NOW they worry…


Late last year, experts confirmed Yellowstone National Park’s first case of the infection — officially known as chronic wasting disease — after a deer carcass found in the Wyoming area of the park tested positive for the highly contagious disease. 

Now, cases have been reported in deer, elk and moose in 33 states across the US, as well as in Canada, Norway and South Korea. 

The disease “damages portions of the brain and typically causes progressive loss of body condition, behavioral changes, excessive salivation, and death,” according to the New York State Department of Health. 

It is 100% fatal, and there are no treatments or vaccines. 

Full article, HERE, and HERE from the NYP and HERE from the CDC.

It’s been in the ‘wild’ for over 40 years, but is just now getting ‘publicity’ outside the hunting community. I think the reason is, tourists/e.g. ‘regular’ people will start seeing them in Yellowstone and PETA et al will start raising a stink over it.

And yes, I do believe this is similar to ‘Mad Cow’, as the researcher, Sabine Gilch, a researcher  at the University of Calgary, knows what she is talking about.  I also know that people who count on deer, elk, moose, etc. for subsistence protein will continue to hunt the animals.

What are they planning to do with the predators that eat those deer, etc. after they die in the fields/woods? Are they going to put them down too? Cue PETA again…

Maybe PETA could ‘adopt’ all those poor critters and take care of them (pay no attention to their ‘no kill’ shelters that routinely kill dogs/cats).

I think this fall’s hunting season may be a ‘tad’ interesting, depending on where you’re hunting!


NOW they worry… — 14 Comments

  1. We’ve already noticed less deer at the location where we hunt, but we attributed to a neighboring ranch going ‘high fence’ and local ranch scrub destruction. We are located below the highly populated Hill Country. I wonder if CWD might be responsible for the lower number – I need to do some research on that.

  2. You can thank the Colorado Division of Wildlife. They were studying infected deer 40 years ago and they got loose. That is the only “SOURCE” of chronic wasting disease.

  3. We’ve been seeing CWD in Tennessee for a decade now. Some friends that hunt have the deer they take tested before having them processed. If it is a variant of Mad Cow, I don’t blame them.

  4. So it’s a “zombie deer” disease, and could jump to humans. But not right now. But don’t eat venison unless it’s been carefully checked.

    So we start with hyperbole and end with contradictory statements. So which is it? It hasn’t jumped to humans or it has?

    Sounds to me like another “here are all the reasons eating meat is bad” and “the best meat is made in a safe and hygienic lab, not out in the scary wilds.

  5. This all started in the Northeast mainly due to not culling the herds. Unintended consequences.

    • Probably. I lived my teen years in an area of NJ that still had a fair bit of hunting, with a wildlife management area nearby, and the deer were pretty common. Drive a dozen miles or so to the northwest to a town where hunting was banned, and they got crazy thick on the ground, automobile-deer collisions became super common, and the locals complaining about the situation in the local paper was at least a monthly occurrence. Somehow, though, both the “allow hunting” and the “hire wildlife managers” options always seemed to get opposed. Don’t know how things stand now, because I moved away a quarter century ago, and never think to ask my relatives who are still in NJ.

      Also, culling the human herd of the Northeast Liberal Establishment would be do a lot of good for the political health of this country.

  6. Here in the west, meaning Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, deer and elk hunting has been ‘interesting’ for about 30 years. One of the most important things I have taught my kids is that you must observe the animal for a few minutes to check its behavior. Deer and elk with CWD will act very unusual and in what we might call goofy ways, wandering around, bumping into trees or bushes, extreme salivation (foaming at the mouth and nose), unafraid of humans, or wandering close to you and bumping into you. These are just a few of the actions of your intended prey you need to be aware of. And as usual you need to be very cautious while processing it in the field. I have killed two mule deer that had the actions described above. The Colorado Division of Wildlife had a program to report the kill so they could collect the carcass before any predators could eat it.

  7. All- Thanks for the comments, and jrg, that is very possible… Paul, I wasn’t aware Colorado had actually done something productive like that!

  8. Perhaps PETA really stands for People for the Evil Treatment of Animals.

  9. Possibly the journalists came up with the alarmism on their own.

    Possibly they were prompted.

    I think in the most optimistic scenario, for some years into the future, any disease news will have some people reading it in a very excited way, and some will be seeing potential conspiracy in the excitement.

  10. As regards all the hysteria over BSE (Mad Cow Disease), there have only been about 200 cases, worldwide, of vCJD, the human neurologic condition that has been correlated to consumption of products from BSE-affected cattle.
    The only known case of classical BSE in USA was in 2003, in a cow born in and the imported from Canada.

    Almost all trials which have shown “transmission” of CWD to non-cervid species have involved injecting CWD-affected brain material directly into the brains of non-target species such as cattle, raccoons, etc. Not exactly a natural route of exposure…

    CWD was recently detected in a deer harvested in west KY, near Paducah, 90 miles west of here.
    I would not eat venison from a deer exhibiting visible signs of CWD, but will continue to process and eat my own kills…I never eat brain,spinal cord, or spleen, and typically trim out all lymph nodes and large nerves, anyway.(All ‘major tissues of concern’)