Friday, September 28, 2012

PENNSYLVANIA NEWS: Legislature Considers Hindering Game Commission's Authority

The Pennsylvania state legislature is considering enacting a law (HB 2073) that would subject Pennsylvania Game Commission actions to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission.  More specifically, passage of this bill will remove the ability of the Game Commission to set scientifically and biologically sound seasons and bag limits for all wildlife. Decisions on deer season will be delayed if this passes, as is the intent. However, every other action or decision the Game Commission makes will also be delayed. Even decisions made between meetings to protect or preserve wildlife due to disease outbreak, land deals, and mineral and gas leases, as well as other actions and decisions authorized by current law and authority.

The bill seeks to require that all game commission rules and regulation go through the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. This process well known to take two years for actions to pass muster of the committee.

HB 2073 will impose an almost impossible bar to what is otherwise well managed agency tasked by the legislature to manage the wildlife in this state. That bar to proper management is borne with the intent to do exactly that: hinder, confound, and remove authority to the game commission in decision that are of the immediate or timely nature.

Source: PA state legislature 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

MICHIGAN NEWS: Deer Excluded from Rare Forest

Deer are being fenced out of a Tenhave Woods, 15 acre nature reserve that protects one of only 10 known sites of wet-mesic flatwoods in Michigan. The Royal Oak Nature Society is erecting an 8 foot fence to protect the wildflowers in the reserve.

The deer’s’ days are numbered at Tenhave Woods.

Bye, bye Bambi.
When the white-tailed does, bucks and fawns head out for greener pastures in a couple months, the Royal Oak Nature Society will raise the fence around the wooded area behind Royal Oak High School to keep them out for good. The departure of the deer will bode well next spring for the thousands of wildflowers cut short during their blooming peaks this year.
Source: Daily Tribune

USA NEWS: More EHD Cases

Additional cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) are appearing throughout the U.S.  We now have reports from:

Eric Lobner, a district wildlife supervisor for DNR, said the outbreak appears to be centered in Columbia County, but dead deer have also been reported in Waukesha, Walworth and Rock counties.
He said about 30 deer have been affected so far.
Source: Oshkosh Northwestern

New Jersey
EHD Type 2 Virus has been confirmed in Gloucester, Salem and Warren counties and test results are pending for samples from Cape May, Cumberland, Camden, Monmouth and Middlesex counties.

Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian, today announced that epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has been confirmed as the cause of death for a deer in Westmoreland County. While the agency is waiting for results from samples collected from deer found dead in Allegheny, Greene and Westmoreland counties, Dr. Cottrell noted a sample from Cambria County was inconclusive.
Source: Sacramento Bee

The Missouri Conservation Department says it has been getting reports of hundreds of dead deer around the state. The agency says the deer appear to have fallen victim to hemorrhagic disease, which is spread by the bites of the small midge fly. As of mid-September, the department had received reports of about 2,800 dead deer, with the disease being the suspected cause.
Source: Sacramento Bee

The first documented case of EHD was three weeks ago at an Ashtabula County deer farm. The Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed that of 20 deer samples checked, 13 of the deer had EHD.

Monday, September 10, 2012

MISSOURI NEWS: Referendum on Urban Hunt

Another community is using the petition process to halt urban deer management.

There will be no bowhunting for deer in Cape Girardeau this fall.
The ordinance that would have allowed deer hunting within the city limits is now officially suspended. Keep Cape Safe, a group opposed to urban deer hunting, collected nearly 4,000 signatures on a referendum petition, which was certified Friday by the Cape Girardeau city clerk.

The Cape Girardeau City Council passed the ordinance July 16, which would have allowed bowhunting for deer on tracts of at least three acres during four months in the fall. The council now has 30 days to repeal the ordinance or the issue will be placed before voters in a future election.
 Source: Semissurian

MINNESOTA NEWS: Duluth Cull Continues Quietly

Deer are still creating problems for residents in Duluth.  However, the magnitude of the problem has been dropping over the past seven years.

