Author Topic: Alberta CWD cull fiasco  (Read 2633 times)

Paul

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Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« on: November 04, 2012, 09:01:19 AM »
So I was talking to someone the other day about the deer numbers are Provost area, he said there are a few mulies around but the whitetail herd has been completely decimated by the cwd cull. I am wondering if the cull has done anything to control a disease that's probably been around for millions of years. All I can say for sure is this has pushed hunters into other areas creating more pressure for the existing herd.

So what's everyone's thoughts on this? Should they have just left it be? Should they have given out free tags to hunters to allow more harvesting and use of the meat rather then throwing the meat in big holes and burying it? Does anyone think that the cull will control cwd from spreading?

Tuc

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 11:27:32 AM »
In my opinion, the cull is a complete and utterly waste of WT deer. Four or five years ago, they threw them in a pit and covered it over and I don't think they tested the heads. (correct me if i'm wrong on the testing)
Research in Colorado where deer are heavily infected with CWD show that soil adhering prions is the cause of CWD and culling does nothing. The prion is spread through urine, feces, saliva, blood, and antler velvet of infected animals and enters the soil only to be picked up by other grazing deer and elk. Where is there a high concentration of all this, no other than deer and elk farms. With increased deer farming throughout the U.S. and Canada came increased CWD.
It's all about money and the deer/elk farming industry is a huge business. Don't kid yourself that the government wouldn't turn a blind eye to the FACTS and use the deer cull as a smoke screen.

JIMMY 808

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 01:35:34 PM »
  I am 50/50 on the fence with this one.
If the answer was not to cull them then what was the solution?
 
  The problem I have with it was allowing hunters to harvest the deer and take them home.  CW as I understand is in the brain matter and spinal fluids bone marrow ect.  So a problem could have been created in the disposal of CWD deer bones IE the old cut line gravel road drop and dash further spreading.
 
  Big difference between hunting and killing deer I have not lost sight of the fact the Idea was to kill the deer.         

Tuc

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 03:44:42 PM »
Quote
I am 50/50 on the fence with this one.
If the answer was not to cull them then what was the solution?

Jimmy, what if they were to shut down all the deer farms in Sask and AB. Do you think we would see a slow down and eventually a cease to CWD. Whether or not this is a solution I can't help wonder the outcome, as I'm sure others do too.
CO's are on a annual salary and the government has it's own biologists and lab techs. It cost very little more to carry out these culls and use them for a smoke screen to stay away from ruffling any feathers in the farming industry.

Do you not think deer farmers let sick deer loose into the wild? Easy way to deal with them wouldn't you think? Do deer ever escape from these farms? How many of these infected deer go back into the wild and that we don't know about? I'd say all of them. Ralph set the stage for Mad Cow and CWD with his "Shoot, Shovel and Shutup" ethics. There are many factors that nweigh into this equation and those are just a few to mention. They say the CWD prion survives best in clay soil, Sask and Ab is full of clay and that could be one reason it can lie dormant for so long. The protein binds very tightly to clay and is almost impossible to remove. The biggest concentration you have of feces, urine etc is on these farms. I wouldn't doubt too that most of the deer that live on these farms are infected. Sorry, I don't trust our government when it comes to making money and covering up the truth, (facts) and they never like admitting when there wrong.

Check this out, here's what they're  doing in the States right now. Dauh..........

Quote
Thursday, November 01, 2012


 ALABAMA BIG BUCK PROJECT, A CWD TSE PRION ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN
 

ALABAMA BIG BUCK PROJECT
 
A Revolutionary Approach to Enhancing the Quality of Marengo County's Deer Herd by introducing Record Breaking Genetics. Beginning in the Fall of 2012, the Big Buck Project led by Tutt Land Company, will be releasing Trophy Class Whitetail Breeder Bucks all across Marengo County in an effort to enhance the quality of Marengo County's Whitetail Deer Herd. This ground breaking approach to creating a positive impact on our local deer herd will provide local hunters with a little more to look for while hunting the woods of Marengo County. As we get closer to our first release date, we will be providing more detailed information about the initiative and where the Big Bucks are going to be released. Visit the link below to keep up with all current news of the Big Buck Project.

