Thursday, July 05, 2007

WISCONSIN OPINION: Good Reasons to Ban Deer Baiting and Feeding

Keith McCaffery, retired northern deer biologist for the DNR, emphasizes that the state can not effectively manage deer in the presence of baiting and feeding.
"It changes their productivity, survivorship, their behavior and distribution, and greatly confounds harvest management," McCaffery said. "This is 'old hat' and has been known by deer biologists for a long time."

"But, some of the new reasons for concern are that saliva was proven to be a means of transmission for CWD, which converted a number of doubters," he said. "They had speculated that saliva was highly suspect and that has now been proven. Researchers took saliva from animals that manifested symptoms and orally gave it to fawns that later came down with CWD."

Other relatively new factors that should turn the tide against baiting and feeding, include the report last December by DNR Chief Conservation Warden Randy Stark that highlights problems wardens are seeing with illegal baiting. To McCaffery the violations that occur and the way some hunters use baiting to take over land that should be open to the public is an embarrassment.

Third is University of Wisconsin-Wildlife Ecology assistant professor Tim Van Deelen's report analyzing the effect of baiting on herd control."Van Deelen found that baiting tended to increase the archery harvest slightly, but it decreased the firearm harvest and the net effect was no effect," McCaffery said.

Another new reason why baiting and feeding should be banned, McCaffery said, is the emergence of new diseases. Michigan has had a problem with Bovine tuberculosis in its wild deer herd, and more recently Minnesota has found tuberculosis in part of its deer herd. In addition, Pseudorabies has appeared around Marshfield and there is speculation that it may have come from feral hogs. McCaffery wonders if baiting is playing a factor in its transmission.

"The fact that diseases continue to pop up should be an alarm bell," McCaffery said.
McCaffery said he has been concerned about the lack of political support for actions to control CWD in Wisconsin.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

SWITZERLAND NEWS: Another Deer in the Alps Gets Stoned

Authorities in Switzerland uncovered an illegal cannabis farm after locals complained about a stoned deer.

It is reported the deer had been attacking hikers, sleeping in roads and even wandering into homes and stores.

After numerous complaints forest rangers in Trient, Switzerland, launched an investigation.

They discovered an illegal cannabis farm set up by two locals, who were arrested as they went to harvest their crop.