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State DNR has new plan to control chronic wasting disease

Anita Weier — 11/12/2008 5:31 am
A new 10-year plan being proposed by the state Department of Natural Resources to control a fatal brain-wasting disease in deer and elk might assuage hunters and legislative critics, but it won't be any more successful than the agency's original eradication efforts, says a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor.
"It is a politically comfortable approach that will probably be accepted by hunters and many members of the general public and will have very little effect on the rate of spread of chronic wasting disease and the long-term dangers it threatens," said Tom Givnish, a botany professor.
These threats include a possible jump of the disease at some point into livestock, he added. The DNR plan states that the risk of transmission to traditional livestock is low but may not be zero.
The new plan focuses on preventing new introductions of CWD, controlling its distribution and intensity, and responding to new outbreaks.
The DNR has conceded that its initial efforts to control the disease through eradication of the deer herd failed. The agency no longer aims to eliminate the deer herd in the core CWD area -- primarily southwestern Wisconsin and the state's southeastern boundary with Illinois -- but is instead focusing on reducing the number of deer in a disease management area that now includes about 20 counties in southern Wisconsin.
Givnish, who sat on an advisory committee that helped the DNR develop its new plan, says that it is going to be much harder to eradicate the disease now that it has spread so far. He notes the governor could have declared an emergency and called in the National Guard to kill deer when the disease was first found in Wisconsin near Mount Horeb in 2002.
"Not everything that could have been done has been done," he said.
To be fair, the DNR did try to completely eradicate the white-tailed deer herd in that area, but the agency's plan never got full cooperation from hunters and landowners in the area. Some state legislators opposed it as well.
Hence, a full-fledged attempt to kill the entire herd was never made, and the disease eventually spread to most of southern Wisconsin.
The agency backed away from its initial plans after a 2006 state audit found the DNR spent more than $32 million in eradication efforts that failed to stop the spread of the disease or even to reduce the deer herd.
But Givnish fears the new policy will do even less to stop the spread of CWD.
"They think they can eradicate 'sparks' going into more areas, but without eradicating in the core area, more sparks will constantly turn up," he said.
The new plan is scheduled to go before the Natural Resources Board in January. The entire proposal is available on the agency's Web site, or it can be obtained by calling 264-6046; comments will be accepted through Dec. 13.
The plan calls for extending the regular hunting season for landowners in the CWD management zone through March 31. It would also implement a consistent hunting season in the CWD zone through 2012 so hunters are not confused by changing regulations.
Other parts of the plan include:
  • Conducting focused sharpshooting on public and private lands where permission can be obtained in areas of disease clusters along the edges of known CWD areas.
  • Ensuring that hunters have the option of testing for CWD in areas with the highest prevalence of the disease.
  • Pursuing a statewide ban on the feeding and baiting of deer to reduce the risk of transmission of the disease, which is spread from deer to deer and possibly in the environment where deer gather.
  • Conducting disease surveillance surveys every five years outside the management zone to detect any new outbreaks.
  • Encouraging the proper disposal of deer carcasses from areas inside and outside the state where CWD has been detected.
The plan's success would be reviewed after five years to make any necessary changes. Tom Hauge, director of the DNR's wildlife program, calls it a solid plan and says Wisconsin residents have to accept that CWD will be around for a while.
"We will not be able to take this deer herd from where it is right now to a very low level anytime soon," Hauge said. "Hunters are doing a great job, but they can only take so many deer. The disease and the deer herd are a formidable combination that we cannot cure quickly."
Since 2002, the state has tested 142,565 deer and found 993 infected with CWD.
"We will need to continue intensive monitoring of CWD prevalence and distribution over the next 10 years, and adapt based upon what we learn," Alan Crossley, CWD project leader for the DNR, said in a written statement.
Edgar Harvey Jr., chairman of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, said he has not read the entire plan but that his group opposes the use of sharpshooters based on public sentiment. The Conservation Congress also does not like the DNR's decision to allow the use of rifles in the CWD management zone. "We recommended that weapons choice be returned to the counties," he said.
Hauge expects continued opposition to a statewide feeding and baiting ban, which exists in the CWD management zone and areas where the disease has been found on deer farms.


Anita Weier — 11/12/2008 5:31 am
 

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At least they did the bait ban here. Wisconsin wished it would have.

For everyone who has been comparing Michigan to Wisconsin, After reading this article do you still think the Mich. response was to aggressive?
 

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At least they did the bait ban here. Wisconsin wished it would have.

