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Cronic Wasting Disease found in Arkansas elk and deer

Posted: Tue May 24, 2016 3:48 pm
by Ol Arky
Since over 60 deer and elk have tested positive for CWD in NW Arkansas the AGFC has developed a proposed plan to help combat CWD... Here's what the AGFC has proposed to be voted on at the June AGFC monthly meeting...

CWD-focused proposals include:
Allow deer and elk hunting with the use of bait Oct. 1-Dec. 31, statewide.
Prohibit the feeding of wildlife statewide, with exceptions for bird feeders and other types of feeding that do not concentrate deer.
Prohibit the use of scents and lures that contain natural cervid urine, effective January 1, 2017.
Prohibit the rehabilitation of deer statewide.
Establish a CWD management zone in counties with known positives and those close to known positives.
Establish a private land CWD management program in the CWD management zone to allow landowners to take additional deer off their property to reduce deer density and slow the spread of the disease.
Prohibit the transport of certain portions of cervid carcasses outside the CWD management zone. This will allow only deboned meat, cleaned skull plates, hides, teeth and taxidermy products to be transported out of the CWD management zone.
Allow button bucks to be checked as antlerless deer in deer zones and WMAs within the CWD management zone.
Remove the three-point rule and increase the bag limit from four to five deer and the antlerless bag limit to three with firearms in deer zones 1 and 2.
Liberalize deer season on Bearcat Hollow, Buffalo National River, Gene Rush, Ozark National Forest, Piney Creeks, Sweden Creek Natural Area and White Rock WMAs.
Establish a core elk management zone of Boone, Carroll, Madison, Newton and Searcy counties, and allow hunters to harvest any elk found outside these counties during deer season.
Require all elk harvested to be submitted for CWD testing.
Increase the private land antlerless elk quota in the core elk management zone from 24 to 40.
Create a non-commercial hunting enclosure permit for high-fenced facilities, and require those facilities to submit CWD samples for all deer that die within the respective facility, allow annual inspections, and maintain accurate deer harvest records. There would also be a moratorium on the issuance of new permits after July 1, 2017.
All CWD-related proposals will be voted on in June, and Commissioners stressed that altering these proposals is still likely.

What do ya'll think about the "no feeding of wildlife statewide" and then the "allowing baiting for deer and elk from Oct 1st thru Dec 31st statewide?????

I like the "core elk management zone" deal since it would let everyone (me and non residents included) to hunt deer in NW Arkansas and have a chance to kill a elk without having to draw a permit... :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Re: Cronic Wasting Disease found in Arkansas elk and deer

Posted: Wed May 25, 2016 11:42 pm
I applaud it the restrictions but I think they should do more. CWD was spread by captive deer. If you can look at the epidemiology you can quickly see the pattern. The department of Game in Virginia was very progressive and started to change regulations when it was found in a neighboring state but before it hit here.

The deer farm fast spreading issues were likely caused by brain or spinal tissue from infected deer in feed.
The disease vectors for CWD are not well understood in nature. Some diseases in deer are spread by increased face to face contact. Deer naturally have some level of face to face contact but this can be significantly increased by point source attractants like bait piles and salt licks.

Personally I stopped using these long ago in my QDM program. There is not scientific evidence things like mineral/salt licks benefit free ranging deer and the add risk. I did try some years ago for camera survey but found I was able to accomplish the same survey objectives at lower risk with other methods.

Virginia has never permitted baiting and I don't do that on an ethical basis (I realize it is common practice in some areas). They prohibited anyone from feeding deer from September 1st through early January regardless if hunting or just feeding. I would like to see supplemental feeding banned in my state year round.

Concern for deer parts being transported from state to state is the reason for the urine ban. That is fairly new in VA as science is beginning to uncover possible vectors of transmission. Synthetic scents are still legal here. Interestingly enough, some folks know who make mock scrapes, have done some testing with trail cameras and found there seems to be no difference in deer visits and use of the mock scrapes whether deer urine is used or they urinate in them themselves.

It sounds to me as though the game commission in your state could not overcome political pressure from hunters to restrict baiting.



Re: Cronic Wasting Disease found in Arkansas elk and deer

Posted: Thu May 26, 2016 1:24 am
by speed2spare
I get the feeding ban but allowing the bait for 2 months. They want to stop concentrated feeding spots. But at the same time in the majority of the places down in that part of the country bait is about the only option hunters have. As far as the extra tags, that is a waste of time. Hunters per say want as many deer on their property as possible and are not going to go shooting them just because you give them an extra tag. CWD is all we heard here in Wisconsin for quite a number of years. Now I hardly hear it mentioned. And the CWD numbers certainly have not went down.