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Post #1  Post subject: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:56 pm 
Arkansas now has its first positive CWD whitetail deer. According to AGFC a 2.5 year old doe was found dead at Ponca and it has tested positive for CWD. If anyone is interested you can read the details on the AGFC website.


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Post #2  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:32 pm 
Chronic wasting disease confirmed in deer at Ponca
LITTLE ROCK – A white-tailed deer in Ponca recently tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The disease is fatal to deer and elk.

The positive CWD test from a deer comes on the heels of an elk near Pruitt, about 12 miles east of Ponca, that was confirmed to have the disease Feb. 23. Both areas are in northern Newton County.

The AGFC took tissue samples from the 2½-year-old female deer, which was found dead. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the test today.

The 2½-year-old female elk was killed by a hunter Oct. 6 on the Buffalo National River near Pruitt during elk hunting season. It was the first animal in Arkansas confirmed to have CWD. The disease was confirmed on Feb. 23. The elk was tested by the same labs that confirmed CWD in the deer from Ponca.

To determine the prevalence and distribution of the disease among deer, the AGFC will begin taking samples Monday within a capsule-shaped area ranging from 5 miles west of Ponca to 5 miles east of Pruitt, and 5 miles across.

“We need to sample 300 deer to determine the prevalence and the spatial distribution of CWD in the population with 95 percent confidence,” said Dick Baxter, an assistant chief in the Wildlife Management Division.

Enough free-ranging deer have to be tested before there’s a strong statistical chance of detecting CWD in 1 percent of the herd. This is a common method to estimate CWD prevalence in deer populations. As results are analyzed, wildlife biologists will adjust the strategy.

“The test area will expand as positive (CWD) tests warrant,” said Cory Gray, AGFC deer program coordinator.
Wildlife biologists will not use the same tactics with the elk herd.

“We’re not going to determine the prevalence of CWD in elk at this point, because it would require a large sample of the relatively small elk herd to be valid statistically,” Baxter said. “We want to target sick elk throughout the elk range to find the spatial distribution.”

The elk strategy changed when the deer at Ponca tested positive.

“When we thought CWD was confined to the area where the elk was killed at Pruitt, we believed we could take the elk herd that was in close contact, maybe 30-40 animals,” Gray said.

The sampled deer and elk will be processed at a base camp staffed by AGFC and National Park Service personnel. Meat from deer that don’t test positive for CWD will be given to landowners where the deer were harvested or Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry. Since only unhealthy elk will be harvested, meat from those animals will not be consumed. Everything that is not packaged for consumption will be incinerated.

“Landowners have been very helpful in allowing us access to their property,” Gray said. “Much of the land within the zone where we’ll be working is privately owned. We need their help and help from anyone who sees a deer or elk that appears to be ill.”

The public can report sick deer and elk by calling 800-482-9262, 24 hours a day.

Although there are no confirmed cases of CWD transmission from cervids to humans or to livestock, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Arkansas Department of Health recommend that people not consume meat from animals known to be infected with CWD.

CWD was first documented among captive mule deer in Colorado in 1967, and has been detected in 24 states and two Canadian provinces. It’s been found in the wild in 20 states and among captive cervids in 15 states. Biologists don’t know how the disease reached northern Arkansas at this point. The Arkansas elk herd began with 112 animals from Colorado and Nebraska, relocated during 1981-85.

The AGFC has taken several steps to prevent the disease from entering the state. The Commission established a moratorium on the importation of live cervids in 2002, and restricted the importation of cervid carcasses in 2005. It also set moratoriums on permits for commercial hunting resorts and breeder/dealer permits for cervid facilities in 2006, and on obtaining hand-captured white-tailed deer in 2012.

According to the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance (http://cwd-info.org), CWD affects only cervids (members of the cervidae family such as deer, elk and moose). Research shows that prions (abnormal cellular proteins) are transmitted through feces, urine and saliva. The shortest period between infection and symptoms of the disease is 16 months, although the infectious agent can survive for years in organic matter such as soil and plants.

CWD is a neurological disease that’s part of a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Once in a host’s body, prions transform normal cellular protein into abnormal shapes that accumulate until the cell ceases to function. As the brains of infected animals degenerate, they lose weight, lose their appetite and develop an insatiable thirst. They tend to stay away from herds, walk in patterns, carry their head low, salivate and grind their teeth.

Two meetings have been scheduled in Ponca and Huntsville to discuss the most recent finding of CWD.

