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Ames question

Headhunter

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Nov 14, 2000
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5,763
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Tennessee
Kill all the deer is impossible the most ignorant thing the TWRA has ever done. That has already been tried in several states with CWD. Waste of time, money and most importantly, DEER.

Nothing new was discovered, CWD was for sure not stopped or slowed and the only thing that happened was a huge amount of deer were killed with no benefit.

If I was over Ames I would have told the TWRA to pound sand on killing more deer especially all the bucks.
 

AlabamaSwamper

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
5,345
Location
Southern Wayne CO and NW Alabama
Again, it hasn’t killed all the deer off in other states. The TWRA and Ames had no proof CWD was affecting anything.

i have friends that work for agencies with decades long positive tests and have talked to others in hot zones I’ve hunted in other states.

they all told me the same thing. Initially the sky was falling but a decade or more later every single one of them just shrug it off.

Worst thing is, you ride the roads the deer carcass count being dumped has increased 100x the last two years here.
Again, I’m no expert but if you believe there is a disease killing your deer if it doesnt make sense to me to kill what is there. Especially when that method has proven not to work.
 
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fairchaser

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Sep 13, 2011
Messages
6,708
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TN, USA
Again, it hasn’t killed all the deer off in other states. The TWRA and Ames had no proof CWD was affecting anything.

i have friends that work for agencies with decades long positive tests and have talked to others in hot zones I’ve hunted in other states.

they all told me the same thing. Initially the sky was falling but a decade or more later every single one of them just shrug it off.

Worst thing is, you ride the roads the deer carcass count being dumped has increased 100x the last two years here.
Again, I’m no expert but if you believe there is a disease killing your deer if it doesnt make sense to me to kill what is there. Especially when that method has proven not to work.
I’ve been hunting Ames for the past ten years and I can assure you CWD is having a serious effect on the herd. There are fewer deer and the bucks at least are younger. It’s all not from over harvest.
It does make sense to kill what’s there if the infection rate is much higher than the surrounding area. The less infected deer will move into the area and lower the infection rate.
It’s really the only tool we have right now.
I attended a meeting this past Spring where state biologists, a CWD expert from Wisconsin and large landowners talked about CWD and what we’ve learned over the decades about this disease. Allowing CWD to run rampant in areas where the rate is high, is devastating to the herd in that area and a threat to surrounding areas to spread infection quickly.
it may be too late to accomplish much at this point but they have to try. The deer herd will rebound. Whitetails are survivors. I’m not sure that it’s going to help me much at my age but it’s probably the right call for the future. The only alternative is to ignore the disease and hope the herd doesn’t fall off a cliff. So far all but one buck has come back positive for CWD.
 

Jcalder

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Cookeville
I’ve been hunting Ames for the past ten years and I can assure you CWD is having a serious effect on the herd. There are fewer deer and the bucks at least are younger. It’s all not from over harvest.
It does make sense to kill what’s there if the infection rate is much higher than the surrounding area. The less infected deer will move into the area and lower the infection rate.
It’s really the only tool we have right now.
I attended a meeting this past Spring where state biologists, a CWD expert from Wisconsin and large landowners talked about CWD and what we’ve learned over the decades about this disease. Allowing CWD to run rampant in areas where the rate is high, is devastating to the herd in that area and a threat to surrounding areas to spread infection quickly.
it may be too late to accomplish much at this point but they have to try. The deer herd will rebound. Whitetails are survivors. I’m not sure that it’s going to help me much at my age but it’s probably the right call for the future. The only alternative is to ignore the disease and hope the herd doesn’t fall off a cliff. So far all but one buck has come back positive for CWD.
The herd ain’t gonna fall off a cliff. That’s probably the biggest misconception thru it all and the states that have it continue to have a herd that thrives. Outside of making them extinct there’s not much we can do. We can slow the spread, and I’m all for slowing it, but you won’t stop it.
 

Pilchard

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Jan 5, 2018
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Dreaming of Tarpon
I am no expert and have no dog in the fight but does anyone know how many dead deer have tested positive for CWD that didn't die of a gunshot wound or being hit by a car?
 

Mike Belt

Active Member
Joined
Mar 26, 1999
Messages
27,390
Location
Lakeland, Tn.
Still kicking and reading posts daily. I didn't hunt last year nor this year. Health and family have stymied that for now. I tentatively plan on hunting next year. I do have 2 good backyard bucks that keep me occupied but elsewise I'm out of the loop as far as hunting this year. I also haven't heard much on CWD this season. Right or wrong I'm beginning to think that there's no point in killing for the sake of killing if I can't eat what I shoot because of CWD. We'll see.
 