But Duluth would be far worse off if the city had not conducted a bow hunt for deer within city limits for the past seven years. So far, a total of 3,777 deer have been taken during those seven years, and about 84 percent of them were antlerless deer (either does or fawn bucks). Each fall in recent years, more than 300 hunters have paid their $25 fee and passed shooting proficiency tests to take part in the hunt.
There has not been a single accident to date, and it is getting easier to donate venison to local food banks.

Source: Duluth News Tribune

NEW JERSEY NEWS: Petition to Continue Deer Cull

I cannot think of a prior example of a community petitioning to continue a deer cull, but that is happening right now in Essex County.
After years of vocal efforts to block the deer hunts in several Essex County parks, this may come as a surprise: The volunteer groups that handle much of the conservation work at Verona’s Hilltop and the South Mountain Reservation are circulating a petition to not end the hunts.

Theresa Trapp, treasurer of the Hilltop Conservancy, and Dennis Percher, chairman of the South Mountain Conservancy, say that while the deer populations at both parks have been reduced, they are still “nowhere near” the 10 deer-per-square-mile density needed to allow the forests and their ecosystems to regenerate. “We believe that stopping the culling, even for a year, is extremely ill-advised,” the two said in a statement. “With no natural predators in our area (wolves, mountain lions, black bears), deer populations will continue to expand unless the County actively reduces the herds.”
For more information, see: myvernonanj

Saturday, August 25, 2012

WISCONSIN NEWS: October CWD Hunt Scrapped by Governor

Wisconsin will give up trying to control a contagious disease affecting the state's deer population.
Gov. Scott Walker on Friday rejected state wildlife officials' request to run a four-day October antlerless deer hunt in the chronic wasting disease zone, saying he wants to streamline Wisconsin's hunting season structure.

Walker said he's abiding by a report Texas deer researcher James Kroll gave to the Department of Natural Resources in June. The governor hired Kroll to review the DNR's deer hunting regulations and strategies. Kroll noted hunters are unhappy with what they see as a complex web of multiple hunting seasons and questioned whether the October hunt generated enough kills in the CWD zone to continue.

Unless the epidemiology of CWD changes to become less contagious (it develops an R-sub zero of less than 1.0, as experts would say) we can expect the disease to spread throughout the state.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

RESEARCH NEWS: Another Recent Study Questions Deer-Lyme Link

A recent study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, questioning the link between deer and Lyme disease. It is not the first study to do so, and in fact my view on the connections between deer and Lyme (such as they are) are a minority viewpoint within the field. Moreover, I do not conduct disease research, so my opinion should not be regarded as "expert opinion" on the topic.
Deer, predators, and the emergence of Lyme disease

Lyme disease is the most prevalent vector-borne disease in North America, and both the annual incidence and geographic range are increasing. The emergence of Lyme disease has been attributed to a century-long recovery of deer, an important reproductive host for adult ticks. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that Lyme disease risk may now be more dynamically linked to fluctuations in the abundance of small-mammal hosts that are thought to infect the majority of ticks. The continuing and rapid increase in Lyme disease over the past two decades, long after the recolonization of deer, suggests that other factors, including changes in the ecology of small-mammal hosts may be responsible for the continuing emergence of Lyme disease. We present a theoretical model that illustrates how reductions in small-mammal predators can sharply increase Lyme disease risk. We then show that increases in Lyme disease in the northeastern and midwestern United States over the past three decades are frequently uncorrelated with deer abundance and instead coincide with a range-wide decline of a key small-mammal predator, the red fox, likely due to expansion of coyote populations. Further, across four states we find poor spatial correlation between deer abundance and Lyme disease incidence, but coyote abundance and fox rarity effectively predict the spatial distribution of Lyme disease in New York. These results suggest that changes in predator communities may have cascading impacts that facilitate the emergence of zoonotic diseases, the vast majority of which rely on hosts that occupy low trophic levels.
Link to study here

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


EHD is killing hundreds of deer in southern Michigan.

