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CWD - Seeing is Believing

Big Fin

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CWD continues to be one of those issues that causes a lot of fractures in the hunting community. Colorado Parks and Wildlife, a state that is ground zero for the disease in wild populations, has put out a video that I think help with the awareness of this issue.

A lot of hunters are skeptical of the data around CWD, as they haven't seen dead or sick deer. In this video, you will see some sick deer.

The first video (I assume another video is forthcoming, given they call this Part 1) is in Eastern Colorado, an area primarily private land. I get the feeling that CPW is hoping this video will appeal to private landowners in places where they control most of the hunting access and therefore they control the ability to manage a disease such as CWD.



Given the best known control measure, at this time, is to keep mature buck numbers lower, the prescribed management strategies are being met with a lot of resistance from some hunters. Montana already hammers deer and it seems like a strategy to lower numbers even further, at least on public land, is going to be met with resistance.

I talked to the CPW folks in charge of these management strategies. They are doing a ton of work on this. They had a couple good points as it relates to CWD, both focused on keeping hunters engaged and informed.

1. Be open and transparent with what you know, but even more so with what you don't know.

2. Balance the management strategies based on what you do know and with the interest of hunters who need to have trust that your agency is working to find more answers.

CWD is here and it becomes more of an issue every day. I often wonder how hunters would react if CWD only impacted does, not bucks. Would proposed management actions to control or lower the prevalence rates be as controversial? I think we all know the answer to that.

Hopefully the rate of understanding and management options grows at a faster pace than the spread or discovery of CWD.

P.S. If anyone knows where Part 2 and subsequent videos are, please post them to this thread.
 
Watched both a few days ago. To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed. I expected more direct video of sick deer given the title. Regardless, CPW (and others, and deer) are in a no-win with CWD. I was glad to see additional funding for some actual science in the most recent appropriations bill. But people were even pissed about that, perfectly illustrating some of the conflicting viewpoints.
 
This topic is almost as divisive as politics, but way more interesting to read about.

Part two popped up for me on Vimeo after I finished part one....and someone posted the link.

Agree with @marksjeep, I don't know that this video is going to convince anyone one way or another in a battle against CWD. Very vague information about why private land can be a hotspot and very vague on why they've seen a decrease in some areas.

All the deer I've shot in Wisconsin or been a part of shooting in Wisconsin were tested. Free peace of mind. I was pretty lax about having deer/elk tested here in WY before I had kids, but going forward I'll try to have all my critters tested. I don't know about other locations, but here in Cheyenne it couldn't be simpler to submit a sample. Go the the Game and Fish HQ, tell the front desk you want to submit a sample, and pull around. Go into the heated receiving bay and a technician or biologist takes a sample and sends you on your way. Maybe 10 minutes tops...again all free of charge. Very interesting to chat for a few minutes with the guys there as well. I like knowing that meat my family will eat is going to be "clean" as well as meat given out is going to be "clean". Maybe when I get to an age in life I won't worry about it personally, but as simple as the testing is, why not have it tested? I used to take my game to get processed to a guy here in town who ran it out of his garage and would just chew through critters. I'm about 100% positive I've eaten meat contaminated at this point and why I process all my own now.

It's been 20+ years at this point of CWD in Wisconsin, and many more here in Wyoming and Colorado living with CWD. I have never seen any info about an increase of either CJD or vCJD (the human variant of CWD/BSE) in any area, but boy there sure could be a spike someday. There was a meeting I went to as a kid in Wisconsin where they had a bunch of guys proudly proclaim they had knowingly eaten CWD positive meat, I'd love to follow-up with them or know if the government ever kept stats on them. If memory serves, they never truly eradicated Mad Cow when there was the breakout in the 90's in Europe, they just started killing the cattle before they could detect the disease, I'm sure someone will correct my info.

