That's too bad. This stuff is increasing all over the place and there seems to be little they can do to control it. The good thing about it is that it isn't harmful to humans - at least as far as we know.
I'm no biologist - not even close - but it wouldn't surprise me if it actually runs its course within a few more years. Throughout history, various diseases have come and go - I don't know why this one should be any different.
Again, in Nebraska, they harvested roughly 90,000 deer combined during the seasons.
Figure in 51 deer with CWD, and you have about a .05% chance of finding a CWD positive deer.That's 1/20th of 1%.
I think it's simple. If you see a deer showing symptoms of CWD, then do the herd and other hunters a favor and use your tag on it, and shoot the thing. Heck, i bet if you did that, and reported it to your fish and game dept., most of them, not all, but most, would thank you for turning it in and let you keep your tag.
I think it's all about hunter education. Be aware of what it is and how it spreads, and it will solve alot of problems.
The problem with doing as you suggested is that for a hunter to determine that a deer or elk has CWD it will be in the advanced stage to where it is affecting the animal physically. Most of the deer that test positive for it are ones that are turned in by hunters to be tested. Colorado at one time had areas that were mandatory to have the heads tested but since then all the testing is voluntary and cost the hunter $25.00 for the test. If the animal test positive for CWD then the hunter is eligible for either a refund or a anterless tag for the same spices that was tested. So it isn't quite as simple as doing as you suggested.
I just checked the Colorado Big Game Regulations brochure, and a hunter can get either a refund or a replacement antlerless tag if their animal tests positive for CWD. Since it takes a minimum of 7 days for initial test results, the replacement license is typically granted for the following year. Also, you can apply for reimbursement (subject to caps) for processing fees for that animal.
Out here in Colorado, and in the units that I haunt, it is a tricky game to figure out how far to pack in on a rifle hunt. You want to get away from the masses that have moved game away from the roads but might want to stay close enough that you are taking advantage of the animals forced movements. There is no universal distance but I like the 1.5 to 4 mile range for day hunts where I am not planning on bivying out. This keeps you in that productive buffer zone where the animals are really...