Tuesday, January 04, 2011

PENNSYLVANIA NEWS: A Quick Survey of the Deer Wars

Where things stand:

In 2008, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee of the state assembly was directed to study the Pennsylvania Game Commission's deer management program.

In 2009, they hired the Wildlife Management Institute as a consultant to perform the review.

In 2010, the Wildlife Management Institute completed their report. Click to view The Deer Management Program of the Pennsylvania Game Commission: a comprehensive review and evaluation.

Some of the legislators were not happy with aspects of the report. Some of these legislators admitted not knowing enough and wanting to learn more, but others made a series of tragically stupid comments and asserted fallacies as truths while berating biologists. A transcript is here.

And the third lawsuit by Unified Sportsman of Pennsylvania may be resolved later this year.
The Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania and the Game Commission may finally be headed toward a resolution of their long-running feud over deer management.

A source close to the case revealed that the discovery phase of the lawsuit the group filed in 2007 in Commonwealth Court against the agency has finally been completed.

And both sides - the Unified Sportsmen represented by attorney Charles Haws, of Barley Snyder LLC in Reading, and the commission, represented by the state Office of the Attorney General - have agreed to a Nov. 29 deadline for filing motions in the case.

A court date of 10 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2011, has been set in the event that the lawsuit is not decided before.

Official details about the lawsuit were hard to come by, but it was clear by this issue's deadline that efforts have been made to settle the case out of court. Although, a call to Haws' office went unreturned, and the Game Commission would release no information.

Source: Outdoors.com

Special thanks to a PA source.

WEST VIRGINIA NEWS: Record Harvest in Charleston

In it's fifth year, Charleston's urban deer hunt set a new record.

City Manager David Molgaard says 60 deer were killed during the several month-long season that ended Dec. 31. Forty-two animals were does.

The number of deer killed grew from 2009 even though less permits were issued in 2010. There were 184 permits issued in 2009 and only 124 in 2010.

Source: WSAZ

NEW JERSEY NEWS: Union County to Reduce Deer Population

Union County has allowed 8 hunters to reduce the deer population in the Ash Brook reservation by 60 animals.
The hunt targets the white-tailed deer population, which county officials say is over-browsing forests in the park, damaging the landscaping of private homes in the area, spreading Lyme disease and leading to some car accidents.

The county estimates there are 140 to 150 deer on the 1.75-square-mile reservation, a number they would like to reduce to 35 but anticipate falling short because there aren’t enough hunters and the season is too short.

Source: NJ.com

RESEARCH NEWS: New Virus Found in Deer Hunters

A smallpox-like disease (but less virulent) has been identified in hunters that field-dressed deer with open wounds on their hands.
Two similar skin infections in hunters who field dressed white-tailed deer led to the identification of a new parapoxvirus, which can mimic other infections and lead to diagnostic delays, according to researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In both cases, the hunters, one from Virginia and one from Connecticut, cut their fingers in November 2008 while field dressing deer that appeared healthy at the time of death, according to the researchers, who reported their findings in the Dec 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (abstract here).

Patients with parapoxvirus infections typically have a single lesion, developing over 4 to 8 weeks, that progresses through four stages—papule, vesicle, shallow annular ulcer, and scab—that heals with little or no scarring.

Infections can recur, and smallpox vaccination doesn't block parapoxvirus infection. The group noted that human infections are likely underreported, because many patients may not seek medical care because of the usually self-limited nature of the disease.

The clinical course was similar for both patients. About 7 weeks after the field dressing injury the hunters sought medical care for a nodule at the wound site that didn't heal. In the case of the Virginia patient, doctors removed and biopsied the lesion, but it recurred about a month later. The Connecticut hunter was treated with antibiotics, and his doctors biopsied the lesion. In both instances, specimens were sent to the CDC for evaluation.

Source: CIDRAP