Officials in Michigan confirmed in early August that Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, killed deer in two counties in the south central part of the state.

Deer deaths have also been reported in 11 counties in Indiana; officials there suspect the cause is EHD but are awaiting confirmation from laboratory tests.
For some historical context:
Michigan has observed EHD outbreaks each year since 2006. Before 2006, EHD was seen in Michigan in 1955 and ’74.
The estimated mortality has varied from 50 to 1,000 deer per year in the affected areas, according to Michigan officials.
Source: Post-Bulletin

INDIANA NEWS: Deer Cull, Opposition at Ogden Dunes

There are 55 deer in the one square mile town of Ogden Dunes.
The Town Council has voted 4-1 to seek a deer cull permit after the state Department of Natural Resources rejected steps such as trapping and moving deer and using insecticides to kill ticks on the deer.
Not all residents are on board.
Bernadette Slawinski, a 35-year resident and member of the task force, said she spent hours researching alternative methods of controlling both the deer and tick populations and gave her findings to the Town Council.
"I'm not sure they even read the report," Slawinski said.
She said there are simpler things residents can do, such as planting deer-tolerant plants and controlling the mice population, but officials and residents don't seem interested.
While Lyme is the main issue, traffic safety is a close second.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Monday, August 13, 2012

MISSOURI NEWS: A Referendum on Whether to Cull

Citizens of Cape Girardeau will get to vote on whether to conduct a municipal deer cull.

Opponents of a Cape Girardeau ordinance that established an urban deer hunting program say they have enough signatures to put the issue to a vote.

 The Southeast Missourian reports the organizer of Keep Cape Safe says more than 3,000 petition signatures are on hand and notarized. Only 2,446 signatures are needed to get a referendum on the ballot.

The hunt is scheduled to begin Sept. 15. Supporters say it is needed to cull a deer population that is causing traffic accidents and ruining landscaping inside the city.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Saturday, August 11, 2012

USA NEWS: Dead Deer Roundup

The temperatures and drought have been extreme throughout most of the U.S. in 2012. Here is the August roundup of news.

Bluetongue (EHD) is killing deer in Kansas:
So far this year, KDWPT has received reports of dead or sick deer from at least 24 counties in northcentral and eastern Kansas. These counties include Jewell, Cloud, Cherokee, Shawnee, Clay, Washington, Wilson, Doniphan, Jackson, Miami, Franklin, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Douglas, Osage, Wabaunsee, Pottawatomie, Lyon, Riley, Anderson, Bourbon, Dickinson, and Marion. Most of these reports have involved a single sick or dead deer, with occasional reports of multiple mortalities.
Source: Infozine

 In Oklahoma, the cause has not been nailed down. But the leading contender is EHD.
Water samples from the Verdigris River tested negative for toxic blue-green algae, but the tests still don’t tell biologists what happened to the eight deer found dead in the river north of the Will Rogers Turnpike bridge this week. State biologist Craig Endicott, northeast regional supervisor with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, said samples collected by his department and by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wednesday showed no toxic levels in test completed this week. Cause of the deaths still is unknown. Two suspected causes are blue-green algae poisoning or a common viral disease, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, known as bluetongue or EHD.
Source: TulsaWorld

And in Indiana:
Indiana wildlife biologists are investigating reports of sick deer to determine if they have an often fatal illness that's believed to be worse during drought years. The Department of Natural Resources says epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, is a viral disease transmitted by insects that typically occurs during late summer and early fall. Deer with EHD may appear depressed or feverish and seek comfort in or around water. Other signs can include blue-tinted tongue or eyes, tongue ulcers, sloughed hooves and an eroded dental pad. The DNR says the most intense outbreaks appear to be in Morgan and Putnam counties but suspected infections have been reported in nine other counties. Test results from a sample taken from one deer are expected back within two weeks.
Source: WISH TV

Iowa Department of Natural Resources officials are warning of a threat to the state’s deer population from insects that have thrived in the dry conditions. State officials are sorting through reports of more than 40 dead deer likely killed by epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD.
Source: Des Moines Rgister