Anyways, enough of solving the worlds problems this morning.
 
is there any research suggesting that some cervids show resistance/immunity?

when i think about this while driving, sometimes i wonder if it's really just the beginning of the end for many regional herds of cervids/we're just on that timeline towards the end. if it's 100% fatal and transmissible can't you just run a long term transmission model and see a likely result where at some point in time they're all just dead and gone? if so, i'd assume it's still probably quite a ways in the future and obviously there are complexities and nuance to that might make the end result a lot less clear.

i'm overall pretty ignorant. but it seems if there is no evidence to suggest immunity in some deer, there really is no stopping the ultimate result, even if it's a 100 years out, or whatever.
 
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is there any research suggesting that some cervids show resistance/immunity?

i'm overall pretty ignorant. but it seems if there is no evidence to suggest immunity in some deer, there really is no stopping the ultimate result, even if it's a 100 years out, or whatever.


I think one of the downfalls of humans is thinking we can control everything….especially in nature.

There was research on some elk and I think there was like 1 cow that somehow didn’t get CWD in a pen of positives or maybe it took her longer. Something weird like that.
 
is there any research suggesting that some cervids show resistance/immunity?

when i think about this while driving, sometimes i wonder if it's really just the beginning of the end for many regional herds of cervids/we're just on that timeline towards the end. if it's 100% fatal and transmissible can't you just run a long term transmission model and see a likely result where at some point in time they're all just dead and gone? if so, i'd assume it's still probably quite a ways in the future and obviously there are complexities and nuance to that might make the end result a lot less clear.

i'm overall pretty ignorant. but it seems if there is no evidence to suggest immunity in some deer, there really is no stopping the ultimate result, even if it's a 100 years out, or whatever.
That’s the way I read it. But over 100 years animals certainly have the ability to adapt and develop immunities, as do the diseases themselves. I think we’re on the right track, accepting we have a problem is the first step to treatment 😏
 
CWD continues to be one of those issues that causes a lot of fractures in the hunting community. Colorado Parks and Wildlife, a state that is ground zero for the disease in wild populations, has put out a video that I think help with the awareness of this issue.

A lot of hunters are skeptical of the data around CWD, as they haven't seen dead or sick deer. In this video, you will see some sick deer.

The first video (I assume another video is forthcoming, given they call this Part 1) is in Eastern Colorado, an area primarily private land. I get the feeling that CPW is hoping this video will appeal to private landowners in places where they control most of the hunting access and therefore they control the ability to manage a disease such as CWD.



Given the best known control measure, at this time, is to keep mature buck numbers lower, the prescribed management strategies are being met with a lot of resistance from some hunters. Montana already hammers deer and it seems like a strategy to lower numbers even further, at least on public land, is going to be met with resistance.

I talked to the CPW folks in charge of these management strategies. They are doing a ton of work on this. They had a couple good points as it relates to CWD, both focused on keeping hunters engaged and informed.

1. Be open and transparent with what you know, but even more so with what you don't know.

2. Balance the management strategies based on what you do know and with the interest of hunters who need to have trust that your agency is working to find more answers.

CWD is here and it becomes more of an issue every day. I often wonder how hunters would react if CWD only impacted does, not bucks. Would proposed management actions to control or lower the prevalence rates be as controversial? I think we all know the answer to that.

Hopefully the rate of understanding and management options grows at a faster pace than the spread or discovery of CWD.

P.S. If anyone knows where Part 2 and subsequent videos are, please post them to this thread.
Since I understand basic biology, that does give birth to both buck AND doe fawns and without does you can't increase or keep herd numbers the same...I'm a hard yes, it would still be controversial to me.

The facts are CWD doesn't just impact bucks, but also does. There are also management plans that endorse killing off both bucks and does and reducing the over-all populations drastically.

Is that proper management of CWD? Good question.
 
Eastern Montana has as liberal harvest as any area in the west. Still had positive samples. Population has crashed management has stayed the same still having positive samples. Fish and game biologists say that harvest has no effect on deer numbers or buck age. What exactly are we trying to do then? Humans thinking they can “manage” cwd I have a hard time believing. I am not a cwd denier I understand it’s a real disease. The future of mule deer looks bleak. The management strategy is just as bad as the disease.
 
If memory serves, they never truly eradicated Mad Cow when there was the breakout in the 90's in Europe, they just started killing the cattle before they could detect the disease, I'm sure someone will correct my info.
No, you are correct. European cattle slaughtered for human consumption have to be either killed before 30 months of age or ortherwise be tested at point of slaughter.

