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Post #1  Post subject: CWD In Arkansas
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:06 am 
An elk harvested near Pruitt on the Buffalo National River during the October 2015 hunting season tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

This is the first time an animal in Arkansas has tested positive for the disease, which is fatal to elk and white-tailed deer. According to the AGFC's CWD response plan, created in 2006, samples from elk and deer in the area will be taken to determine the prevalence of the disease and a future course of action.

A multi-county CWD management zone will be established, and public meetings in the area will be scheduled to discuss plans and answer questions.

Biologists don’t know how the disease reached northern Arkansas. The local herd began with 112 elk from Colorado and Nebraska, relocated between 1981-85.

“(CWD) would have raised its ugly head a lot sooner than now,” said Don White, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Arkansas Agriculture Experiment Station in Monticello. “It's extremely unlikely that it came from those 112 elk.”

More than 200 elk harvested in Arkansas since 1997 have been tested for CWD. The AGFC also routinely gathers samples from white-tailed deer across the state to test for the disease.

It has finally happened in Arkansas. I figured this day was coming at some point ever since I first really learned in detail about CWD in 2003. This will not mean the end of deer in the state but will make hunters rethink their approach to deer hunting in the short term. It has been around for a long time in many states and has not ended deer or elk hunting.


Other Arkansas related CWD info and discussion threads available here on the Forum @:
viewforum.php?f=207


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Post #2  Post subject: Re: CWD In Arkansas
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:14 pm 
Arkansas Elk test positive for CWD killed this season near Pruitt area.
So we all know we can trust the AGF to deal with this in a proper manner right.

I will gladly offer my services when the shooting begins.


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Post #3  Post subject: Re: CWD it is here
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:24 pm 
They are creating a paper trail now. I'm sure they are well aware of this problem.

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Post #4  Post subject: Re: CWD In Arkansas
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:33 pm 
Don't load your rifle just yet.


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Post #5  Post subject: CWD in Arkansas
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:17 pm 
Ever since learning this morning of confirmed CWD in Arkansas I have been thinking a lot about this situation. I have a long standing interest in CWD. I was the states first CWD coordinator and traveled in 2003 to Wisconsin to see first hand how they were handling their problem and to learn about collecting samples to conduct surveillance for the disease. I was accompanied on this trip by Doctor Robert Harbison who at that time was state veterinarian with Livestock and Poultry. It was an interesting trip to say the least.

In the years since I and others have learned a lot about CWD and its implications to deer and elk. First thing hunters need to know is it will not wipe our deer or elk. There is probably more animal death by vehicle than by CWD and certainly more mortality due to EHD and Blue Tongue. The disease just does not work as a large scale killer of cervids. The biggest concerns is its unknowns such as the remote possibility of transmission to humans. It has never happened and at this time no reason to believe it can.

The best suggestions I would make to hunters at this time is to become informed and do not fall prey to wild speculation from those who know nothing about CWD. There are supposed to be public meetings about the disease and I am going and I think any hunter that is concerned should take the trouble to attend as well. I have already seen some wild speculative ramblings on the internet boards but don't pay much attention to those people.

I have been out of the information loop since I retired but still touch base on the disease from time to time. If you have questions fire away.


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Post #6  Post subject: Re: CWD it is here
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:24 pm 
SW Bowhunter wrote:
They are creating a paper trail now. I'm sure they are well aware of this problem.


What I mean is. I bet they are acting like they have been on top of this issue for some time.

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Post #7  Post subject: Re: CWD it is here
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:25 am 
CWD AGF CYA


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Post #8  Post subject: Re: CWD In Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:54 am 
With CWD known to be in three neighboring states (TX, OK, MO) and about a dozen more distant states it was all but inevitable that CWD would be discovered in Arkansas. It will be interesting to see how widespread the disease is and how AGFC handles everything.


