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Post #1  Post subject: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:15 pm 
AGFC
Arkansas Wildlife Weekly Newsletter

Aug 16, 2017

AGFC holding public meeting about CWD in Van Buren County

CLINTON – Although chronic wasting disease has not been found in Van Buren County, it’s close. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wants to give the public an opportunity to learn more about the disease at a public meeting in Clinton. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m., Sept. 19, at the Petit Jean Electric Cooperative Community Room at 270 Quality Drive.

According to Cory Gray, Research, Evaluation and Compliance Division manager for the AGFC, the AGFC expanded its CWD Management Zone to include Van Buren County after a CWD-positive elk was harvested last season in Searcy County within 10 miles of the county line.

“Even though Van Buren County did not have a positive case inside its county lines, it does fall within the 10-mile buffer zone established in our CWD response actions,” Gray said. “We are trying to find that outside edge of where the disease has spread so we can take the proper steps to slow its progression.”

Gray says he feels the public meetings are essential in remaining as transparent as possible about sharing information with the public about what we know concerning the disease. Although CWD was major news to many Arkansas deer hunters last year, some people may not felt it concerned them because it was in another county or area of the state.

“We need the help of hunters, processors, taxidermists and the general public in helping manage this disease,” Gray said. “But we need to arm them with the information they need to provide that help. We also want to be available to answer any questions and clear up any misconceptions people may have.”

In addition to an overview of the disease and its occurrence in Arkansas, presenters will offer best management practices that hunters can follow to minimize any associated disease risks. Presenters also will discuss regulations the AGFC has enacted to combat the disease.

With the exception of deboned meat, antlers, hides, cleaned skull plates and finished taxidermy, deer and elk harvested in the CWD Management Zone may not be moved outside the zone. Feeding wildlife also is not allowed inside the zone, except for hunting purposes Sept. 1-Dec. 31 (other exceptions apply for birdfeeders and incidental feeding from livestock operations. A complete list of regulations, as well as information about CWD in Arkansas may be found at http://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/big-game/deer/cwd.

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Post #2  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 3:58 pm 
A reminder that this Van Buren County related CWD meeting will begin at 7 p.m., Tuesday (Sept. 19, 2017), in Clinton, Ar at the Petit Jean Electric Cooperative Community Room at 270 Quality Drive.

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Post #3  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:53 am 
No mandatory testing this year. Can still check potentially sick deer online and by phone in the CWD zone. Voluntary hunter samples will be too low and inadequate again this year, like they were last year, to be able to establish the boundary of CWD. G&F is not serious about CWD containment and management. Too busy building Nature Centers, wildlife viewing areas, and bird watching trails to worry much with CWD in our deer herd. Actions speak louder than spun words!


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Post #4  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:20 pm 
Yep IMO AGFC cares very little about deer and even less about deer hunters. My how times have changed since 1996.


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Post #5  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:45 pm 
Are there any estimates of the economic impact of deer hunting in Arkansas ? Somewhere I'v seen the figure of $ 2.2 billion per year for whitetail hunting in Texas. It has been and still is a major economic engine for parts of the state. Add to that exotics, some of which are succeptible (sp) to CWD and this is a big deal in parts of Texas. The list of people certified by TAHC to take samples and send them to the 2 diagnostic labs is about 500 people. Getting a sample run cost $ 45 plus postage and your materials for preserving and packaging. More if you send in fresh samples on ice. I have seen a report, which I did not believe, on a forum that stated that many 1000s of samples had been analyzed and very few positives found. I think the person was a deer farmer who was objecting to any regulation of that industry. I did the #s and everyone certified would have had to have taken a dozen or more samples. I think the true #s of samples and their locations is out there in agency files and anyone who wants should be able to get them with out too much trouble. Rules for ranches with exotics include mandatory yearly testing

What is the situation in Arkansas ? If a hunter wants to have their deer tested is it easy to get done ? do any of the big land owners or hunting clubs have any testing done ? While lease prices are not too high in Arkansas ( compared to some other places) There is still a good economic incentive for landowners to want the agency to be on top of this problem.


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Post #6  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:25 pm 
Very few people outside of AGFC know the proper collection protocol. While it is not exactly rocket science it has to be done right, the documentation followed correctly and specimens handled to prevent spoilage. I have in the past seen samples collected by people that were supposed to know how that were garbage. I am talking veterinarians and high fence owners. I think the vets wanted to get back to cats, dogs and horses where the money is. The high fence people just did not care.
The materials to collect are expensive and not something you can normally buy at the local farm store. I do not expect to see any training of collectors on a large scale here.
I have collected hundreds of samples and am extremely familiar with the proper protocol. I have offed to contract this work but no one has met my price and I dang sure won't do it for fun. Basically I believe hunters here do not care about CWD and AGFC does not really either IMO.