For everyone who has been comparing Michigan to Wisconsin, After reading this article do you still think the Mich. response was to aggressive?
Wisconsin did ban baiting so why do you say they wished they would have? Baiting has banned in the CWD area there since 2002 and CWD is still spreading. In the parts of Wisconsin that allow baiting, there is no CWD. If it's not there, baiting is not going to spread CWD.

Michigan's response was waaaaay too aggressive. By banning baiting they are going to cause a population increase that will create a greater potential for the spread of disease, property and crop damage and human/deer accidents and have more negative consequences than non-existent CWD will have.

If CWD is really the dire threat that the DNR and others make it out to be, then we would have been much better off leaving baiting alone and taken drastic moves to dramatically decrease the population. Instead we do a feel good measure that just makes matters worse and refuse to address the chronic overpopulation that will ultimatly cause the disease to spread like wildfire if it gets in the free ranging herd.
 

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To be fair, the DNR did try to completely eradicate the white-tailed deer herd in that area, but the agency's plan never got full cooperation from hunters and landowners in the area. Some state legislators opposed it as well.
Hence, a full-fledged attempt to kill the entire herd was never made, and the disease eventually spread to most of southern Wisconsin.
My opinion is the bait ban is not too aggressive. I think this part of the article says it all. I believe it is unfortunate the some don't think CWD is a dire threat the the recreational activity of hunting overall. As far as taking drastic moves to dramatically decrease the population, I believe that has been attempted only to result in the same thing the article states. Failure because of some attitudes. I believe more could be done but without cooperation from hunters it doesn't matter because the hunters would be the ones needed to carry it out and it is obvious too many won't. As for banning baiting causing a increase in population I believe it could also cause a decrease with the help of mother nature and a bad winter verses artificial feed supply in baiting and feeding. Of course when, not if, CWD does effect the wild deer herd and less people give up hunting more rapidly than they already are, those same things from a increase in the deer herd could also happen. So by not taking aggressive action is the same as saying it will happen anyway so lets do nothing. Some would love to jump on that ban wagon to and blame the DNR for not doing enough. Catch 22. It will be real interesting for me to watch how this plays out because CWD will get here and the same people will then blame the DNR for not doing enough instead of looking in the mirror.

Just as a point of clarification though, I can find nothing that ever even hinted the a bait ban would stop CWD because there are other things that assist in spreading it. Stopping baiting I believe assists in slowing the spread of CWD.
 

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At least they did the bait ban here. Wisconsin wished it would have.

For everyone who has been comparing Michigan to Wisconsin, After reading this article do you still think the Mich. response was to aggressive?
Swampbuck you guys just don't get it. Amazing!!!:dizzy:

First, in order to protect the herd from a disease, that said disease must exist. Michigan 0 in the wild herd. Wow that is a toughy.

But I don't want it left there because sure enough some anti will see to it that a deer head will be presented that was said to be shot in Michigan regardless of where it was shot.

So next fact, Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance FAQ
http://www.cwd-info.org/index.php/fuseaction/about.faqDetail/ID/209ea1b39c93f85dde9a5a4261400ea2
How Does CWD Spread?

It is not known exactly how CWD is transmitted. The infectious agent may be passed in feces, urine or saliva.....Concentrating deer and elk in captivity or by artificial feeding probably increases the likelihood.......Contaminated pastures appear to have served as sources of infection.....

Now my understanding has always been that "may be" "probably" and "appear to have" do not constitute "principles of sound scientific management" that MUST guide the NRC.

Absolutely no evidence that baiting has anything to do with CWD and should not be part of anyones CWD plan. So you guys lose there too.

To the best of my knowlegde those that oppose the ban have never said do what the WDNR did. We are saying learn from all other states and don't play "monkey see....monkey do".

If you did your homework you'd see that what Munsterlndr said, "Wisconsin did ban baiting so why do you say they wished they would have? Baiting has banned in the CWD area there since 2002 and CWD is still spreading. In the parts of Wisconsin that allow baiting, there is no CWD. If it's not there, baiting is not going to spread CWD." is absolutely true.

In fact the first year they did a state wide ban until lawmakers overturned it. If you read the articles here http://www2.jsonline.com/news/state/cwd/ you can see that the WDNR, like the MDNR, have there own agenda against baiting.

And how about Colorado? fact: Colorado = 40 yrs. with CWD, >5% infection rate. So there goes the wiping out the herd theory.