I assume there are still occasiomal positive cases just as there are still occasional positive cases of vCJD (human version).
 
is there any research suggesting that some cervids show resistance/immunity?

when i think about this while driving, sometimes i wonder if it's really just the beginning of the end for many regional herds of cervids/we're just on that timeline towards the end. if it's 100% fatal and transmissible can't you just run a long term transmission model and see a likely result where at some point in time they're all just dead and gone? if so, i'd assume it's still probably quite a ways in the future and obviously there are complexities and nuance to that might make the end result a lot less clear.

i'm overall pretty ignorant. but it seems if there is no evidence to suggest immunity in some deer, there really is no stopping the ultimate result, even if it's a 100 years out, or whatever.
I'm a little more optimistic. I think there has to be some sort of biological mechanism at play we're not seeing, or else all the cows in Europe ought to have died by now. I mean that sounds silly when I say it like that, but the prions don't just go away while for some reason the presence of the disease (or at least its symptoms) seems more variable.
 
I'm a little more optimistic. I think there has to be some sort of biological mechanism at play we're not seeing, or else all the cows in Europe ought to have died by now. I mean that sounds silly when I say it like that, but the prions don't just go away while for some reason the presence of the disease (or at least its symptoms) seems more variable.

Our budding AI overlord is a little more optimistic as well.

1673893298710.png
 
This is a topic that became extremely relevant for our household this year. CWD was discovered inside of a fence at hunting preserve 3 miles from my house. It certainly has been educational watching it unfold from many angles.
 
Our budding AI overlord is a little more optimistic as well.

View attachment 260984
Another thing that I think factors in is that there is likely some sort of incubation period pre-symptoms, as research indicates there is in the human and cow varieties. Deer breed young and live short lives relative to humans and in theory could've replaced themselves a few times over before the disease kills them.

For my money understanding the mechanics of human contraction and preventing that seems more important than preventing/managing it in deer but at the same time, no known cases of that (yet at least) so who am I to say where the focus should lie.
 
This is a topic that became extremely relevant for our household this year. CWD was discovered inside of a fence at hunting preserve 3 miles from my house. It certainly has been educational watching it unfold from many angles.
Yet the captive cervid crowd will throw a fit if you allude to their industry being a major player in the prions' spread.
 
Another thing that I think factors in is that there is likely some sort of incubation period pre-symptoms, as research indicates there is in the human and cow varieties. Deer breed young and live short lives relative to humans and in theory could've replaced themselves a few times over before the disease kills them.

For my money understanding the mechanics of human contraction and preventing that seems more important than preventing/managing it in deer but at the same time, no known cases of that (yet at least) so who am I to say where the focus should lie.

1673894227214.png
 
Makes sense and I did consider that but forgot to add. In that case though it seems like the more likely outcome than total extinction is total saturation of the population (assuming a specific incubation period) which I suppose would mean a younger herd on average and a hard "ceiling" on deer age; basically a bunch of carriers a la The Walking Dead, where they all have it, some show it and some don't, some die from it but only if they live long enough etc.

Idk, I'm bumping up against the limits of my knowledge/conjecture and entering into territory where I might get smacked down by an epidemiologist... or a feisty all-knowing AI. LOL
 
My experience from growing up in a CWD area. It’s been about 18 years now. Honestly didn’t affect to much till 2015 2016 ish so about ten years in. We still see lots of mules but hardly any top end mature bucks. You see them one year away from being good like a 160 then never see them again. Maybe some point down the road number will drop and we might see 20 a day only. Maybe thats what they need a lower density and will be able to rebuild with CWD resistance deer. Hard to fight a disease that sits in the soil for so long. Hits Mulies way harder than WT. we are just now starting to see the tipping point on whitetail where not many nature bucks around now. Where I live now very low Mule deer number and not much CWD so still big white tail.

Not sure why it likes deer so much be elk as they both have large herds especially in the winter here where you will see hundred of deer grouped up on a hill side that has no to little snow
 
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