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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are we doing the right thing in managing for older bucks, or are we helping a disease to spread?

Researches find CWD more prevalent in older bucks
Release Date: 7/1/2003

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MADISON - Researchers continuing to examine the results of the chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling effort during the 2002 Wisconsin hunting seasons report that the data indicates older bucks have a higher prevalence of the fatal brain disease and that the disease is not uniformly distributed within the infected area.

"We examined the data from nearly 2,000 adult deer within the area where CWD is most prevalent. For yearling deer, we found chronic wasting disease at equal levels in male and female yearlings, 3.2 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively," said Dr. Mike Samuel, lead CWD researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Cooperative Wildlife Research Center, housed at the University of Wisconsin. "But when the deer in our sample reach three years of age, males are showing double the prevalence -- 16.3 percent in males compared to 8.1 percent in the females. This is similar to information reported from Colorado earlier this year."

As for distribution of the disease across the landscape, testing of the deer removed from the intensive harvest zone last year show a core area in Dane and Iowa counties where the disease was found in about 7 percent of the deer.

"This kind of concentrated disease pattern is consistent with our understanding about chronic wasting disease and what we know about the home range and social behavior of white-tailed deer," Dr. Samuel said. "It is not surprising to find a disease concentration given the social nature of deer. Studies have found female white-tailed deer often occupy about a 1-square mile area during their entire life and tend to live near related females. Once a disease gets started, the infection would tend to spread outward somewhat similar to ripples on a pond."

Tom Hauge, director of the DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management, said the results suggest several possibilities about how the disease is transmitted that, with further analysis, may help identify new ways to manage the disease.

"As DNR Secretary Hassett voiced before a national review panel earlier this spring, we intend to ‘learn and adapt' our CWD control efforts as new information points the way", Hauge said. "The identification of the high CWD concentration area will help us communicate with the landowners and hunters in that area. Wisconsin will not be successful in controlling this disease without their help."

Dr. Samuel said that researches on the CWD Taskforce had expected that the prevalence of the disease would increase with age in both sexes because older animals have been exposed for a longer period of time. The USGS Cooperative Wildlife Research Center is one of several CWD Taskforce partners, which also includes the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, sharing in new research on CWD.

"What is interesting in these results is the increasing prevalence of infection found in adult males compared to females, indicating that males have a higher risk of infection than females," Dr. Samuel said.

Hauge said the CWD Taskforce has several research efforts underway or about to start up that look at the transmission question.

"We have more to learn about what factors cause the increased infection in males," Hauge said. "For instance, if environmental transmission plays a role in spread of the disease, then it follows that males, who have larger home ranges than females, would logically experience more exposure. Another scenario that needs more investigation is the potential of females transmitting CWD to males during the breeding season. Once again, males cover a lot of ground during the breeding season and contact many different females physically as well as through urine scenting or other behaviors. A third possibility might be male-to-male transmission in the bachelor groups that form in late winter to mid summer."

While the data indicates that older bucks are more likely to be infected than does, Hauge said, researches do not think that killing just all the older mature bucks would solve the problem.

"CWD is also present in other, more common, segments of the population. From a disease management viewpoint, the priority is to reduce the overall population numbers and reduce the opportunity for animal to animal contact. Landowners and hunters can really help control this disease by maximizing the harvest of does on their lands in the infected area," Hauge said.

Researchers are also interested in learning more about both female-to-female and male-female transmission. Samuel notes that female deer form genetically-related matrilineal groups and these groups tend to exclude female deer from other matrilineal groups. Interaction between related females within a social group is much more intense than between individuals from unrelated groups.

Multi-agency research studies involving the DNR, USGS, and University of Wisconsin-Madison have already been initiated to better understand how CWD might be transmitted within and among related groups of females and among males and females during the breeding season.

"We have a large and valuable database from last year's surveillance effort thanks to the great cooperation of landowners and hunters. We plan to use it to learn as much as we can about CWD," Hauge said.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Hauge - (608) 266-2193
 

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I don't see any relation between QDM and CWD - it is a characteristic of the sickness to prevail in male deer. I think its a HUGE leap to drag QDM into the mix.

ferg....
 

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it has to be here first in order for any deer to have it and lets hope we never cross that bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
but Ferg if CWD is spreading more in older bucks, and they are increase the the spread of it because they travel more than younger bucks, and QDM is about increase the age structure of the bucks in MIchigan, because we have younger bucks(Mostly 1.5 yr olds). aren't we increasing the amount of carriers of the disease, and potentionally aiding the spread of it.
 

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poz said:
but Ferg if CWD is spreading more in older bucks, and they are increase the the spread of it because they travel more than younger bucks, and QDM is about increase the age structure of the bucks in MIchigan, because we have younger bucks(Mostly 1.5 yr olds). aren't we increasing the amount of carriers of the disease, and potentionally aiding the spread of it.
Like was said above. . .it has to be here to spread.