The first meeting will be held in Ponca on Thursday, March 10. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Ponca Fire Department on Arkansas Highway 43.

The second meeting will be held on Friday, March 11 at Carroll Electric, 5056 Highway 412B in Huntsville. This meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

Visit http://www.agfc.com/cwd for more information.


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Post #3  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 5:50 pm 
I have heard rumors that several sick elk have been observed and I guess have been killed for sampling. I must stress right now this is unconfirmed.

This is not looking to promising right now. We need to hope for the best but start preparing for a much changed deer hunting future.


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Post #4  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 8:11 pm 
Twodog.

I know this could expand. But they are still concentrating on NW Arkansas right now, correct?

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Post #5  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 9:26 pm 
Yes for now it seems that the focus will be along the Buffalo River Corridor. I am speculating about this but for CWD to move so many miles undetected most certainly the elk are moving it. In other areas deer are infected at higher prevalence than elk so IMO we can anticipate several positives to show up as soon as results start coming in. Also the deer being found dead is not good. CWD usually is not a fast killer so it has been there for some time. How long at this point would be a total guess but likely 12-18 months at least. I also am going to speculate that a dramatic reduction in elk numbers will be forthcoming before to long. I just do not see how they can be kept around to transmit prions for many miles in all directions.


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Post #6  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:21 am 
twodog wrote:
I am speculating about this but for CWD to move so many miles undetected most certainly the elk are moving it.

Cory Gray, G&F Deer Program Coordinator was quoted in the Demo-Gazette today saying :
Meningeal worms cause symptoms that are similar to those of chronic wasting disease, and Game and Fish biologists formerly assumed that sick elk in the Buffalo River corridor were suffering from meningeal worm infestations. Animals that we thought had meningeal worms are now elevated in concern.

Sounds like Elk may possibly have been spreading CWD in that area for some time now. So what you say could turn out to be more than just speculation twodog. Just hope it doesn't end up bein' as bad as it's lookin' right now like it might be.....

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Post #7  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:07 am 
I have a fear that buzzards could contribute to the spread of CWD. The Turkey Buzzards have a vast range. Anyone know if this has been looked into.


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Post #8  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:09 am 
I am bothered somewhat by the meningeal worms comment. The reason being is that in the past any sick animal was considered a priority for CWD sampling just as a matter of practice. For a sick elk not to be sampled for CWD was not the right thing to do. I am curious as to whether these animals were sampled or not.

This is a question that needs answered. Right now there is no need to start blame laying but if procedure failed here there needs to be an accounting. It won't do the deer and elk any good or the hunters but still the questions needs addressed.


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Post #9  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:11 am 
Y Hunt wrote:
I have a fear that buzzards could contribute to the spread of CWD. The Turkey Buzzards have a vast range. Anyone know if this has been looked into.


I have been wondering about the same thing, as well as any scavengers such as coyotes and even Bald Eagles. I will do some looking later and see what I can find.


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Post #10  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:22 am 
G&F is quoted as sayings that since CWD has shown up in a deer they now aren't gonna determine the prevalence of CWD in their elk herd at this point, because it would require a large sample of the relatively small elk herd to be valid statistically. They are just gonna kill and check any sick elk they see.

:scratch: ...... Although I've been able to pretty well follow, understand, and agree with G&F's approach up to this point, it's startin' to get a little too deep for me and I'm needin' somebody to explain to me the rationale behind their decision to change course and now let suspected CWD elk run to and fro over large areas infecting the deer herd and the environment as they go untill they get sick enough for someone or the other to notice they're sick so they can kill then. And if it turns out those elk brain worms found in the past were indeed CWD that muddles my understanding of this new hands off approach to the Elk herd even more.....

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Post #11  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:28 am 
I just did a very brief search concerning avian and mammalian scavenger spreading of CWD prions. It seems there is quite a lot of research out there on this subject. Even the CDC has looked into the research about this subject. The general consensus is that it is possible and particularly with birds may be occurring. Wisconsin has looked into a connection with crows particularly. This could explain how CWD has suddenly popped up in new areas with no connection to any known introductory host. There is no definitive connection found but prions have been identified in crow droppings.

The Genie is out of the bottle.


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Post #12  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:38 am 
WW wrote:
G&F is quoted as sayings that since CWD has shown up in a deer they now aren't gonna determine the prevalence of CWD in their elk herd at this point, because it would require a large sample of the relatively small elk herd to be valid statistically. They are just gonna kill and check any sick elk they see.

