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James Kroll Wisconsin Deer Report and Recommendations June 2012

James Kroll Wisconsin Deer Report and Recommendations June 2012

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The findings and recomendations of the Wisconsin deer hunting report by Dr. James C. Kroll, titled "A 21st Century Model for Deer Management in Wisconsin," issued June 2012

The findings and recomendations of the Wisconsin deer hunting report by Dr. James C. Kroll, titled "A 21st Century Model for Deer Management in Wisconsin," issued June 2012

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Published by: Isthmus Publishing Company on Nov 15, 2012
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Some of the following recommendations are similar to or the same as discussed in the new CWD
management plan (WDNR 2010); however, there are some aspects on which we differ.

1. We believe it is time to consider a more passive approach to CWD in the DMZ. As
noted by the 2003 Audit Committee, “Severe deer population reduction in affected areas
is not a benign treatment, and like the disease, the deer depopulation process will have
long-term negative effects on the hunting culture and tradition. Because of this, efforts to
depopulate free-ranging deer should not be continued any longer than there is reasonable
hope that they will be effective.” We feel that time is NOW!

2. There is a clear need for a new sampling protocol for CWD in Wisconsin, one that
gives a true picture of the progress of the disease; but more importantly, one
designed to detect spread.
Sampling should continue within the DEZ to monitor
conditions over time; but resources should be focused on detecting new cases outside the
DEZ to support detection of outbreaks and rapid response.

3. We recommend changing the designation of the DEZ to the Disease Management
Zone (DMZ).
This may seem like a small move, but words matter to people.

4. Dealing with wildlife diseases is not unlike responding to wild fires, and response
plan should be developed on this model, focusing on early detection of “break
outs” and citizen involvement.
EARLY detection of CWD in the current DMZ may have
allowed a focused eradication effort using trained sharpshooters. Yet, no one ever will
know. In the wild fire analogy, a fire is controlled easily when it first starts, but uncontrolled
there is a point where control is out of the question; leading to a fall back strategy to
defend what is in its path. We believe this is the case for the DMZ. Hence, the reaction to
the Shell Lake infected deer, although much more reasoned than in 2002, should have
included a faster response to determine the extent of distribution. Waiting until deer
season in fall of 2012 to sample for CWD is not adequate. A proper approach would have
been use of a health check/surveillance team (discussed later) deployed immediately on
such a finding. In addition, use of local observers and cooperators to find and report sick
or dead deer would have provided a non-lethal first response. Once the geographic
context is determined, the appropriate action should be focused, localized eradication.
Mistakes were made in this particular case, including leaving an infected carcass on the
landscape for some time and delays in testing the suspected animal.

5. We recommend implementation of a statewide DMAP program; and, nowhere is
such a program needed more than in the DMZ.
We strongly recommend immediate
development of cooperator DMAP management plans involving landowners, hunters and
stakeholder groups. Establishing DMAP in the DMZ should be a high priority in
implementing our recommendations. The benefits are significant. Improved landowner
confidence in WDNR field biologists will serve to increase surveillance for clinically ill or
recently dead animals, making possible more tracking of CWD-caused mortality. Further,


this will increase buy-in by all individuals, especially in regard to population control
through harvest management.

6. In spite of considerable efforts to the contrary, public education remains a problem in the
DMZ. There is a need to provide more information about concerns for humans
contracting a CWD variant.
Long-term occurrence rates of Creutzfelt-Jakob disease or
suspected related cases within the zone should be monitored. Data should be available
for the period prior to and after CWD.

7. In relation to 6, the time required to receive CWD test results from hunter-killed
animals must be decreased to a few days.
We applaud Wisconsin for providing these
tests free-of-charge. A permanent fund should be established to support this work,
perhaps using a small increase in hunting license or tag fees.

8. An annual meeting of DMAP cooperators would be an excellent venue for reporting
on various aspects of CWD, in addition to the topics discussed earlier. This would
greatly enhance public awareness and WDNR credibility

9. WDNR should work closely (through the local biologist) with the Conservation
Congress in developing goals and strategies at the county level

10. We will discuss at length suggested research activities in that section of our report, but we
feel use of human dimensions research to anticipate, rather than reacting to issues
as they arise would be very effective.

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