Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Shiawassee County, MI
Well, if a deer known to be carrying/afflicted with CWD visited a bait site, and subsequently other deer that visited the bait after the carrier came down with/tested positive for CWD that would be an element of proof. The problem is that 1) currently there are no tests to determine presence of CWD in live deer and 2) the disease progresses very slowly as do Scrapie, Mad Cow and Jakob-Cruetzfeldt diseases. So, with present knowledge, we aren't going to see that element of proof.
I believe current science has demonstrated that deer are inflicted with CWD after contact with CWD carriers and/or ground/natural features that carriers spent time on. Bait piles meet the latter condition and provide opportunity for contact as well. Yes , naturally occuring feed/browse does that too, as do scrapes. But in areas with dispersed browse, my experience is that even small bait piles do concentrate deer movement and would be expected to increase risk of CWD transmission. Why not eliminate bait as a potential cause of CWD transmission?
I don't have a big philosophical problem with baiting, but prefer to scout natural forage and scrapes for hunting locations. I have baited in situations where baiting was prevalent just to stay on even footing with other hunters.
We don't have, relatively speaking, much experience with CWD but the epidemiology of bovine TB in deer using concentrated feed is pretty well established and there appear to be parallels with CWD transmission.
My personal experience with legislators micro managing issues, other than passing enabling statutes for setting up regulations by agencies, is that they rarely understand what they are doing and are adversely influenced by vested interest lobbyists with an end result that is FUBARed.
I don't follow NRC stuff closely enough to know how well they listen to professional biologists, to what degree the NRC is overly influenced by special interests, if the NRC is a useful layer of government, or if the original purpose of the NRC was to buffer professional staff from the frequent nonsense of politicians with narrow and poorly advised agendas serving specific special interests....in this case deer bait producers and vendors.
BTW I just saw an article in the Drummond Island newspaper that described DNR studies of deer migrations in the western UP. IIRC deer wintered not far from the Wisconsin border and migrated north 30-40 miles north towards Lake Superior in the summer. I've heard eastern UP deer summer in the Rudyard/Pickford area and migrate south to cedar swamps along the Lake Huron shore about now...but have not seen any published reports.
Last edited by M134 Troll; 11-09-2019 at 11:46 PM.