Crosshairy

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Joined
Aug 22, 2006
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3,432
Location
Bartlett, TN
Still kicking and reading posts daily. I didn't hunt last year nor this year. Health and family have stymied that for now. I tentatively plan on hunting next year. I do have 2 good backyard bucks that keep me occupied but elsewise I'm out of the loop as far as hunting this year. I also haven't heard much on CWD this season. Right or wrong I'm beginning to think that there's no point in killing for the sake of killing if I can't eat what I shoot because of CWD. We'll see.
I'm with you on the killing aspect, Mike. Most of the areas I have hunted over my 18 years or so of adulthood have been in the CWD-dense zone. I just can't see myself doing all the work of getting one out and then finding out that it's infected, then having the "do I take the risk" talk with myself. I hate it... I miss deer hunting. Now that duck season has started I don't care, but November was a dreary month for me since there were some nice-looking days to be in a stand or on a stalk.
 

JeepKuntry

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Jan 20, 2004
Messages
19,094
Location
Clinton, TN
TWRA knows the herd will not be eliminated. They also know that you could eradicate the entire herd, wait 10 years, then reintroduce and positives would start again. It's in the soil. Until they figure out how to address that they are hopeful that it's contained. My Uncle shot a great 8 pt, my guess is 4 1/2, possibly 5 1/2. Deer looked perfectly healthy and came back positive. I agree with fairchaser that bucks will probably have a higher cwd rate as many are targeting mature deer so they have a few years to contract.
 

redblood

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Jan 22, 2006
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19,836
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Lewisburg
Y’all are gonna lose another big group of hunters this next season. I realize the goal now but the over harvest of does has been a major problem since the club started. It’s done way more damage than cwd in that area and now members are shooting everything they see. Say what you want but the management has always been subpar. Someone is needed that not only has the biological background and the general common sense of how to keep an area productive. One of those qualities has always been lacking from there.
Never set foot on Ames so know very little. But i cant understand shooting a subpar deer or doe, just because someone said it was now allowable to do so
 

Headhunter

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Nov 14, 2000
Messages
5,763
Location
Tennessee
Never set foot on Ames so know very little. But i cant understand shooting a subpar deer or doe, just because someone said it was now allowable to do so
It would be different if killing ALL the deer had never been tried or had worked successfully, either slowing CWD, learning from it, or stopping it, but all that has happened where this approach has been tried is a huge number of deer are killed and nothing learned, and CWD has not been stopped or even slowed.
 

easy45

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Nov 6, 2007
Messages
35,920
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Chester County
It would be different if killing ALL the deer had never been tried or had worked successfully, either slowing CWD, learning from it, or stopping it, but all that has happened where this approach has been tried is a huge number of deer are killed and nothing learned, and CWD has not been stopped or even slowed.
Exactly
 

easy45

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Nov 6, 2007
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35,920
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Chester County
I’ve been hunting Ames for the past ten years and I can assure you CWD is having a serious effect on the herd. There are fewer deer and the bucks at least are younger. It’s all not from over harvest.
It does make sense to kill what’s there if the infection rate is much higher than the surrounding area. The less infected deer will move into the area and lower the infection rate.
It’s really the only tool we have right now.
I attended a meeting this past Spring where state biologists, a CWD expert from Wisconsin and large landowners talked about CWD and what we’ve learned over the decades about this disease. Allowing CWD to run rampant in areas where the rate is high, is devastating to the herd in that area and a threat to surrounding areas to spread infection quickly.
it may be too late to accomplish much at this point but they have to try. The deer herd will rebound. Whitetails are survivors. I’m not sure that it’s going to help me much at my age but it’s probably the right call for the future. The only alternative is to ignore the disease and hope the herd doesn’t fall off a cliff. So far all but one buck has come back positive for CWD.
That has nothing to do with CWD, it has everything to do with the management of Ames and how the club has been run. You can't sustain a healthy deer herd when you wipe out the does in the area and as far as more younger bucks, well yea, if the does are not there then the mature bucks have no reason to be there not to mention having an antler restriction has caused the high grading and killing of every descent young buck over the years. You can say the state of the area wasn't caused by Ames but I've been hunting that area for almost 20 years and have seen the gradual destruction of the age class, numbers, and honestly the quality of the bucks ever since they established the club. Having a capable manager probably could have prevented that instead of being run by agriculture and forestry specialist.
 

