I just returned from Tulsa, Oklahoma where I attended the North American Deer Farmers annual convention. There were several nice presentations about CWD and EHD/BT from scientists and government agencies. A couple of other speakers couldn’t make it due to the horrible weather in the high plains. I feel sorry for the people, livestock and wild animals that have to deal with that weather. Current reports of losses close to 1 billion dollars in Nebraska alone are staggering but don’t take into account any damage to wildlife.
It just reinforces that we need habitat to feed and shelter wildlife, especially in the winter! Back to news on CWD that was presented…mostly about genetics and resistance. Some of the genes seem to be protective in whitetails. This means that we can select for these genetics in captive deer and the wild deer that have these genes may be selected for over years of evolution. The researcher reinforced the idea that these genes slow down or protect the deer from showing signs of the disease till later in life (or forever…. too early to tell yet)…this gives them the opportunity to reproduce and reach old age. Maybe someday we will be able to control this disease through selection or genetic engineering (just heard many of you faint)…yes, I’m an advocate of using science to improve our lives! We couldn’t feed ourselves or the world if not for the technology that has been developed over the years. We have the technology right now to “snip” out the susceptible genes and make resistant deer! But who’s going to do it or allow it? Just a thought! Maybe someday states will be buying resistant deer from farmers to turn loose! For those of you concerned about EHD/BT, a new vaccine will be on the market later this spring. Two doses initially with an annual booster (has Types 1,2 and 6 EHD and Type 17 BT in it if I remember correctly) are “guaranteed” to protect your deer. This holds much hope for farmed deer and perhaps the technology can be adapted to be fed or otherwise to protect non captive deer. We lose so many deer to EHD/BT every year that it affects populations and can adversely affect hunting seasons. Drawing wild deer to dispersed water (tanks, not wet areas with mud) and feeding sites may be helpful. If supplemental feeding is allowed in your state/area, consider doing so with products that improve the health of the deer (minerals, vitamins, etc…not just salt or “candy”)… food plots to carry them through the winter and early spring are especially important, not just “kill plots” or summer feed plots… deer need the most help in late winter and early spring before green up and farm crops appear. Signing off…Doc Shipley
Real World Wildlife Products supports sound science in the management of our wild deer herds just as we utilize proven science in the development of our products. Our goal is to be the industry leader in bringing cutting edge products to the marketplace. ~ Ownership- Real World Wildlife Products