Three deer, all females that apparently had weaned fawns recently, were found dead this week in Marion County.
Source: Baxter Bulletin

Lastly, there was this...oh, wait. That was Randy Travis.
Country singer Randy Travis was lying naked in the middle of the road with no car in sight when another driver spotted him and called 911, according to a recording released Thursday. "I just found a guy laying in the road," the caller said in a recording released by the Grayson County Sheriff's Office. He added later, "I want to say he had no shirt on, but I don't know." The 911 caller did not identify Travis by name and said he at first thought the body belonged to a deer.
Source: KOAA

Friday, July 20, 2012

SCOTLAND NEWS: Muntjac Deer Detected

Muntjac deer might be in the process of colonizing Scotland.
A shoot-on-sight call has been issued on so-called "Asbo Bambi" in Scotland, after reported sightings of the "destructive" species. Scotland does not have an established Muntjac population, but SNH estimates that if one were to develop it would cost the country around £2m a year. The deer, originally from China, cause extensive damage to vegetation and crops, and car accidents by running out into the road. The SNH's advisor on non-native species, Stan Whitaker, described the animals as "the most destructive pests in Britain".
Source: Sky News


Chronic wasting disease has been found in a white-tail deer on a hunting preserve in southern Iowa. Officials are calling this an isolated incident. The first ones always are. Iowa has been testing for about a decade now, and this is the first confirmed case.

Iowa has tested 42,557 wild deer and over 4,000 captive deer and elk as part of the surveillance program since 2002 when CWD was found in Wisconsin.
Source: Star Tribune

Thursday, July 12, 2012

TEXAS NEWS: CWD Detected in Wild Deer

Samples from two mule deer recently taken in far West Texas have been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). These are the first cases of CWD detected in Texas deer. Wildlife officials believe the event is currently isolated in a remote part of the state near the New Mexico border.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

WISCONSIN NEWS: Deer Czar's Report Released

The long-awaited report is out.  All I can say is, "Really?  Really?"

Okay, it is not all bad.  The idea of creating a centralized deer management assistance program is a good one.  But between the obsession with wolves (Wisconsin's 6th or 7th leading source of deer mortality), the contradictory recommendations (Do away with population goals, but develop metrics to monitor progress towards population goals?), the empty platitudes (put the fun back into hunting!), to the recommendations involving how things have been done for the past 17 years (the impacts of deer depredation on agricultural crops, forest regeneration and biodiversity, deer/vehicle collisions, the special significance of deer to the Ojibwe people and other factors also must be considered in management of Wisconsin’s white-tailed deer resources), it is hard not to be underwhelmed.

We'll see how long this shiny new object holds the attention of deer hunters in the state.

A link to the report is here.

Monday, July 09, 2012

NEW YORK NEWS: City Officials Launch "Deer Are Not Bambi" Campaign

The number of deer on Staten Island has gone from near zero in 2008 to 1500 today, just 4 years later.

As well as causing traffic accidents, they're wreaking havoc to residents' back yards and gardens. And they've prompted a community board to suggest the "Deer are not Bambi" campaign to dissuade people from feeding them. "The deer population has been growing like crazy on Staten Island," said Frank Morano, chair of CB3 which discussed the problem at a recent meeting. "People look at them as how cute they are and start feeding them, and the worst we can do is feed them. Let them live on their own."
Source: DNAinfo

Sunday, July 08, 2012

MINNESOTA NEWS: Hunting Areas Becoming "Overbuilt" on Public Lands

The presence of tree stands for deer hunting on public lands is not a new phenomenon.  However, the size and extent of these tree stands is growing out of control.

First, let's look at a trend in tree stands:
It’s not just a couple of boards slapped into a tree, but tree houses with stairways, decks, shingled roofs, commercial windows, insulation, propane heaters, carpeting, lounge chairs, tables and “even some with generators so they have electricity,” Krepps said.

