Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Shiawassee County, MI
We do not have a great deal of experience specifically with CWD, but we do have a good scientific understanding of other contagious wildlife diseases such as bovine tuberculosis and routes of infection which parallel CWD. I think application of general principles of epidemiology(study of infectious disease transmission) to CDW is prudent. We do have considerable scientific experience with communicable disease in livestock, wildlife and humans, some with agents(scrapie, mad cow, Jakob-Creuztfeldt) similar to CWD prions. The APR trophy hunters will complain about lack of CWD scientific data, but if you combine our understanding of 1) maturing deer dispersal, 2) routes of transmission, 3) difficulty in diagnosing CWD in early stages, and 4) persistence of CWD prions in the environment then their arguments don't make any sense.
Typical baiting practices cause more nose to nose contact than crops or natural forage. I agree that it is a fine line between a pile of apples and windfall on the ground around trees in an old orchard.
No one likes the hard decisions that have to be made in complex situations threatening wildlife and future hunting, but we should do everything we can to contain CWD.