Monthly Archives: September 2016

Economic Impact of CWD Will be HIGH

Whether you are a hunter, a motel owner or simply a tax paying citizen you should be concerned about the economic impact of chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD has been described as an always-fatal neurological disease that impacts cervids. This means mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk and other big game species found throughout North America.

The North American Model of Conservation weighs heavily on the shoulders of big game hunters. This model also delivers wildlife conservation efforts for both game and non-game species. White-tailed deer are THE most popular big game species that hunters seek, yet CWD threatens whitetail populations across the US.

Declining Whitetail Populations Means Hard Economic Impact

Source: “About 40 percent of the CWD-positive deer that enter a year are going to survive to the end,” Edmunds said in an interview. “It doesn’t bode well, especially in our population, where we have these high prevalence and incidence rates in female deer.

“In ungulate populations,” he said, “females are what drive population dynamics and so when you’re having only 40 percent of a large percentage of your female population survive through the year, that’s where we’re getting these population declines.”

Whitetail deer free of the neurological disease, by contrast, survived through the year 80 percent of the time.

Edmunds’ study found that hunting was the main cause of mortality for diseased buck whitetail. Before the disease manifested itself in significant physical changes, he found, it apparently triggered subtle behavioral changes that made whitetail bucks more susceptible to hunters’ bullets.

Chronic wasting disease itself, which causes deer to waste away in body and mind, was the leading cause of death for does.

Economics of Whitetail Deer Hunting

Deer hunting across the US is a huge economic engine, likely responsible for at about $35 billion in economic activity. This represents almost half of all hunting-related expenditures/monies. Almost $15 billion are generated from retail sales directly related to deer hunting.

This is especially important to rural communities where hunters travel, eat and sleep. The spread of CWD may seem like an inconvenience to all involved, but it’s impact will be felt and especially hard on rural towns if deer numbers decline as the study above suggests.

Range & Wildlife Management Workshop in Menard, Texas

Managing a Ranch for Healthy Range and Wildlife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Menard County Soil and Water Conservation District will team up to present a range and habitat workshop from 8:15 a.m.-3:20 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Murchison-Whitehead Complex in Menard located on U.S. Highway 190.

“We have a lot of information packed into this meeting on topics ranging from horned toad management to managing toxic plants,” said Lisa Brown, AgriLife Extension agent in Menard County. “We’ll also have some top speakers, serve lunch and offer continuing education units, so this will be a well-rounded program from several angles.”

Registration is $25 per person or $30 per couple. Participants are asked to preregister by 4:30 p.m. Oct. 3 for an accurate lunch count by calling the AgriLife Extension office in Menard County at 325-396-4787. More information is also available at that number.

Five Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units – two laws and regulations, one general, one drift minimization and one integrated pest management will be offered.

Menard Range & Wildlife Workshop To Include

1. How Brush Management and Pesticides Affect Horned Toads, Dr. Jim Gallagher, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department natural resource specialist at Mason Mountain Wildlife Center, Mason.

2. Pesticide Laws and Regulations, Beau Whisenant, Texas Department of Agriculture regional education specialist and inspector, Leander.

3. Newest Laws and Research on Feral Hog Control Methods, Justin Foster Texas Parks and Wildlife Department research coordinator, Kerrville.

4. Dow AgroSciences Update, Dillion DeMuth, field representative, Georgetown.

5. How to Minimize Drift When Using Chemicals for Brush and Weed Management, Gerald Hobson, Bayer Environmental Science, range and pasture specialist, Peaster.

6. Managing Toxic Plants, Dr. Bob Lyons, AgriLife Extension range specialist, Uvalde.