OVERVIEW:
 
The Big Buck Project is set to begin in the fall of 2012 in Marengo County, Alabama. This initiative, led by Tutt Land Company, is expected to create waves throughout the hunting industry in Alabama and beyond. Check in for updates on this revolutionary initiative to restore “Record Book Genetics” to the local Whitetail Population in Marengo County, Alabama.
 
Tutt Land Company conducted a 5 year controlled research project in Marengo County that yielded amazing results in both herd health and quality antler growth by introducing new trophy genetics to the native herd. Tutt Land Company and the Big Buck Project Partners are prepared to take this research, along with data collected from similar studies and wildlife biologists, and apply it to all of Marengo County. We will begin the project in the fall of 2012 by purchasing whitetail breeder bucks with 200” genetics and releasing them at various locations throughout Marengo County. These bucks will be tagged in both ears with highly visible tags. With enough support, this revolutionary approach will yield amazing results throughout the whitetail population of Marengo County for years to come
.
And soon they will have a record breaking CWD population....can't fix stupid!

Tuc

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 03:49:56 PM »
I forgot to mention, their 5 year study is nothing. CWD can remain dormant for longer and never once did the report mention anything about testing these bucks for CWD before they let them into the wild.

JIMMY 808

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 04:16:42 PM »
Hmm were to start
 
  Easy way to deal with the sick ones is to shoot them on the spot wouldn’t you think?  But I am not a deer farmer not sure of government regulations.  Of course deer elk get out of the farms sick ones too. 

Ethics and deer, big game.
  First off nothing wrong with enhancing a hunting opportunity not testing released animals for dieses is of course dumb.

BruceW

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2012, 12:07:17 PM »
It's not just animals escaping, but I believe animals licking each other through the fence that could spread it.

I'm really torn on cwd.  On the one hand I think there's likely nothing new under the sun and someone in a lab just recently, "discovered" it.  Over the years there's been a couple deer that I chose not to shoot because they simply didn't look, "right".  That's all I can say to describe it.  (this was decades before, "cwd).

On the other hand, maybe it Is something, "new?"  One thing's undisputable;  when cwd was first discovered in AB if you put a pin on the map of elk farms, you also put a pin in the middle of the cwd area's.  Also, it's moving in from Sask, where I understand deer/elk farms exist.

As someone else said, many diseases will remain for possibly decades and decades.   One old farmer told me of a pig disease that sounds pretty similar, and he believed that once that was in the soil you could never raise pigs on a diseased location free of it again.

I certainly have no answers to put forward, unfortunately.

Tuc

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2012, 12:14:54 PM »
Quote
when cwd was first discovered in AB if you put a pin on the map of elk farms, you also put a pin in the middle of the cwd area's
Bang on!

deerman

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2012, 09:53:01 AM »

I am really glad that F&W didn't just sit on their hands and say" What should we do lets do a study"  (not that there is anything wrong with wildlife research but sometime fast action is required).  They made a disicion and went into action.  Then the sever winter came along and knocked the deer back even farther.

A lot of hunters are upset because they have been inconvenienced in their favourite hunting area.  I feel sorry for them but the focus of F&W has never been to try and please all hunters.  Their concern was for Alberta's deer population and that is why they did what they did.

Paul

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2012, 10:32:57 AM »
A lot of hunters are upset because they have been inconvenienced in their favourite hunting area.  I feel sorry for them but the focus of F&W has never been to try and please all hunters.  Their concern was for Alberta's deer population and that is why they did what they did.

Yes but the question remains deerman, did it solve the problem or even prevent it from being worse? There is no benchmark to determine this, one can only speculate. Cull was maybe a good idea, but give the hunters first opportunity.

AxeMan

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2012, 01:24:55 PM »
My gut feeling is that the cull was a pretty drastic reaction to a problem that had no clear scientific answers.

I tend to agree with Justin on his statements in general.