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Post #9  Post subject: Re: CWD In Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:16 am 
I have from the beginning of my involvement believed that it someday would be in Arkansas. Modern transportation speeds all but guaranteed it as well as the interstate commerce in cervids. There is really no point in starting a finger pointing game now. The genie is out of the bottle and we will never get it back in. The very most important point IMO right now is to not panic and start a process from which there is no return and makes people upset and mad. As in all the eradication rumors already floating around the internet.

There are several important things to know about CWD. First it is a very slow moving disease. Spread is by direct contact so it is not like there are flying vectors with EHD. Incidence rate even in the worst areas is low less than 10 %. It CANNOT be eradicated from the deer and elk herds. It is here from now on.

Lastly and most important is it will not end deer and elk hunting based on other states experience. Hunting goes on. Hunters need to be aware of the disease and be appropriately cautious but not paranoid. Arkansas hunters and our deer and elk will just need to learn to live with the changing situation.


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Post #10  Post subject: Re: CWD in Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:53 am 
Since it's said that CWD is spread by close contact I'm wondering if any of the CWD states allowed baiting that you know of and if they did do you know if any of them banned baiting in their attempt to slow the spread of CWD in their herds? Also, since Arkansas is already asking hunters and landowners not to bait in the contaminated area, do you think Arkansas would ever consider an outright ban if it was deemed biologically necessary, or do you think baiting has become too big of an agenda related issue within the public for them to ever be able to use a ban in any fight against CWD?

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Post #11  Post subject: Re: CWD in Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:43 am 
I think baiting or feeding does contribute to the spread of CWD. Anyone who has ever watched a deer feed know that they are sloppy eaters. Corn just dribbles out of their mouths and they just keep on eating. Of course the same thing happens with natural foods. The difference is natural foods are more widespread and feeding activity is not so concentrated at any one location. Saliva does contain the prions that spread the disease and saliva contacts everything that goes into the deer's mouth. Eliminating baiting and feeding will not stop the disease but IMO will slow it's spread and possibly lower the percentage of infected animals. Whether or not it is politically possible to do I would not know. I will say this in Wisconsin baiting was stopped in the CWD zone and the Wisconsin legislature overruled that decision. Take that for what it is worth.

Prions spread the CWD disease. Prions are an abnormal proteins. These prions are for all practical purposes indestructible. Heat does not destroy them except at tremendously high temperatures. They cannot be chemically eliminated. They also persist in the soil almost forever. That is why once it is here it is always here.

Really IMO all we can do at this time is work to contain the spread in a reasonable manner, and become aware of the precautions for safety when handling animals. Other states have learned how to exist with CWD around and there is no reason we cannot as well if we do not panic, overreact and start a lot of useless finger pointing blame laying.


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Post #12  Post subject: Re: CWD in Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:59 am 
If the prions are present in the saliva why can they not test a live animal.? I think that is the key to control is to find a test effective on a live animal. It is my under standing they have a test for sheep.
The history of our commission knee jerk reactions is what worries me the most. I am afraid they will apply fear management and make poor decision. Look at the removal of the fall archery turkey season. There is no data to support it. How many years has that gone on?


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Post #13  Post subject: Re: CWD in Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:27 am 
Hopefully G&F over the years has kept their response plan and their public info up to date since it's been 10 years since their original CWD Response Plan was put in place.

Below is a link to G&F's current CWD Frequently Asked Questions:
viewtopic.php?f=207&t=29981

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Post #14  Post subject: Re: CWD in Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:32 pm 
The only definitive test for CWD is from specific lymph node and brain stem tissue. last I had heard any live animal tests in any animals were at best unreliable. In reality it does not matter catching wild animals alive sounds easy but it is not and then to do any work at all the animal would likely have to be sedated to prevent injury to the animal and the workers. I have wrestled live deer and elk. It ain't fun!