One deer “stand” discovered on county land was a cabin 18 feet wide and 20 feet long. And, increasingly, some hunters are buying elaborate manufactured stands and leaving them in the woods all year.

When a stand is abandoned, much of it is left to rot in the forest. But plastic, metal, shingles and other materials aren’t biodegradable “and really leave a mess in the woods,” said Jason Meyer, who manages forests in the southern half of St. Louis County.
It crosses the line on what is appropriate for public lands.  These stands often have locks on the door. 

Next, let's look at the evolution of shooting lanes.  This used to entail cutting some branches or the occasional sapling to provide an unobstructed (and thus safer) area for shooting.  And now?
Some of those shooting lanes are more than 30 feet wide and up to 700 feet long. In one area of county land near state land, it’s estimated that a group of hunters had cleared more than six acres of forest combined for their 47 shooting lanes. “They are taking public land out of timber production and it’s adding up across the county,” Kailanen said. “The real impact of this may not be realized until 40 or 50 or 60 years from now, when those trees would have been harvested.”

Without all of that tree cover, what is to be done? Why not plant food plots to entice the deer to be closer to the tree stand?
In some areas, hunters have taken to clearing the forestland and planting clover and other farm crops to attract deer. While the ethics of food plots is hotly debated in the hunting community — some say it’s akin to baiting deer, which is illegal in Minnesota — county foresters say the plots are taking even more forestland out of production. Moreover, the seeds planted may not be just one crop, but may bring in invasive, non-native species that could damage the native forest and spread.
This all adds up to a pseudo-privatization of wildlife.  It involves constructing buildings and landscaping on lands people do not privately own to manipulate deer that are not "theirs" for the sole purpose of increasing their chances of having a successful hunt.  This is contentious enough within the community of deer hunters.  It amounts to another self-inflicted black eye in society at large.

Source: Duluth Tribune

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

OHIO NEWS: Mentor's Ordinance to Hunt Deer, Put Forth "Best Practices"

Another municipality is a step closer to authorized deer hunting.  The town of Mentor took the additional step to outline best practices for municipal hunting.
The amendment comes with a number of conditions, including who can hunt, where, when and how. Only bows and arrows and crossbows would be allowed, and hunting could only occur — by property owner's written permission — on parcels of 5 acres or more, or on a combination of no more than three contiguous properties not separated by a public road. Potential hunters would have to secure a permit from the police chief, pass a proficiency test with their weapon and hunt from a fixed, elevated position at least 8 feet off the ground. They must stay 100 feet from the lot line of properties on which they don't have permission to hunt and cannot shoot at deer if residential structures, vehicles or people can be seen anywhere in their shot direction.

The full proposed ordinance can be seen at the link below.

Source: News-Herald

Thursday, June 28, 2012

RESEARCH NEWS: Lone Star Tick Bites Linked to Meat Allergies

White-tailed deer are a major host for Lone Star Ticks. Connections between tick-borne diseases, ticks, and deer are complex and not always intuitive. That said, this is pretty strange:
University of Virginia researchers announced last week that they have found a connection between Lone Star Tick (Amblyoma americanum) bites and allergic reaction to meat. This new allergy to meat called Alpha-Gal presents itself 4-6 hours after consumption of beef, pork or lamb and symptoms can vary between hives to anaphylactic shock. So far, doctors have diagnosed over 1,500 people with Alpha-Gal as a result of Lone Star Tick bites.
Source: Houston Chronicle

Thursday, June 21, 2012

MISCELLANEOUS: Guerilla Art Installation in Los Angeles

I read this in the LA Times and could not help but pass it on. I find this to be very clever on a few levels. I would be interested in feedback from readers. Some choice quotes:
"It makes me think it would look better if all this stuff was cleaned up," he said, pointing to the trash scattered across the slope. "It makes me want to clean it up."