And to answer the question. . . .GOOD!! ;)
 

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poz said:
but Ferg if CWD is spreading more in older bucks, and they are increase the the spread of it because they travel more than younger bucks, and QDM is about increase the age structure of the bucks in MIchigan, because we have younger bucks(Mostly 1.5 yr olds). aren't we increasing the amount of carriers of the disease, and potentionally aiding the spread of it.
Not at all - there is no CWD in Michigan.

Therefor I see no connection.

And it's not spreading more in older bucks, they only live longer with CWD - therefor shows up as more previlant.

Think about it - if it's almost 50/50 in 1.5's and the bucks are out living the does with CWD it stand to reason that they would have a high previlance in the sample.

Leaving both hunting and QDM out of the mix - CWD kills female deer faster than male deer -

ferg....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
wild bill said:
it has to be here first in order for any deer to have it and lets hope we never cross that bridge.
I hope it never gets here either and I hope it gets wiped out everywhere else. But just like with TB we took steps to stop the spread of it. Baiting was banned, hunters didn't like it, but most did it. Are people ready to give up the work they did to get older bucks in order to stop the disease?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ferg, I hear what you are saying, And I'm not saying we have it here in MIchigan.
But the longer an animal lives with the disease the more it can spread it. So if bucks live longer with it, they will spead it more than does.
 

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poz said:
I hope it never gets here either and I hope it gets wiped out everywhere else. But just like with TB we took steps to stop the spread of it. Baiting was banned, hunters didn't like it, but most did it. Are people ready to give up the work they did to get older bucks in order to stop the disease?
i would give it up in a heartbeat if thats what it took to stop the spread of it. i would be a killing machine. ;)
 

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Ferg said:
And it's not spreading more in older bucks, they only live longer with CWD - therefor shows up as more previlant.
EQUALS more opportunity to SPREAD IT!!!!

Do you know that where the disease started (Colorado), they wiped the deer out cleaned all reamians, etc. Put deer back in the pens and they came down with CWD. They figure that once it's in the soil, ecosystem, or whatever, that it concievably can't be destroyed.

That my fellow sportsman, is a very very scary proposition. It may change and they may find a way to eliminate or disinfect the area (let us pray they do), but just think if they can't.
 

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FREEPOP said:
EQUALS more opportunity to SPREAD IT!!!!
I wasn't discounting that fact - my only point was that the fact that it's found more in older bucks has nothing to do with QDM - it's a trait of the illness.

ferg....
 

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Not to veer off topic but a quick question; since it appears that CWD is spread both by live deer and by dead ones as well, possibly through scavangers eating the carcass and then becoming hosts, does Michigan currently have any rules concerning the importation of dead deer from CWD infected States?

For instance, if a hunter harvests a deer in Wisconsin and then comes back to Michigan before processing the deer, is there not a chance that if he disposes of what is left of the carcass after removing the meat, that if the deer was infected with CWD it could potentially spread the disease?

Maybe NJ can comment on whether there are any sort of restrictions in place that could prevent this possibility, since he recently harvested a Wisconsin deer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ferg,

If it came across like I said QDM is responsible for it, That wasn't my intent.

But if the older a buck with CWD lives, that the more it can spread it's disease, will QDM be the right management tool in peoples eyes. Should we continue to let little bucks walk in order to get older bucks.

There is a story in one of the current hunting mags(i'll try to find it and post it.) that says(don't quote me) something like that in a study they conducted, 5 yr old bucks had a greater risk of contacting the disease than 1.5 yr olds if the disease enters their area. It is going to be interesting to see what happens.
 

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poz said:
Ferg,

If it came across like I said QDM is responsible for it, That wasn't my intent.

But if the older a buck with CWD lives, that the more it can spread it's disease, will QDM be the right management tool in peoples eyes. Should we continue to let little bucks walk in order to get older bucks.

There is a story in one of the current hunting mags(i'll try to find it and post it.) that says(don't quote me) something like that in a study they conducted, 5 yr old bucks had a greater risk of contacting the disease than 1.5 yr olds if the disease enters their area. It is going to be interesting to see what happens.
The ONLY management plan that will be in effect upon discovery of CWD in Michigan will be localized irradication - just like the TB Zone - everything else will be out the window.

ferg....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i agree they will eradicate once it is found, But what happens, if like they did in the TB zone with baiting, when they banned it with the assumption that it is a preventative measure,if they recommend not letting our deer herd have older bucks as a preventative measure, Will the hunters listen or will they still strive for a balanced age structured herd?
 