Wow you guys are running out of excuses. Only one left. We don't think it's right so you can't do it. QMD at it's finest!:lol:
 

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BTW

Here is part of the WDNR plan that will get opposition:

"Sharpshooting, for example, engenders strong emotions, since the tactics - night-time shooting with the use of lights and bait piles - let the shooters use methods that hunters can't. "

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/34129689.html

Imagine that, allowing sharpshooters to use bait but not hunters. So much for it spreading disease.:dizzy:

Seriously, how dumb can these DNR people be?

Anyone that thinks the WDNR's brilliance can justify the MDNR's stupidity must have "a brick shy of a full load" too.
 

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My opinion is the bait ban is not too aggressive. I think this part of the article says it all. I believe it is unfortunate the some don't think CWD is a dire threat the the recreational activity of hunting overall. As far as taking drastic moves to dramatically decrease the population, I believe that has been attempted only to result in the same thing the article states. Failure because of some attitudes. I believe more could be done but without cooperation from hunters it doesn't matter because the hunters would be the ones needed to carry it out and it is obvious too many won't. As for banning baiting causing a increase in population I believe it could also cause a decrease with the help of mother nature and a bad winter verses artificial feed supply in baiting and feeding. Of course when, not if, CWD does effect the wild deer herd and less people give up hunting more rapidly than they already are, those same things from a increase in the deer herd could also happen. So by not taking aggressive action is the same as saying it will happen anyway so lets do nothing. Some would love to jump on that ban wagon to and blame the DNR for not doing enough. Catch 22. It will be real interesting for me to watch how this plays out because CWD will get here and the same people will then blame the DNR for not doing enough instead of looking in the mirror.

Just as a point of clarification though, I can find nothing that ever even hinted the a bait ban would stop CWD because there are other things that assist in spreading it. Stopping baiting I believe assists in slowing the spread of CWD.
I think people should visit the Wisconsin DNR website statistics per year and develop their own opinion of what is going on, because the above mentioned article is laden with similar spin to what we get out of our DNR.

http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/...WD/results.htm

From here you can search year by year and if you do the math you will see the following, and remember from Dr. Williams work less than 3% of CWD positive deer are clinicaly ill in free ranging populaitons. I verified this fact by talking to Wisconsins' senior CWD biologist, and he said very few if any of these deer are clinically sick that test positive for CWD.
2007 134 positive deer (24 out of the main 2 counties)
2006 205 positve deer (65 out of the main 2 counties)
2005 181 positive deer (26 out of the main 2 counties)
2004 145 positive deer (20 out of the main 2 counties)

So in total it sure doesnt look like it is increasing to me and we have in total 665 positive deer, so maybe 19 deer total showing any symptoms of CWD in the last 4 years and only 135 outside of Dane and Iowa counties or 4 deer in the rest of the state showing any symptoms of CWD, or about one per year statewide. Also I am not sure but I believe that many of these positives listed here are from captive farms.

So if you keep looking at the actual facts of what is going on, it is no wonder to me that the Wisconsin legislature took the action it did to curtail the large expense to the state that the DNR's CWD management became, and allow baiting in non-CWD zones, an area where absolutley no CWD has been found since they opened it up to baiting years ago. And the final point, when they say it is spreading, is it?, the actual number of positive deer was less in 2007 than in the previous years, so they likely just detected it at a very low level in another area that is was in all along.
 

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Jeff,
Please quit confusing people with facts.
We all know that Dr. Miller is the ONLY authority on CWD, and he says 40% of the deer in Colorado now have it.:D
 

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There has been a no baiting ban in the core area of CWD in Wisconsin. Has this stopped the infection of deer in the core area?

In another thread you can find information coming from Wisconsins own University and I quote,

"Increased harvest can help control disease by shifting the age structure of the population to younger animals and by reducing the total number of infected deer."

Or, from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resorses:

"Special collections do not seem to be affecting total numbers, but do seem to be having an affect on age structure and reproductive rate which is seen as a positive aspect of the program. Younger animals should theoretically be less capable of transmitting the disease"

If the Wisconsin DNR is serious about CWD I wonder why they do not try something different?
 

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So Ray, the herd reduction efforts in area 452 played no role in limiting the spread of TB, it was all due to the baiting ban in that area? Hunters in 452 did not cooperate with the DNR and help reduce the size of the herd? The population in 452 is down about 40-50% as a result of the eradication efforts and most hunters participated happily in that endeavor. It would be better if we used the same approach in the rest of the State BEFORE disease is present in the free ranging herd, instead of waiting until it is in the free ranging population.