I would question ESRD as to why they feel an extermination of wild deer is warranted while allowing cervid farming to exist based on their explantion of the spread of CWD.  Definitely a double standard.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2012, 04:34:50 PM by AxeMan »
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ishootbambi

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2012, 10:17:50 AM »
the cull is absolutely a fiasco.  when cwd was first found in alberta near oyen, the bios in alberta had no effin clue what was involved in this disease or what to do about it.  the person in charge jumped the gun in going with a cull.  culls work with diseases like tuberculosis, brucellosis, pneumonia etc because those diseases die with the host.  they are caused by viruses or bacteria....in short they are alive, and when their host dies, they die too.  cwd is a prion disease very similar to BSE, scrapie, and CJD.  how it works is that it causes an abnormality in protein that leads to death.  it is a TSE which basically turns the brain into a spongy tissue resulting in death.  there is no known cure. 

back when it was new in alberta, srd told us tht by 2015, computer modelling had determined that the entire province would be at 100% infection despite the mountain of real evidence showing that to be entirely false.  cwd was first identified in colorado in 1967.  today, colorado has a very small area in the north that has the highest known concentration of positives in the wild at around 13%.  today....45 years after first seeing the disease, there is a great deal of the state that is still cwd free.  it does seem that concentration of ungulates will increase the spread.  it moves fastest in farmed herds due to tight contact, and even in the wild, density seems to have an impact.  the deer density in colorado is leaps and bounds higher than we have or ever could have in alberta.  we saw it two years ago that our climate will never allow deer to populate to the point that our southern neighbours get to. 

a sfar as game farms being a problem today....well....they arent really the evil that some think they are.  there is no question that game farms introduced cwd to canada.  we had one case in alberta, but saskatchewan had several.  it was in sask that the leap was made into the wild population, and from there it has moved west into alberta.  the cwd timeline shows very clearly how the disease has travelled.

http://www.cwd-info.org/index.php/fuseaction/about.timeline

there are many that still are sipping the koolaid from srd that the disease is running rampant and culling is the only solution.  i say look again at colorado.  they discovered it first in 1967, and the first wild animal was found in 1981.  to this day ive heard srd peddle the bullshit that colorado has no deer left, the herds are collapsing, and  the sky is falling so we had better act.  look at these links to see the truth.

this one shows a current number for mule deer.

http://www.cohunter.com/news/2012/au...e-deer-update/

The current population is about 418,000 compared with 430,000 a year ago.
#Wildlife managers say more than hunting pressure has put deer herds on the Western Slope on the decline. The drop, they say, is the result of the degradation of deer habit from a variety of human activities.

here is one for elk from 1998

http://www.trophyelkbook.com/tips.html
Which state has the largest elk population? Colorado has the largest herd with an estimated elk population of 229,000 animals (1998).

and here is one for 2009....sorry, couldnt find 2012....

http://www.ehow.com/facts_5170655_co...formation.html
Colorado is home to the largest elk population in the nation--an estimated 292,000 head in 2009, according the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

but that is important as it shows clear increases in elk numbers....NOT decreasing herds.

http://www.gameandfishmag.com/2010/1...ng_rm_0910_01/
this report lists numbers by region....but not every region. It accounts for over 40000 whitetails. Cant find exact number s for state.

add these whitetails and you end up with three quarters of a million deer and elk in colorado.....a state of almost 270 000 sq km, and you have around 3 animals per sq km. care to guess how much higher that density is than what we have in alberta?

 look at the maps by species in this link and you will see how much of colorado is cwd free. remember that srd told us we would have 100% infection by 2015, but colorado has had it longer than anyone and their infection rate is nowhere close to the doom and gloom being told to us.


http://wildlife.state.co.us/hunting/...s/CWDHome.aspx


it is disgusting to think that there are average joe citizens in this province more concerned with finding out the truth surrounding cwd than some bios whose job it is to deal with such things.  if i had any of us had shown such gross incompetence in our jobs we would be fired.  the leader of the pack from srd presented their ideas when this first started and convinced landowners, and a lot of the public that they were speaking the truth....but i was there armed with these facts that anyone can find onthe internet if they want to.  i was told that im not a biologist so im not smart enough to understand what they were saying.  here we are 7 years later, and the facts havent changed. 

