• Advertisement

CWD and your hunting experience

Serious Deer Hunting Talk Only!

CWD and your hunting experience

Postby fairchaser » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:37 am

CWD is no doubt a huge negative for the deer herd but does that mean it is all negative for hunting? Mature bucks will become less and less. Could this scarcity actually enhance the experience? A trophy buck is very rare but even more so in a CWD hot zone. How special is that buck of a lifetime now?

All things considered I would prefer we not have CWD but many of the things that we hunt for have not changed. For me, hunting is much more than bragging rights for a set of horns. The outdoor experience, time away from the other stresses in life, challenging ourselves mentally and physically, quiet time with God just to mention some. Hunting is so much more than the number of and even the quality of animals to hunt. Now that I’m over the initial shock of dealing with CWD, I think I’ll be ok.
User avatar
fairchaser
10 Point
 
Posts: 4693
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:21 pm
Location: TN, USA

Advertisement

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby rem270 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:26 am

I'm not in the heart of the CWD but whether I'm in it or not it won't change my way of hunting. I hunt for big deer and always will. Keep a few does a year for meat. I enjoy hunting for big deer and just sitting in the woods whether I kill one or not. I have a select few people I'll let shoot anything on my property and as long as they're happy I am. Have a few select people that better not pull the trigger over something under 140" on my property as well. Everyone has their own way of hunting to make them happy. Whether big or small I'll never talk bad or dictate what someone should do outside my property. I just like seeing folks having fun and talking deer hunting.
Everyone should give Jesus a try once. If you don't like it Satan will always take you back.
User avatar
rem270
Non-Typical
 
Posts: 30653
Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:00 pm
Location: Northwest Tn/Russellville AR

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby Mike Belt » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:20 pm

I'm a head hunter which usually equates to age. That style of hunting is dictated by "realistic opportunities". When that expectation becomes unrealistic I'm not sure I can keep my head and heart in the game. We'll see.

Although I/we eat deer meat to the general tune of 5-6 per year if I never ate another bite it wouldn't deter me. I hunt to hunt. The meat is just a bonus. I don't know a lot about CWD but it would seem that it hits the older age class deer harder than those younger. I also don't want to jump feet first onto the "all is lost" bandwagon but being in the heart of the hot zone, it's hard not to lean that direction when you're primarily hunting those older age class deer. Should, as I first mentioned, those hunts become an unrealistic expectation, my days afield may come to an end. The real question is how do you know the answer to that. How many more days or seasons afield does it take to determine what shape your hunting grounds are in and whether the deer populations have declined in numbers or particular age brackets? Again, we'll have to wait and see.
Last edited by Mike Belt on Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mike Belt
Non-Typical
 
Posts: 26755
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 1999 1:00 pm
Location: Lakeland, Tn.

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby Grnwing » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:09 pm

Being in the hotzone, I will continue to hunt and try and maintain my pre-CWD standards. As far as it impacting my experience in the field, I do not think it will change the quality of my hunting. I may have to hunt a little harder or longer to kill but that is half of the fun. On a larger scale, I will be curious to start seeing harvest numbers for next year and see if the general public is hunting more, less or the same. If harvest drop, you may carry more young bucks to maturity. Keep in mind with a prevalence rate of 10%, you still have 90% of your herd not infected. Break that down into a population and you can see that there WILL be mature bucks roaming in the CWD zone. What I worry about the most is that folks who would normally be selective will lower their standards and shoot younger class bucks because of the mindset that bucks WILL die from CWD before next season.
Grnwing
4 Point
 
Posts: 362
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:45 pm
Location: West TN

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby TheLBLman » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:21 pm

Perhaps we may get the best answers to these questions by simply looking at what's happened (or not) in those states which first identified CWD outbreaks DECADES ago.

Taking that perspective, my thoughts remain we have more to fear with so many people's fearful reactions than we have to fear from the disease itself.

Yes, I do think CWD is bad stuff, but some of the fearful reactions and "changes" people are making have me scratching my head.

I'm not in the hot zone (yet), but the only thing I plan to do differently is have my deer tested before eating them, when convenient.
I will not knowingly eat a CWD deer, but by all appearances, what I don't know isn't going to hurt me either.
Have no plans to change anything about my hunting.
TheLBLman
Non-Typical
 
Posts: 25840
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 12:00 pm
Location: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby Mike Belt » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:48 pm

LBL... You're fortunate not to be in the "zone" but if you were I don't know if you would remain destined to change nothing about the way you plan to hunt; particularly if that's the only place you had to hunt.
Mike Belt
Non-Typical
 
Posts: 26755
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 1999 1:00 pm
Location: Lakeland, Tn.

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby TheLBLman » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:08 pm

Mike Belt wrote:LBL... You're fortunate not to be in the "zone" but if you were I don't know if you would remain destined to change nothing about the way you plan to hunt; particularly if that's the only place you had to hunt.

Mike, I'm certainly empathetic to your circumstance at Ames, just not sure how much those circumstances can be legitimately and directly blamed so much on CWD?