You are never going to be able to completely eradicate free ranging deer in a given area but there is little question that given the opportunity and leadership from the DNR that densities in most DMU's could be reduced substantially. If you bring the density down from 75 DPSM to 20 DPSM, the potential for the spread of disease is going to be reduced substantially.

So instead of taking a proactive, responsible approach, the DNR should ignore the population issue and let it get to a crisis situation where starvation and winter kill cause a massive die off? Brilliant! :rolleyes:
 

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What will be the public reaction if we (hunters, landowners, the DNR) ALLOW our deer to starve to death in the event of a bad winter ?
The activists will have a field day, the animal loving public will demand that those responsible be held accountable. We are no longer living in the Dark Ages. Semi truckloads of corn and good second cutting alfalfa will be made available by our benevolent government agencies, we will suspend the bans on baiting and feeding deer.
Wyoming has 21 state and 1 federally operated winter feed grounds for elk. Colorado DNR has provisions for supplemental feeding of deer and elk in the event of a bad winter. Michigan has provisions for supplemental feeding of deer in the UP in the event of a bad winter.
So much for the "bogeyman" let Mother Nature control overpopulation of deer
 

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So Ray, the herd reduction efforts in area 452 played no role in limiting the spread of TB, it was all due to the baiting ban in that area? Hunters in 452 did not cooperate with the DNR and help reduce the size of the herd? The population in 452 is down about 40-50% as a result of the eradication efforts and most hunters participated happily in that endeavor. It would be better if we used the same approach in the rest of the State BEFORE disease is present in the free ranging herd, instead of waiting until it is in the free ranging population.

You are never going to be able to completely eradicate free ranging deer in a given area but there is little question that given the opportunity and leadership from the DNR that densities in most DMU's could be reduced substantially. If you bring the density down from 75 DPSM to 20 DPSM, the potential for the spread of disease is going to be reduced substantially.

So instead of taking a proactive, responsible approach, the DNR should ignore the population issue and let it get to a crisis situation where starvation and winter kill cause a massive die off? Brilliant! :rolleyes:
You are the one that is brilliant. You have no evidence that baiting will not assist in slowing down CWD or TB. As for the reduction in the deer herd in the TB area, nobody was against that right? You will not find where I ever said that prohibiting baiting would stop CWD or TB. As far as reduction, are you sitting there at your computer and saying the the MDNR has not been attempting to reduce the population for years? Just because the reduction is not done in a way to meet to your satisfaction.

You are a good reader Muster, sometimes. Unfortunately you can't make the connection from what you read to real life situations, even when you do get what you read correctly interpeted. You believe yourself to be so much of an expert in CWD in addition to other things when all you do is spin one part of the equation. You haven't got anyone fooled here because if you were that smart then you would be the leading expert in CWD and you ain't even close, nothing but another person expressing their opinion based on no actual experiences or knowledge.

You have your opinion and I have mine. Fortunately the DNR doesn't give a rip about your opinion, that is the bottom line, thankfully.:)

As far as the starvation part, yea you would rather dump food out there and create an additional way for increase in population. That is really proaction. Hey the DNR is so powerful they can even control mother nature.

That is Ok Muster. I will not argue with you anymore but will continue to express my opinion which on this topic, banning baiting is correct!
 

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The DNR may have been trying to reduce populations for years but they have been failing miserably and it's not due to hunters non-participation. It's due to their refusal to come up with a license structure that promotes the harvest of antlerless deer over bucks. Having two antlered tags that can be used in any season may be a great revenue generator but it is counter-productive in terms of facilitating population reductions. But you can go ahead and defend the policy, since the DNR can do no wrong in your eyes. Maybe you'd like to explain how limiting the number of antlerless permits an individual can buy also contributes to population reduction? Another brilliant policy by the DNR.

The baiting ban is a knee jerk reaction that will do little to inhibit the spread of CWD, if it is found to be in the free ranging deer herd. There are just too many other sources of food available to free ranging deer, both agricultural, food plots and naturally occurring sources, that cause deer to congregate and facilitate exposure. A baiting ban is like putting a band aid on a gaping wound and then saying "Ok, we've done all we can do, now let nature take it's course." If the DNR was serious about preventing the potential spread of disease, they would be lobbying the NRC for changes to the license structure, season lengths, methods of harvest, etc. all of which will have an impact on the number of deer harvested and the level of population. But again, that would entail a political risk and exhibiting some leadership in this matter. I guess the band-aid approach is easier, despite being totally ineffective.
 