cwd has decimated herds alright....but only becasue of the incompetence of a few and their uninformed decisions to cull along the border.  for anyone wondering why i took such an interest.....the very first zone to be culled was one of my favorite areas to bowhunt mule deer.
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ishootbambi

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2012, 02:37:28 PM »
i posted this elsewhere already....sorry for the cut and paste....

ok, i have a break from the hectic schedule and i have calmed down some.

as i said, i spoke with trent bollinger the other day. he is a hunter, a biologist, and the leading guy dealing with cwd in canada right from day one. i asked him a few direct questions and he gave me a few direct answers.

i asked him if he felt that cwd is spreading at an alarming rate. he answered no, but that he is afraid that in the future....like several decades that there is indication that mule deer bucks will be most affected, and there may be a decrease in the number of older age class deer available and that it will affect hunting oppotunities. i pointed out that hasnt been the case in colorado which has had the disease the longest...already over 30 years in the wild...and they have deer herds that have expanded in number statewide with plenty of older age class bucks available. i further pointed out that elk numbers grew by quite a bit more since 1981. his response was that his research shows that he is correct, but the results wont be seen widely for several decades.

i have to show that what he is saying is guesswork. the proven facts for the future can be seen in colorado. the state has a deer density many times what we have in alberta, and given that density plays a role, it is safe to say that the evidence available shows a much lower actual prevalence than what is being projected. for the life of me, i cant understand why this evidence is being ignored.

next question is where does trent stand on culling as a cwd management tool. he said that once it is established, culling is futile as the prions that transmit the disease are already in the environment. he does believe that in newly infected areas, that culling can be used to slow the spread of the disease. his reasoning was that there are few animals shedding prions and by killing them, they will stop spreading them to more deer. give his reasoning of culling being ineffective in established areas, i dont see the logic in using it in new areas for the same reasons he stated. in his own words....at best he hopes to slow the spread, and conceded it is impossible to stop the spread.

he also informed me of some research ongoing right now near cabri sk. there are 70 mule deer wearing collars there. they are congregating around a leaking grain bin and are bedding in a small coulee within 100 yards of the bin. it is in his words a miniature game farm with no fence. live tests have indicated that there are 35 of the 70 infected with cwd currently. when i asked him about the validity of the live test for cwd, he conceded that accuracy isnt as good as researchers would like, but stopped short of saying how inaccurate the live test might be. at any rate, he is reporting a 50% infection in a tiny isolated area. they are intending to let the disease run its course and monitor these deer for the time being. ill try to get an update on that in a few months.

when i asked him if he felt comfortable reporting that an area of saskatchewan is seeing 50% infection, he said that yes, he would, but would be specific in his findings, and mention the isolation.

my view is that you can make stats look like anything you want them to. kinda like someone saying that 3 deer were introduced into a game famr and 100% infection occurred. i hardly think the number is a good indication of a representative sample. remember someone else reported the 470ish tested heads with 0 infection in the hot area near chauvin alberta....again a sample too small to come to any conclusion.
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ishootbambi

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2012, 02:38:18 PM »
and then yesterday i spoke with albertas cwd expert. i asked the same questions, and got answers a little different.

when asked if culling is a good idea in alberta, i was told emphatically yes. she said that once the disease is established it wont be eliminated, but she feels that the spread can be controlled. i asked how thats possible when prions exist in the environment, and the response was that the less animals that are present will result in a slower spread of the disease.

so we are back to killing deer to save deer? culls in this province have killed thousands of deer, yet the number of positives are 127. i asked how that arithmetic makes sense? i was told it is unknown if any slowing effect had happened, and was met with silence on how killing thousands of deer to save a few made sense.

i asked if we are going to be facing more culling in the future. the answer was that culls havent happended since 2008. i pointed out that more than 400 antlered mule tags in 200 and 234 and several hundred more in surrounding zones coupled with unlimited supplemental tags are simply a cull by another name. she disagreed, and insisted it was simple herd management. she then pointed out that the december seasons and early primitive seasons had been ended. i pointed out that she already said that wasnt called culling.....and was again met with silence. i asked if we can expect an increase in tag numbers in any new mwus where cwd will be found. she replied it was likely.

i asked if she was who wrote the page on cwd found in our hunting regs. she said yes it was her who had prepared the report. i asked why she printed some very incorrect statements. she denied any errors. i specifically read paragraph 2 on page 29 of the regs. it says....

