First you may try posting this in the deer and/or elk forums if you don't get a lot of responses.
I reside in CO so I can't comment directly on WI; however the CWD problem doesn't stop at state lines so here are a few thoughts:
1.) There needs to be more research on prions in general. Some believe that prions as an infectious agent do not occur at all; despite Dr. Stanely Prusiner winning a Nobel Prize for his work in 1997.
2.) CWD is a slow spreading disease (speading in terms of distant). By all accounts the agent is not terribly infectious (as compared to say foot and mouth). This raises the question, why is it popping up in so many places far and wide? Perhaps CWD is a common disease among cervids (elk and deer), certainly scrappies in sheep has a long documented history.
3.) People who handle cervids should be careful. If you hunt, report sick animals and furthermore avoid the nervous system tissues (brain and spinal cord) just to be on the safe side. While the probability of a human contracting CWD is probably non-existent; the bottom line is there is not enough solid research on CWD to human infection rates to completely rule out a human CJD/CWD link.
4.) Some media reports I have read are wildly speculative about CWD destroying whole populations of deer/elk etc. I largely regard this as media hype to sell more copy (nothing sells like sensation). CWD has been known to exist in eastern CO and western WY since the early 60's. In herds where CWD is known to exist, the infection rate does not exceed 15% (20% tops) and has held steady for decades. The herds have not been destroyed, lending support to the idea that you can have viable herds even if CWD is known to exist in the herd.
[ This Message was edited by: moderator on 2002-09-28 16:06 ]
As I sit and glass, which is common for hunters out west, I have sort of quickly discovered something I never learned when I was younger.
In my youth I had enthusiasm and spirit. In my middle to advancing years I have creaky knees, arthritis, and I tire more easily than I used to. Where I used to sit on the cold hard ground I now look for that soft spot to sooth my tired muscles. That leads me to my tip.
Carry your soft spot with you!
In my pack I carry an air filled, ultralight, camping pad....