:scratch: ...... Although I've been able to pretty well follow, understand, and agree with G&F's approach up to this point, it's startin' to get a little too deep for me and I'm needin' somebody to explain to me the rationale behind their decision to change course and now let suspected CWD elk run to and fro over large areas infecting the deer herd and the environment as they go untill they get sick enough for someone or the other to notice they're sick so they can kill then. And if it turns out those elk brain worms found in the past were indeed CWD that muddles my understanding of this new hands off approach to the Elk herd even more.....


What concerns me most here is that the assumption may have been brainworms which are well documented in our elk and no further examination was made.

Deer hunting is already being changed before our eyes. To make any further negative impacts to our deer and the future of deer hunting for a relatively small number of elk bothers me a great deal. To control disease spread you must control the vectors.


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Post #13  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:43 am 
WW I think your answer to the change in plan might have to due with the positive deer found at a viewing area which has a economic impact on there show case elk herd. The first area was mainly private lands.

I see the plan on the new regulations is to decrease the deer number. WW you want have to apply for that Muddy Creek doe tag next year. They have also opened doe season in most all zones for next year. I am afraid we will be glad to even see a deer in the coming years. I was hopping for good results, but fear will control the management practices. Remember the good old days. When you could see enough deer each season that you would pass a legal buck because you knew you could kill a bigger one.


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Post #14  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:49 am 
I am 62 and had really hoped to enjoy several more years of the great deer hunting like we have had recently. Now I do not know. In fact my hunting buddies on the area we hunt just outside of the original CWD zone are talking about letting the few wild hogs go unchecked so we will have something big to hunt in the future. I just hope it does not come to that. :surp:


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Post #15  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:27 am 
Although on the surface it looks like they've decided to try to salvage their showcase elk herd at the expense of our deer herd, I'm not gonna panic just yet until I learn more.

Granted there will be occasions when they do something we won't understand. But it's important on those occasions they recognize that when they give an answer that looks obviously suspicious they include more scientific detail than just sayin' we don't wanna kill any elk out of our relatively small herd even though its highly possible that those elk are infectious and spreading CWD everywhere they go.....

We can only hope that G&F Administrators listened when Chairman Mahoney told them last month that they need to be open and transparent with the public concerning their every move on this because suspicion is 10 times worse than the public knowing everything. I guess time will tell.

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Post #16  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:03 pm 
It will be interesting to see if this topic is discussed at todays meeting


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Post #17  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 12:56 pm 
Answer this for me so I can rest a little easier at night ........Is there 300 deer in the 5 mile radius of the first hot spot ?


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Post #18  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 2:23 pm 
E fan wrote:
Answer this for me so I can rest a little easier at night ........Is there 300 deer in the 5 mile radius of the first hot spot ?
Not sure how many deer are in that area E fan but Brad Carnes, G&F Wildlife Chief, said at the Marshall meeting that it isn't their intent to try to kill every deer in the core area. He said that's been proven to be an unworkable task in other CWD states. He also said that CWD wouldn't spell the end of deer huntin'. It would just give it a completely new face within infected areas, including a ban on baitin', no antler restrictions, and fewer and younger deer to hunt.

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Post #19  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:26 pm 
They state they want to take 300 deer out of the first area, now that area has increased three fold and they have backed off their wanting to take 30 to 40 elk of the said area

True be told I don't believe there's 300 deer in any part of the state in a 5 mile radius


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Post #20  Post subject: Re: CWD positive deer
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:02 pm 
E fan wrote:
They state they want to take 300 deer out of the first area, now that area has increased three fold and they have backed off their wanting to take 30 to 40 elk of the said area

True be told I don't believe there's 300 deer in any part of the state in a 5 mile radius


A 5 mile radius circle is 50,000 acres and change. There are lot of places in the state with that many deer in that area. There are probably even a few in the Ozarks. Up there I sort of doubt it. At least to the point there is not any way they can get 300 samples. I hunt just off the edge of the circle quite a bit and while we have plenty of deer there it is not that way all across the board. If they can get 100 samples IMO they will have been successful.

Other states have found without hunters you cannot collect the statistical numbers needed for valid sampling. Well I will qualify that some. You could but your personnel won't be doing anything else for a long while and it will be very expensive. I have done a lot of this type of work and very quickly you hit the wall of diminishing returns versus time spent. Add into it this. It is greening up fast around the Ozarks. In a couple weeks if it keeps this growth up the woods will be so green visibility will be diminished and deer will leave the open areas. Once the rifles start popping they will hit the woods just like hunting season.


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