information.


    Meanwhile, DNR administrators work equally hard to keep CWD out of the news. That’s why the DNR communications office ran basically the same headline in mid-March the past two years to announce the annual CWD results: “With help from Wisconsin’s hunters, sampling results provide current snapshot of CWD in Wisconsin.”

    Maybe the headline mentioned Wisconsin twice to confirm our hunters didn’t provide a snapshot of CWD in Guam.


    This is remarkable. Why must we beat such important information out of the agency that’s responsible for managing our white-tailed deer herd? Deer are arguably Wisconsin’s most prized and valuable wildlife species. The animal also provides the DNR its largest revenue source through hunting-license sales, and generates about $1.5 billion annually in hunting-related business across Wisconsin.

    Besides, Gov. Scott Walker made the pursuit of deer-hunting happiness part of his election platform when seeking office in 2010. Once elected, he appointed a deer czar and two advisers for $125,000.

    But yet the DNR deliberately disguises an ever-worsening disease and its looming impact on the herd and recreational hunting. And it barely acknowledges CWD’s human-health uncertainties. So let’s review some CWD data the DNR didn’t include in its March 15 news release:


    » At 9.5 percent, the record-setting 2015 CWD infection rate marked the state’s 10th straight annual increase.

    » Recent infection rates were 6 percent in 2014, 5.3 percent in 2013, and 5.1 percent in 2012. In 2010, the rate was 2.9 percent, and in 2008 it was 1.46 percent.

    » At 3,139 samples, the 2015 CWD testing efforts were a record low since the DNR increased its monitoring program after discovering the disease in February 2002.

    » The previous record low for CWD tests was 5,321 in 2011.

    » Despite testing 2,182 fewer deer in 2015 than in 2011, the DNR found 56 more CWD infections, 295 vs. 239.

    » CWD infection rates in Richland County hit 9.9 percent in 2015 (37 positives from 373 samples).

    » Richland County documented three CWD cases while testing 6,244 deer in seven years from 2002 to 2008, but has since found 105 infections while testing 3,647 deer.

    » Richland County’s disease rate climbed from 0.75 percent in 2009, to 1.5 percent in 2011, 4.4 percent in 2013, 5.1 percent in 2014, and 9.9 percent in 2015.

    » Iowa County’s CWD rate reached 23 percent overall in 2015 (152 of 660), while Sauk County’s reached 19 percent (59 of 309) and Dane County’s was 9.2 percent (34 of 369).

    » CWD can infect deer of all ages, but the likelihood increases with time. In Iowa County during 2015:

    Buck fawns, 1 of 22 (4.5 percent) tested positive;

    Bucks1.5 years old, 15 of 101 (14.9 percent) tested positive;

    Bucks 2.5 years old, 20 of 94 (21.3 percent) tested positive;

    Bucks 3.5 years old, 44 of 124 (35.5 percent) tested positive;

    Bucks 4 to 5 years old, 26 of 54 (48.1 percent) tested positive;

    Bucks 6 to 8 years old, 2 of 4 (50 percent) tested positive.

    When planning its CWD-testing efforts for 2015, the DNR projected it would receive 4,000 samples statewide. Instead it took in 3,139, or 78.5 percent of its goal. Of the five large areas the DNR targeted for testing, only one — central Wisconsin — exceeded projections. Hunters in Portage, Marathon, Adams and Juneau counties provided 466 deer for testing, 66 more than the 400 the DNR sought. Two carried CWD.

    Efforts elsewhere were:

    » Washburn, Polk, Barron and Burnett counties: 173 tests, 275 sought (63 percent), no infections;

    » Clark, Jackson and Eau Claire counties: 80 tests, 125 sought (64 percent), no infections;

    » Marquette and Green Lake counties: 98 tests, 200 sought (49 percent), no infections;

    » Southern farmland counties, 2,292 tests, 3,000 sought (76.4 percent), 293 infections.

    Why didn’t hunters provide more samples? Maybe because the DNR did little to encourage them. Once again Gov. Walker and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp didn’t mention CWD or encourage testing in their joint preseason pep talk.

    And even though the DNR’s new electronic deer-registration system apparently worked well and pleased hunters, it likely curtailed the number of hunters bringing in deer for CWD testing.

    When reading these worsening numbers, don’t forget that CWD is always fatal, killing deer about 18 months after they contract it. Also remember these numbers have kept climbing even as the Legislature and DNR cut funding and scientists for CWD monitoring since the 2010 election.

    Maybe it’s time the DNR requires hunters to submit all antlered bucks for testing in CWD-monitoring areas.

    And maybe the DNR, our governor and Legislature should quit pretending CWD is just in our imagination.

    As Flannery O’Connor wrote, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

    Patrick Durkin is a freelance writer who covers outdoors in Wisconsin. Email him at [email protected]

     
  11. Radar420

    Radar420

    Messages:
    3,972
    Likes Received:
    1,987
    Location:
    Royal Oak
    I do a little lurking on the QDMA forum from time to time. A member there recently posted that the latest QDMA magazine showed Wisconsin with the highest yearling harvest rate in the country. Can anyone confirm?
     
  12. JVoutdoors

    JVoutdoors

    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    575
    Location:
    KY and NW MI
    Good read. Thanks for posting RNS.
     
    Rut-N-Strut likes this.
  13. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

    Messages:
    33,936
    Likes Received:
    26,829
    Location:
    Somewhere Near the Tip of the Mitt
    At this weeks Sportsmen's Coalition meeting our DNR biologist mentioned they are stepping up CWD testing along the Wisconsin border. There was no mention on how deer would be collected.
     
  14. stickbow shooter

    stickbow shooter

    Messages:
    11,308
    Likes Received:
    20,660
    Location:
    Wellstabama
    Good luck finding any to test.
     
  15. ridgewalker

    ridgewalker

    Messages:
    5,841
    Likes Received:
    2,670
    Location:
    NMI Woods
    Yearling bucks were not protected if one purchased the single buck license.