Just saying, look at all those other "hot zones" from years, even decades ago, multiple states, and many there still hunt today similarly to us.

At least currently, I fear the potential change in attitudes, the potential change in regs, more than the direct effects of CWD on our particular style of deer hunting.

But like Grnwing elaborated in his above post, we potentially have some positives that may off-set some of the CWD negatives,
at least related to our personal hunting.

All deer which get CWD die, but most deer don't get CWD, even in the "hot zones"?

If CWD reduces deer density by 30%, while hunters reduce their deer kills by 30%,
does it balance out to little change in our hunting?

Grnwing wrote:Being in the hotzone . . . . . I will be curious to start seeing harvest numbers for next year and see if the general public is hunting more, less or the same. If harvest drop, you may carry more young bucks to maturity.
What I worry about the most is that folks who would normally be selective will lower their standards and shoot younger class bucks because of the mindset that bucks WILL die from CWD before next season.

I agree with Grnwing.
Fear the fear, fear the fear-mongering, fear the excuses for lowering standards.
TheLBLman
Non-Typical
 
Posts: 25840
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 12:00 pm
Location: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby fairchaser » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:54 pm

Mike Belt wrote:LBL... You're fortunate not to be in the "zone" but if you were I don't know if you would remain destined to change nothing about the way you plan to hunt; particularly if that's the only place you had to hunt.


Mike, you are so right on this point. No one can really know until they have personally watched their herd shrinking and seeing 7 out of 10 bucks test positive, how it will affect their thinking.
User avatar
fairchaser
10 Point
 
Posts: 4693
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:21 pm
Location: TN, USA

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby JJ3 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:54 pm

fairchaser wrote:Mike, you are so right on this point. No one can really know until they have personally watched their herd shrinking and seeing 7 out of 10 bucks test positive, how it will affect their thinking.


Wow, 7 out of 10? Was that from the “extra” 10 at the end of the season with the relaxed standards? That points to a really high localized prevalence rate at ground zero.

But to your original post, I agree with you — if the possibility still exists for a buck of a lifetime to walk by and along the way you see a enough deer to keep you interested and provided seeing deer walk in front of gets you excited — I will keep coming back.

Over the past 15 years I’ve been hunting mostly small leases 120 - 200 acres, with high farm content, limited or no woods to hunt — maybe only a few hedgerows connecting some small woodlots that I treated as sanctuary. Not high deer densities, but each year cameras would pick up at least one really nice buck — I just needed to be there on the one day when he lost his head during the rut and wandered around in daylight. And every 4 - 5 years I’d get lucky and shoot a mature buck — but I kept coming back because I knew it was possible, and when a buck did appear the excitement still kicks in.

I’m waiting to see what the regs look like and how aggressive a move is made to try to slow/stop the outward spread from the epicenter. Also wondering what kind of testing drop offs and protocols for check ins will be made especially for the areas just beyond the current positives (like north of 64 or I-40).
JJ3
4 Point
 
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:18 pm
Location: West Tennessee, USA

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby DRSJ35 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:40 pm

I understand that anything is possible. But you also have to look at how widespread it is compared to other states. And look at how many positives we have already compared to other states and were just getting started. I looked it up before. And I think AP hiker posted that information a while back. But we’ve already surpassed the amount of positives of some of the states that have had it for years.guess you gotta try to look on the brite side sometimes. Maybe it won’t be to bad.
DRSJ35
8 Point
 
Posts: 1113
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:37 pm

Re: CWD and your hunting experience

Postby fairchaser » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:37 am

DRSJ35 wrote:I understand that anything is possible. But you also have to look at how widespread it is compared to other states. And look at how many positives we have already compared to other states and were just getting started. I looked it up before. And I think AP hiker posted that information a while back. But we’ve already surpassed the amount of positives of some of the states that have had it for years.guess you gotta try to look on the brite side sometimes. Maybe it won’t be to bad.


A good comparison would be like the flu when enough teachers and kids get sick at school, they shut down the whole school. Why it hit that school so bad who knows. It’s an outbreak. You hope that once it passes then it’s gone. But CWD isn’t like that, because it stays. It’s here now and we must deal with it. What’s the new equilibrium? Is there a new equilibrium or will the herd dwindle to nothing. CWD is just one more factor to deal with but as long as there are deer to hunt and good bucks to chase, then I’ll be chasing them. I used to lease a 640 acre farm and during December, it would be a ghost town. The woods were so open, acorns were all gone, there were no deer to see. You would get the sense that there might not be a single deer on the entire lease. My interest diminished as well. Who wants to set in the woods when the possibility of seeing a deer was nil. I’ve never had that feeling at Ames. The last day of the season last year, my buddy and I saw 40 deer with 10 being bucks. It’s gonna be different that’s for sure but it’s not over by any means.
User avatar
fairchaser
10 Point
 
Posts: 4693
Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:21 pm
Location: TN, USA


Return to Serious Deer Hunting Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: TNTreeman and 26 guests