Chronic wasting disease seems to be the subject of the year, doesn't it? It's spreading just about everywhere that it's found and in every direction.
Here in my state, Bovine TB has been the big topic for several years as we have an 8-county area that has special regulations concerning supplemental feeding (baiting) and also harvest quotas. From what I can figure, they want to reduce the deer herd in that area to a very low number in an effort to either control or eliminate the disease. That happens to be the area in which I hunt. In the past 5 years, my hunting partners and I have probably taken around 20 deer from there, and we have never found one with noticeable TB symptoms. We butcher our own deer, so we are always on the lookout for it.
As far as CWD is concerned, I believe it will continue to spread and be with us for the foreseeable future. I have never heard anything mentioned about a possible cure or way to actually 'control' it other than reduce the size of the herd. Unless the entire herd is eliminated, I don't see how just reducing it will help. If the prions can survive in the soil for more than a year or two, I don't see any end in sight.
Deer hunters spend so much time trying to pattern deer that we forget that we also can be "patterned." After all, most of us hunt the same days and the same hours, so it isn't difficult for deer to figure us out.
While we would never recommend giving up hunting the traditional moving times for deer -- early morning and late evening -- it's important to keep in mind that deer will move at other times of the day. Sometimes hunting through lunch, or getting in your stand earlier than usual for an...