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:yikes: Wow,, when you start to connect the dots, I guess you can realize why this state is in such bad shape... it's not just the chief's that exhibit poor decision making skills,, it's the indian's too...:(

Sorry Boehr,, those 2 posts are really,,,,,,,, out there...:(

I guess lemme edit the "poor decision making skills",,, maybe lack of insight or foresight.
 

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Munsterlndr, just more spin on your part. Of course it is always the DNRs fault when your anti DNR. Your actual experience and knowledge is what? I'll stay with the opinion of the people that are much more qualified than an anti DNR person. You have stated numerous times that the DNR can do know wrong in my eyes and I would expect that from an anti DNR person(s). Not very much of a suprise to me. Maybe you should try reading and gaining some more information about issued numbers of antlerless permits over the years before inserting foot. Like I said, you can read you just don't know what you read means.:rolleyes: But guess what, regardless of your "expert" (in your own eyes) opinion there is still a baiting ban and will be until the DNR decides to change it based on findings.:)

Oh and Bonney, catch up on the times too. Obviously you don't even read.
 

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Despite what you may think, I'm not anti-DNR but I'm certainly opposed to some of their policies and it does not take a genius to see what the impact of those policies has been. I applaud their efforts in dealing with the TB issue in Michigan. Had they adopted a similar approach to the CWD threat, it would have been a reasonable response and it would have had my full support. Instead, for whatever reason, they chose a response that was both an overreaction and will do little to actually stop the spread of CWD, while at the same time will in all likelihood exacerbate the chronic over-population problem. Despite what you may think, I'm not the only one who feels this way and whether the current ban survives in the future has yet to be seen. ;)
 

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Despite what you may think, I'm not anti-DNR but I'm certainly opposed to some of their policies and it does not take a genius to see what the impact of those policies has been. I applaud their efforts in dealing with the TB issue in Michigan. Had they adopted a similar approach to the CWD threat, it would have been a reasonable response and it would have had my full support. Instead, for whatever reason, they chose a response that was both an overreaction and will do little to actually stop the spread of CWD, while at the same time will in all likelihood exacerbate the chronic over-population problem. Despite what you may think, I'm not the only one who feels this way and whether the current ban survives in the future has yet to be seen. ;)
My view exactly, despite what you may think.

I'm also not the only one that feels the way I do either, imagine that.
 

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Munsterlndr, just more spin on your part. Of course it is always the DNRs fault when your anti DNR. Your actual experience and knowledge is what? I'll stay with the opinion of the people that are much more qualified than an anti DNR person. You have stated numerous times that the DNR can do know wrong in my eyes and I would expect that from an anti DNR person(s). Not very much of a suprise to me. Maybe you should try reading and gaining some more information about issued numbers of antlerless permits over the years before inserting foot. Like I said, you can read you just don't know what you read means.:rolleyes: But guess what, regardless of your "expert" (in your own eyes) opinion there is still a baiting ban and will be until the DNR decides to change it based on findings.:)

Oh and Bonney, catch up on the times too. Obviously you don't even read.
Yikes,,, where to start??:dizzy:

I realize you still have to tow the company line,, I'm not sure why though.
Decade's of mis-management, from the deer herd to money issue's and the latest disease debacles. The DNR/NRC are the Detroit loins of the State. If these individuals have so much experience and expertise,,,, why do they continue to make bad decisions?? That's what's puzzling..:dizzy:
 

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Yikes,,, where to start??:dizzy:

I realize you still have to tow the company line,, I'm not sure why though.
You are obviously not sure about a lot of things also evident when you don't know what your talking about.:rolleyes:


Decade's of mis-management, from the deer herd to money issue's and the latest disease debacles. The DNR/NRC are the Detroit loins of the State. If these individuals have so much experience and expertise,,,, why do they continue to make bad decisions?? That's what's puzzling..:dizzy:
One fact is that they do have more experience and expertise than you. If you have more maybe you should market it, unfortunately you don't.:gaga:
 

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You are obviously not sure about a lot of things also evident when you don't know what your talking about.:rolleyes:


One fact is that they do have more experience and expertise than you. If you have more maybe you should market it, unfortunately you don't.:gaga:
This is odd. You are slamming people that post facts and links to back it up yet you only state opinion.

Tear apart post #5, 6 & 7 for me, with fact to back it up.

Obviously you need the DNR to do your scouting for you, then you just buy what ever they say. Baaaahhhh.:bowdown:
 
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