fairchaser

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Sep 13, 2011
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6,708
Location
TN, USA
Six years ago, everything Ames had done for QDM was running on all cylinders. Members were killing 30-35 bucks over 125 or 4.5 years old and that year 2014 they killed 10 bucks over 140. Then things started leveling out and by 2017, things were declining but no one knew why. Once CWD was discovered, Ames took action to determine how much was there and it turned out quite a lot. By the next season, they cut back on the doe goals and lowered buck minimum score requirements. This year management decided they could sit back and watch or try to do something. One thing that’s unique about Ames is the 20 years of data on the deer herd and the fact that they are a research facility. This year we are collecting poop and hair samples on all harvested deer for DNA research. This could tell us information on CWD not known before. We know the location of deer harvested too to try and make any connections between fecal samples and CWD.
Instead of running Ames down with arm chair quarter backing, deer hunters everywhere should appreciate what Ames is trying to accomplish.
 

Andy S.

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Joined
Jul 26, 1999
Messages
19,610
Location
Atoka, TN
Two of our best !
Lost Lake & Snake,

Thanks for the kind words. I'm definitely still around, and not going anywhere anytime soon. I have not hunted Ames since 2018. I poured 15 years of my life into scouting and hunting there, had some great hunts, killed some nice mature bucks, made MANY great memories and made A LOT of friends for life. Now I stay plugged into Ames through constant communication with current members and neighboring landowners. Like so many of you, my life has become busier than ever with new job opportunities and a growing family. I still squirrel, turkey and deer hunt a fair amount and I still log into TnDeer weekly, and most weeks, daily.

Worth mentioning is the buck in my avatar is one of the last few mature bucks I killed at Ames. Ames staff aged him at 4.5+ by TR&W, I aged him at 5.5+ by TR&W, and a forensic aging lab concluded 6.5 using Cementum Annuli method. Most likely the oldest wild fair chase buck I will ever kill in SW TN.
 
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mike243

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Sep 6, 2006
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15,926
Location
east tn
I am thankful that they are doing research in a effort to help stop or at least get a good understanding of the disease , no idea of the history to any extent of them. Everybody with common sense knew this was coming here, there is no stopping it at this time, its going to take a lot of deer out of the herd and I pray it wont ever cross over to humans. when that happens you will see the government step in and probably make a bigger mess
 

SilvaDoc

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2020
Messages
14
Location
Fayette County
Regarding Easy45’s post of Dr Houston as a “forestry specialist,” I thought I might chime in because I am familiar with those circumstances; and, too, they are a matter of record at UT’s Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, where he is a Professor of forest/wildlife Ecology. Dr Houston has a BS in Wildlife and another BS in Forestry. His Masters is in Forest Management with a minor in Wildlife. His PhD is in Ecology, and evenly divided between wildlife and forestry, with both Dr Mike Pelton, the foremost bear biologist in the world, and Dr Jim Byford, a nationally known wildlife biologist, on his committee. Dr Houston has more than 100 peer reviewed publications in wildlife and forestry, along with several hundred other publications and local/regional/national presentations across a wide range of wildlife/forestry/ecological issues. While he would be the very first to tell you he needs to know more about CWD and the Ames’ herd, his qualifications do bring a bit more to the table than the moniker “forestry specialist” might tend to infer. CWD, its epidemiology, the herd, and the land are indeed an ecological system. At the moment, given his experience and expertise, he is attempting to bring together the interdisciplinary efforts needed at Ames, and by extension SW Tennessee and regionally, to initiate enduring CWD research prior to his retirement. Or, as he would say (and has said), “get people on this thing who are smarter than me.” Once he leaves those efforts will, at least in some fashion, be likely to change.
 

Lost Lake

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Nov 17, 2012
Messages
2,700
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Middle Tn
Lost Lake & Snake,

Thanks for the kind words. I'm definitely still around, and not going anywhere anytime soon. I have not hunted Ames since 2018. I poured 15 years of my life into scouting and hunting there, had some great hunts, killed some nice mature bucks, made MANY great memories and made A LOT of friends for life. Now I stay plugged into Ames through constant communication with current members and neighboring landowners. Like so many of you, my life has become busier than ever with new job opportunities and a growing family. I still squirrel, turkey and deer hunt a fair amount and I still log into TnDeer weekly, and most weeks, daily.

Worth mentioning is the buck in my avatar is one of the last few mature bucks I killed at Ames. Ames staff aged him at 4.5+ by TR&W, I aged him at 5.5+ by TR&W, and a forensic aging lab concluded 6.5 using Cementum Annuli method. Most likely the oldest wild fair chase buck I will ever kill in SW TN.
Glad you’re doing well Andy, and still hunting. Good to hear from you!
 

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