"The deer are so perfectly suited for that space that people were almost shocked to see it, or they don't notice," said Greenwood, a New York native working in Los Angeles as a multimedia artist.
Source: LA Times

CONNECTICUT NEWS: Economic Costs of Deer Surprising

Wilton, Connecticut, just tallied the economic impact of their 60+ deer per square mile. It came in at $6.36 million per year (possibly higher), which amounts to $3900 per single family household. Does this seem high? The actual figure might be closer to $9000, depending on what you count and what you leave out.
Wilton’s Director of Environmental Affairs Pat Sesto, who confirmed the calculations, noted that the $6.36 mill figure does not include the cost of education about Lyme disease and sick leave and medical-related losses brought on by tick-borne diseases. A more realistic estimate would probably land the cost per deer at over $4,000. The 2010 study estimates that these damages cost $1,176 in taxpayer money per single-family household in Wilton per year.
Here is a cost breakdown. Damage to landscaping and the environment tops the list, while vehicle damage is at the bottom.

Wilton is not what you could call a deer hunting mecca, so they really are not deriving economic benefits. The community is looking into sharpshooting.


Friday, June 08, 2012

WISCONSIN NEWS: Deer Czar's Plan Scrutinized

Tim Van Deelen is not impressed by the the Deer Czar's findings. Tim is a life-long deer hunter, a former DNR researcher, and now a professor at the University of Wisconsin. He is an Upper Midwestern native, and deeply understands the deer management challenges and opportunities in Wisconsin. If I had my choice of a Deer Czar for Wisconsin, Tim Van Deelen would certainly be on the short list.
Van Deelen, who has worked closely with the state Department of Natural Resources on deer management issues, said in a letter to Kroll in early May that he found the initial findings “significantly lacking” in scientific content and objective analysis.
Tim's critique of the Czar's preliminary report highlights a few failures: - The Czar's method for gathering information from hunters was biased and did not represent scientific sampling. - Presenting unsubstantiated claims as facts (when in fact, empirical evidence suggests the opposite). - Selective "quote mining" of scientific studies to misrepresent their findings.

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

Update. You can read the full text of Dr. Tim Van Deelen's letter here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

RESEARCH NEWS: Artificial Insemination With Trophy Buck Sperm

Researchers at LSU are trying to breed a trophy buck.
For the first time, Louisiana researchers say they have impregnated six female deer with sperm harvested from an already-dead champion buck – this one shot some 600 miles away in Illinois. Louisiana State University AgCenter scientists say that the new process could be the key to preserving the eons-old genetic material of a variety of animals actively hunted in the wild – animals that would otherwise be lost.
Trophy bucks--male deer with large multi-spiked antlers--reflect four factors: genetics, environment (including diet), a genetic by environment interaction, and age. It is not clear to what extent genetics alone were responsible for the condition of the trophy buck shot on a private hunting preserve. Source: Fox News

Sunday, May 13, 2012

INDIANA NEWS: New Deer Management Plan for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has developed an ambitious 15-year plan to manage deer on their lands. It includes deer impact monitoring, using fencing and deer repellents to protect specific rare plants, and of course, culling.
When the plan was written, it called for more than 1,000 deer to be culled during the first three years of the 15-year plan, with additional culls in later years.
The specific number of deer to be culled over the 15 year plan will change, depending on the results of the monitoring data. The number could be higher or lower. Source: Portage News

Saturday, May 12, 2012

WISCONSIN NEWS: Deer Feeding Ban in NW Counties

The Wisconsin DNR banned the baiting and feeding of deer in Barron, Burnett, Polk and Washburn counties because of the recent discovery of chronic wasting disease in the area. The ban goes into effect May 10, 2012. The Wisconsin DNR explains their rationale:
“Baiting and feeding of deer unnecessarily increases the risk of spreading CWD and other diseases,” Hauge said. “Animal health is important to preserving our great hunting tradition and is a foundation of tourism and vital to local businesses.” Baiting and feeding increase risks of spreading communicable diseases, like CWD, by concentrating deer in one spot. Deer using one spot are more at risk for spreading a disease.
Source: Star Tribune