Local deer populations in Colorado and Wyoming, where the disease has existed for decades, display dramatic population declines, with up to 50% mortality and significantly lower birth rate over the last 10 years. The declines are attributed directly to the effects of CWD. Infected populations now have younger deer, lower productivity, and fewer trophy males.

as i was on the phone, i had my computer open to the CDOW website that directly refuted these claims. i posted links to most of it in post 341 in this thread.

i asked what was considered a local population and the answer was a DMZ (deer management zone) which is the equivalent of a wmu in alberta. i said there is no way...i am looking at the info right now and the highest DMZ ifection rate is 12.8%, and that much of colorado is to this day CWD free. she then changed her mind and went with the words, "its a local population".

i then asked where she got the info for lower birth rates and population decline as the info i posted in post 341 shows growth in the mule deer herd, and significant growth in the elk herd over the last 10 years. there was a one year drop in mule deer numbers, and the website i quoted says that was due largely to habitat loss...not cwd. again she said it referred to a "local" population. she refused to say what that meant, but i can only guess it must be similar to trent bollingers findings on a group of 70 deer. i think to report the info in the regs the way it was as a significant scientific finding is pretty misleading.

i asked for an email address for her so i could send her the links to the info i was reading. the response i got was "im not giving you my info or any of my colleagues. we have better things to do than look at websites you provide". i asked how she can ignore the information from the colorado division of wildlife and their information regarding cwd? again....silence. i asked where i could find the info she was telling us about the 50% infection and reduced birthrates and low older age class males etc......i was told it isnt available on the internet as the researchers have better things to do than to update websites. i offered that the website i was referring to was updated in august of 2012.....again silence. i offered to give my contact info so she could send me the info she was reporting....the data used to write the report on page 29 of the regs. i was told no.

one other question i asked was if she still believed the reports from computer modelling showing 100% infection of deer in alberta. she said that srd never made such a claim. i was there when it was said at the landowner meetings back in 2005. that reminds me very much of jean chretien and his flat out lie "i never said we would scrap da gst".....

in short, it seems that we can look forward to more culling in the future even though it has been proven ineffective everywhere it has been tried, and the only way to get to the truth might be to research this disease yourself. my advice is that if you want to learn the truth.....go to the sources that have dealt with the disease the longest....colorado. it disgusts me that some mistruths have been told to us here in alberta. page 29 of the regs is a good example of that. i find it disturbing that the most thorough and reliable sources of information on cwd are found on an outdoors forum.....

well, there are some exceptions...like this thread...http://www.outdoorsmenforum.ca/showthread.php?t=85207

and from that thread this quote

The disease is heading westward at an alarming rate.
knowledge is power people. we all need to stay informed. cwd is going to have a drastic effect on hunting in this province....but not because it will wipe out deer. the mismanagement seen along the border wmus is coming soon to a wmu near you.

oh, and one question that keeps coming to me in pm is "why do you know so much and care so much about this disease?" the answer is that the very first wmu to be destroyed by poor decisions was one of my favorite places to bowhunt mule deer. it is no coincidence that i havent bow killed a mule deer since day 1 of the cwd fiasco.....and i hate to think this will happen province wide...

opinions are like sphincters......everyone has one, and they all stink!

ishootbambi

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2012, 02:45:29 PM »
this map is important.  it shows infections in colorado....a state with more than 3/4 of a million deer and elk in an area about 40% of the size of alberta.
opinions are like sphincters......everyone has one, and they all stink!

Paul

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Re: Alberta CWD cull fiasco
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2012, 03:28:28 PM »
Good on you for making the call Dale, too bad the bureaucrat has no time for you or your concerns, government always knows what's best for us. If more of us were informed and participated we would probably accomplish making some changes.