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poz said:
i agree they will eradicate once it is found, But what happens, if like they did in the TB zone with baiting, when they banned it with the assumption that it is a preventative measure,if they recommend not letting our deer herd have older bucks as a preventative measure, Will the hunters listen or will they still strive for a balanced age structured herd?
I'll let others answer for themselve's, but for me - I don't think there will be any 'preventative measures' other than what is already in place, restrictions on bring deer into the state and continued testing. But when an area test postive - the plan will be put into effect and I think, given the two choices, hunters will respond with what they feel is right to fix the problem.

I don't recall the baiting ban in the zone to be a Preventitive measure, it was a direct result of the finding of TB in that area and part of the irradication agenda to stop the spread of TB.

ferg....
 
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This is an area that needs one step at a time.

No one really knows why older bucks have a higher rate of TB or CWD. Yes, the story is repeated in DMU 452, with older bucks having a higher rate of TB. Why, why indeed is the question. Sorry to say ,we hear from our DNR field biologists and other state agencie personnel that in DMU 452 we should not initiate a QDM program and for this very reason.

Do they have conclusive proof? No. and they don't care about proof, they are looking for reasons to discourage the practice of QDM.

I have been there with several state personnel and not all are DNR personnel. First, is TB and or CWD a serious situation? Yes ideedit it is and we need to address it in a most seriouis but scientific manner not guess work, or without conclusive proof. When I ask these alarmests if they have done or intend to do a large scale research project along with a control group, I recieve a blank look. Ed, that is expensive and we do not have the funds.

No funds along with no conclusive proof does not give anyone the right to make unfounded suppositions. The main reason any animal, (including us) gets ill is due to them being run down from any number of reasons.

If we take out the older bucks, (whose presence in sufficient numbers restrains the yearling bucks from breeding), won't then the younger bucks do all of the breeding? It is this restraint in breeding that allows these younger bucks to enter the winter season in great physical shape and thusly survive at a rate better than 95% to be around the following year. This applies to the 1 1/2 year old bucks not the 1 1/2 year old does for reasons not yet fully known. Won't then with the yearling bucks doing all of the breeding possibly create a situation, (total rundown and very susceptably to desease) of being even worse than the alternative? I then recieve another blank stare, which seems to say "Don't confuse me with the facts".

Only until there is a real reseach program, with controls to get the real facts can anyone tell us what the real story is. Now we are talking realty,and not looking for reasons to justify personal viewpoints. Why are there so many politicians in our state agencies? Aren't they simply entrusted with the responsibilty of manageing our natural resources in a sound and scientific manner?
 

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Ed Spin04 said:
No one really knows why older bucks have a higher rate of TB or CWD. Yes, the story is repeated in DMU 452, with older bucks having a higher rate of TB. Why, why indeed is the question. Sorry to say ,we hear from our DNR field biologists and other state agencie personnel that in DMU 452 we should not initiate a QDM program and for this very reason.

Do they have conclusive proof? No. and they don't care about proof, they are looking for reasons to discourage the practice of QDM.
Ed.-


Are you saying this, as in, it's the DNR policy or desire to discourage QDM in general or just in the 'zone'?

ferg....
 
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Ed Spin04 said:
This is an area that needs one step at a time.

No one really knows why older bucks have a higher rate of TB or CWD. Yes, the story is repeated in DMU 452, with older bucks having a higher rate of TB. Why, why indeed is the question. Sorry to say ,we hear from our DNR field biologists and other state agencie personnel that in DMU 452 we should not initiate a QDM program and for this very reason.

Do they have conclusive proof? No. and they don't care about proof, they are looking for reasons to discourage the practice of QDM.

I have been there with several state personnel and not all are DNR personnel. First, is TB and or CWD a serious situation? Yes ideedit it is and we need to address it in a most seriouis but scientific manner not guess work, or without conclusive proof. When I ask these alarmests if they have done or intend to do a large scale research project along with a control group, I recieve a blank look. Ed, that is expensive and we do not have the funds.

No funds along with no conclusive proof does not give anyone the right to make unfounded suppositions. The main reason any animal, (including us) gets ill is due to them being run down from any number of reasons.

If we take out the older bucks, (whose presence in sufficient numbers restrains the yearling bucks from breeding), won't then the younger bucks do all of the breeding? It is this restraint in breeding that allows these younger bucks to enter the winter season in great physical shape and thusly survive at a rate better than 95% to be around the following year. This applies to the 1 1/2 year old bucks not the 1 1/2 year old does for reasons not yet fully known. Won't then with the yearling bucks doing all of the breeding possibly create a situation, (total rundown and very susceptably to desease) of being even worse than the alternative? I then recieve another blank stare, which seems to say "Don't confuse me with the facts".

Only until there is a real reseach program, with controls to get the real facts can anyone tell us what the real story is. Now we are talking realty,and not looking for reasons to justify personal viewpoints. Why are there so many politicians in our state agencies? Aren't they simply entrusted with the responsibilty of manageing our natural resources in a sound and scientific manner?
I'm glad I'm on his side because he makes too damn much sense.
 
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