HAWAI'I NEWS: Agricultural Damage from Axis Deer Tops $1 Million

Hawai'i has no native deer. Indeed, they have no native browsing mammals. Axis deer was first introduced to Molokai and Oahu in 1868, Lanai in 1920, and Maui in 1959. They were found on the Big Island last year. They are considered invasive on all of these islands. As for the damage assessment:
A county survey shows axis deer are to blame for at least $1 million in damage to farms, ranches and resorts in the last two years, the Maui News reported today. But the actual damage is likely greater because not all of the farmers and ranchers contacted for information responded to surveys, said Kenneth Yamamura, agricultural specialist in the county Office of Economic Development.
Data from the Department of Land and Natural Resources indicates 4000-5000 deer are on Maui last year and about 3500 - 4000 are found on Lanai. Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Saturday, April 14, 2012

HAWAI'I NEWS: Axis Deer to be Eradicated on Big Island

To protect Hawai‘i Island from the impacts of axis deer that were illegally introduced and are now spreading, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), has been providing resources for a team to investigate the known locations of, and more recently to begin controlling deer. Axis deer are not native to Hawai‘i, and they are known pests of agriculture, as well as native and culturally significant plants, many of which are already endangered.

Recognizing the impact this invasive species can have on local cattleman and farmers, a partnership between conservation groups and the agricultural community was formed last year. It has since proved its readiness to address this new threat with the taking of the first axis deer on the Big Island on April 11, 2012, as part of an official program to remove these unwanted pests from the island.

Source: Big Island Video News

Monday, April 09, 2012

CALIFORNIA NEWS: Statewide Deer Population Decline Continues

Since 1990, California has lost nearly half its deer population, according to the state Department of Fish and Game.

"Our deer are surviving, they're not thriving," said Craig Stowers, deer program manager at Fish and Game. "Quite frankly, until people start taking this seriously, we're going to continue to experience these types of declines."

This forest icon is on the wane mainly for one simple reason: habitat loss.

Between 1990 and 2000, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 75,000 acres per year were converted to low-density housing across California. A recent Bee analysis of housing data showed a similar trend over the past decade, at least until the recession began. The rate was even greater before 1990.

This land conversion eliminated food and migratory corridors vital to deer.

Source: Sacramento Bee

Monday, April 02, 2012

WISCONSIN NEWS: CWD Spreads to the Northwestern Corner of the State

From a Wisconsin DNR Press release:

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced that CWD was detected in a wild adult doe found on private property just west of Shell Lake in Washburn County.

Tissue samples have been confirmed as CWD-positive at both the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, and USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. The DNR received the final test results late on Friday, March 30. The 3 1/2-year old doe was euthanized by the Washburn County Sheriff's Office on a small parcel of private land.

In order to find out if the disease is present in other wild deer in the area, this fall DNR will begin a focused disease surveillance effort within a 10-mile radius around the positive location.

Under state statutes, the DNR is required to enact a ban on the feeding and baiting of deer in any county that is within 10 miles of any captive or free-roaming deer that tests positive for either CWD or Tb. This CWD-positive deer is within Washburn County and may be within 10 miles of Barron, Burnett and Polk Counties. We anticipate the ban on baiting and feeding within these counties to take effect this fall.

Monday, March 26, 2012

MISSOURI NEWS: Lots of Towns Face Deer Problems

It's being done in small towns, like Fulton, Osage Beach and Moberly. Larger communities, too: Springfield, Columbia, the St. Louis suburban areas and all of metropolitan Kansas City.

The issue of urban deer hunting has landed in the lap of the Cape Girardeau City Council, beginning anew a process that has been repeated in communities across Missouri as officials almost everywhere have struggled with how best to manage deer encroachment into city boundaries.

Twenty-three cities in Missouri currently allow residents to participate in managed bow hunts to curtail growing deer populations that were blamed for an increase in deer-vehicle collisions and lawn destruction. Others are considering it, including Ballwin and Ellisville.

Different municipalities took different approaches--the article is worth a read.