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Post #15  Post subject: Re: CWD In Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 4:08 pm 
twodog wrote:
I have from the beginning of my involvement believed that it someday would be in Arkansas. Modern transportation speeds all but guaranteed it as well as the interstate commerce in cervids. There is really no point in starting a finger pointing game now. The genie is out of the bottle and we will never get it back in. The very most important point IMO right now is to not panic and start a process from which there is no return and makes people upset and mad. As in all the eradication rumors already floating around the internet.

There are several important things to know about CWD. First it is a very slow moving disease. Spread is by direct contact so it is not like there are flying vectors with EHD. Incidence rate even in the worst areas is low less than 10 %. It CANNOT be eradicated from the deer and elk herds. It is here from now on.

Lastly and most important is it will not end deer and elk hunting based on other states experience. Hunting goes on. Hunters need to be aware of the disease and be appropriately cautious but not paranoid. Arkansas hunters and our deer and elk will just need to learn to live with the changing situation.


Well put twodog. Let's hope ARG&F communicates openly and honestly with Arkansas' sportsmen and others that appreciate our wildflife.


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Post #16  Post subject: Re: CWD In Arkansas
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:41 pm 
Here's a video from G&F concerning the recent CWD find in Arkansas' elk herd.


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Post #17  Post subject: Re: CWD in Arkansas
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:30 am 
Interesting WW, thanks for posting. Waiting now to see what the "plan" is.


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Post #18  Post subject: Re: CWD in Arkansas
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:49 am 
pine place wrote:
Interesting WW, thanks for posting. Waiting now to see what the "plan" is.

Below is a link to G&F's official CWD Response Plan pine place. But I'm guessin' we'll have to wait to see their "inner plan" plans as they develop them.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=29909

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Post #19  Post subject: Re: CWD in Arkansas
PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2016 11:44 am 
The first in the field action planned for G&F's CWD Response Team was reported today in an article by Bryan Hendricks, Outdoors Editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

"Starting March 7, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will kill about 40 elk and about 300 whitetailed deer within a five-mile radius (10-mile diameter) of where the infected elk was killed. That's like a narrow-beam radiation treatment for cancer.

If CWD has spread, then the AGFC will prescribe its version of chemotherapy. It will expand beyond the original CWD core zone and kill as many deer and elk for sampling as are necessary until no more animals test positive.

It is unrealistic to believe or even hope that one elk was the sole carrier of CWD in Newton County. Brad Carner, chief of the AGFC's wildlife management division, and Cory Gray, the deer program coordinator, say so. The best scenario is that no more than 1-2 percent of the animals killed in the core zone will test positive.

If it turns out to be 10 percent or more, then CWD might be prevalent to a degree that could force the AGFC to eradicate the entire elk herd. Even if the Buffalo River elk endure, this episode quashes any hope that elk can ever be restored to the Ouachita National Forest.

Worse, it could devastate the deer herd in that part of the Ozarks."

Hendricks also says, "It's Stage I CWD at this point, but......."


Full article located online @:
http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016 ... /?f=sports

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Post #20  Post subject: Re: CWD In Arkansas
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:10 am 
I have been reviewing some of the latest information about CWD and its management and effects both long and short term. Previously it was believed that the prevalence rates were always very low as in below 10%. Now it is being discovered that in core areas percentages approach 50% in older age bucks. For some unknown reason prevalence rates are higher in all ages of bucks. This has major implications for deer hunting. Since older bucks are infected at higher rates there is a need to keep numbers of these animals down to prevent spread. This is not what the folks will want to hear that live for antlers. In the western states in areas of high CWD prevalence there is a belief that it is beginning to play a large role in mule deer decline. Will it do the same for whitetails? Only time will tell but whitetails have declined without CWD in a lot of areas already. the adage about not being able to stockpile wildlife is coming to pass IMO. We may have well seen deer hunting best days overall. I have real concerns about our deer here in the Ozarks and particularly in the actions that AGFC will implement.

Another big concern I have is the apparent lack of interest among deer hunters in this event.


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