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Post #7  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:06 pm 
They offered a friend of mine, who is a large animal vet, $10 per sample. Needless to say, he's not taking any samples for them.

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Post #8  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:17 pm 
I had heard that 10 per sample offer for vets and that is ridiculous.

A deer hunter shows up at a vets office during business hours. The vet is working on Mrs. Foo Foos prize Pomeranian doing the annual checkup and shots. About a $150.00 business deal for the vet. The hunter wants the vet to stop leave the clinic, go outside, wrestle a bloody deer around in the back of a truck, take a CWD sample process the paperwork, label the bottles correctly them go back to the Pomeranian all the while the real money person cools her heels in the exam room with the dog all for 10 bucks. Yeah right. That's going to happen a lot. :smack:

I offered to do it for 25 per sample and AGFC supply the sample containers and formalin. I told them no driving and no check stations. Guess I scared them off and all I got was silence. Not even a hell no. :laughsmile:

They have installed a real pretty animal incinerator at the Russellville Office. No telling what that little jewel set the taxpayers back. But I am sure it was not free. Uses diesel fuel that I know is not free and I was told uses a lot of it. Seems a lot of money is moving around but no real serious effort is being made where it counts. I am thinking the whole deal is mostly for show. I expect another mediocre collection of samples followed by the LR spin factory telling us how great they did.


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Post #9  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:20 pm 
Are they still talking about the $20,000,000 research facility at Jasper, in cooperation with U of A and Feds?

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Post #10  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:55 pm 
Since it would take more than 15 minutes to properly take the sample, preserve it, package it for shipping ect they are offering less than $ 40 / hour for someone who'd provide this service. Add to that most of the time would not be regular "business hours" but time when one could be doing something of their own, like on a weekend. Looks like you fellas are right they arent taking this serious or just dont care.

I found a report from 2001 about state wide economic impact of hunting in the USA. http://www.fishwildlife.org/files/Hunti ... Impact.pdf Its a bit dated but the data ought to be good enough for a general over view

Arkansas ranks 11th in # of deer hunters ( & 33rd in population) . The total economic benefit from all hunting was 905 Million in 2001 dollars. Deer hunting is the major part of that, migratory birds is about 1/3rd of what deer hunting is So maybe 500 million / year. Arkansas has 36% of the # of deer hunters in Texas. If Whitetails bring in 2.2 billion / year in Texas then the figure for Arkansas goes to 790 Million. Reduce that because leases are less, travel time less ect still 500 -600 million is a ball park. Somebody needs to point out to your commissioners that it is going to be a long time before watching birds or hiking/ biking on nature trails is going to bring in that much cash. Hunters are the ones paying this. Its the landowners, store, hotel, restaurant, gas station folks who are getting the money. Everyone has a stake here. If your commissioners or agency folks dont, or wont, understand this then get some who do. ( a whole lot easier said than done) My point is that this is a issue that affects many more people than just the hunting community and other groups should get involved. Anybody who can figure out how to get that done let me know.


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Post #11  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:30 pm 
sam wrote:
Are they still talking about the $20,000,000 research facility at Jasper, in cooperation with U of A and Feds?

Beats me. I have not even heard of the idea. That does not mean it is not going to happen.


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Post #12  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:13 pm 
News to me too sam. What are they gonna research? Don't need a $20,000,000 research center to figure out you can't get a true handle on CWD and it's boundaries without adequate numbers of samples and that just banning a little deer pee and the use of corn from January till September is not a comprehensive enough management plan to slow it down for any length of time.

I think Arkansas with the highest prevalence rate in the country has the most lenient and laid back CWD management plan of any state anywhere... Here it is our 2nd CWD hunting season coming up with G&F having no plans to collect an adequate amount of samples even though they still don't have enough sample numbers to say for sure where or how prevalent CWD really is in our state. I honestly don't see how they can say such a laid back casual approach to this disease is in the best interest of our herd or our state..

But then hey, a new $20,000,000 research center would make the agency look really good on paper and would give them yet another showcase place like our Nature Centers to host out of state dignitaries and experts where they can all meet and eat and then meet and eat some more while the spread of CWD basically goes unchecked here in Arkansas.

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Post #13  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:17 am 
Since the beginning of this problem I have had the uneasy feeling that no matter what happens with deer the precious elk herd will be protected and all attention diverted away from the role is may have in this disease and its spread. To date nothing has happened to change this.


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Post #14  Post subject: Re: Public Meeting About CWD Scheduled in Van Buren County, AR
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:24 pm 
twodog wrote:
Since the beginning of this problem I have had the uneasy feeling that no matter what happens with deer the precious elk herd will be protected and all attention diverted away from the role is may have in this disease and its spread. To date nothing has happened to change this.

:hesaid:


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