Indiana deer hunters took fewer deer in 2011 than in 2010, but the 129,018 total was still the fourth-best season on record, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish and Wildlife. The all-time record remains 2010, when 134,004 deer were taken.


The DNR says hunters killed 347,711 deer across all hunting seasons last year, up 3 percent from last year.


The Pennsylvania Game Commission today said preliminary harvest reports show a 6 percent increase in the number of deer killed in the state during the 2011-12 hunting seasons. Hunters killed 336,200 deer, or 9,960 more than during the 2010-11 seasons, according to the preliminary data.


Maine’s 2011 deer season ended in a total harvest of 18,839 deer, a 6 percent decrease from the 2010 season. Officials attribute the drop to a significant decrease in the distribution of Any Deer Permits. The state awarded fewer of the permits this year to allow for greater deer population growth.

New York

In 2011, hunters took slightly more than 118,350 antlerless deer (adult females and fawns) and just over 110,000 adult male deer (bucks).


During the past deer season 231,454 deer were reported killed by hunters in Virginia. This total included 98,770 bucks, 20,738 button bucks and 111,830 doe. The fall 2011 deer kill total was up 4 percent. It is in line with the last 10-year average of 230,850.


Hunters took 12,132 deer last year, which was an expected decline from the year before.


Deer hunters harvested an estimated 33,200 deer in 2011.

MISSOURI NEWS: Wild Deer Test Positive for CWD

More CWD in Missouri:

Missouri officials say two more captive white-tailed deer have tested positive for a fatal illness called chronic wasting disease.

The state Department of Conservation says the positive tests bring to five the number of wild deer that have tested positive for the syndrome in Missouri.

The Columbia Missourian reported that all five infected wild white-tailed deer were killed within two miles of the Heartland Wildlife Ranch in northwestern Macon County. Infected captive deer were previously identified at the Macon County ranch, which is killing off and testing its herd.

Source: Lakenewsonline

Monday, January 16, 2012

MISSOURI NEWS: Deer Harvest Down in 2011

Deer harvest was down a little in 2011.

Missouri hunters took nearly 240-thousand deer during the 2011-2012 hunting season. The season’s total was up about 7,400 from last year, but roughly 13,000 below the 10-year average.

Why the decline? The state's management goal of reducing deer numbers is working.

MDC has been trying for the better part of a decade to stabilize deer numbers in many parts of Missouri. “We have been working to bring down deer populations to reduce crop damage, deer-vehicle accidents, and other deer nuisance problems, and we’ve made good progress in those areas,” Sumners said. “Now our challenge is finding ways to fine-tune deer numbers and hunting pressure at the local level, which means that future reductions in the availability of firearms antlerless permits may be necessary.”

It is amazing to think the state's first harvest of over 100,000 occurred in 1986. Tell someone that only 743 deer were harvested statewide in 1947, and they will think you are crazy.

Source: St. Louis CBS Local

IRELAND NEWS: Deer Population Density Not Sustainable

It looks like Ireland's deer population is in the early phases of exponential growth.

There are some 4,000 licensed hunters, who shoot about 25,000 deer a year in controlled hunting seasons. For a “sustainable” population, it seems an annual cull of 150,000 deer would be nearer the mark. This figure comes from Woodlands of Ireland, whose expert study in 2009 computed the extensive damage not only to Ireland’s native broadleafed woods and their dependent species but also to conifer forests, where deer strip bark when other food gets short and browse young sitka spruce into valueless bushes. By its estimate, red deer increased more than fivefold in the 30 years to 2008, with a tripling of sika and near-doubling of fallow. The muntjac may be small (like a furtive, hard-to-spot Labrador dog), but, even though it was introduced only in 2006, its sightings are already widespread and raise great ecological concern. Rumours of even more introductions – of roe and Chinese water deer – are so far unconfirmed.

Warmer winters and longer growing seasons will likely further facilitate this growth. Ireland would do well to look to their old rivals to the east for some guidance on national deer management policy.

Source: Irish Times