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Member<br>2015-16 Deer Hunting Contest Winner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may have been covered in another CWD thread. If so, I apologize. I was not able to locate it.

Prior to CWD being found in an elk late last year has the AGFC ever conducted any form of testing for CWD in the deer herd?

As I understand it the AGFC has always tested the elk that were harvested by hunters since they started issuing tags years ago, but never tested for deer.


Does anyone know what labs do the testing for the state, cost, availability to the public?
It seems like making this sort of test available to the deer hunters in Arkansas could help the AGFC get a better idea on infection rates and location.
This is assuming there is a viable option for hunters to have deer tested upon harvest.
 

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Grand Member<br> 2006 Spring Turkey Team Contest W
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They did random tests on the deer when they did herd health checks. I know that because I killed one for them and took it to Calico Rock for the testing.
 

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They have SUPPOSEDLY tested about 7000 deer since about 2000 - up until this year. I have had a few over the past 5 or six years they have come to my place to get the samples. I cant promise they ever sent them in.
 

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They have SUPPOSEDLY tested about 7000 deer since about 2000 - up until this year. I have had a few over the past 5 or six years they have come to my place to get the samples. I cant promise they ever sent them in.
True, they took the sample but cannot promise they sent it in. Game Warden from Izard County brought one in and they collected sample from it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Assuming 7000 deer tested over 15 years = About 466 deer per year.
466 deer tested statewide per year, in addition to the elk that get tested, and the first positive CWD tests in deer finds that the area in and around Newton County are at infected in the range of 20-25% of those tested? (this is what I am reading, do not take this as fact)
If this is the case, is it possible that CWD was able to get to the point that it is now because the deer in the infected areas were not being tested prior to 2015? Again, just asking the question in hopes of finding our more information. It seems to me that if any significant testing was taking place in Newton County, or the surrounding area, prior to 2015 this would have been detected. Or, the disease got as far as it did because it is so contagious.
 

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Assuming 7000 deer tested over 15 years = About 466 deer per year.
466 deer tested statewide per year, in addition to the elk that get tested, and the first positive CWD tests in deer finds that the area in and around Newton County are at infected in the range of 20-25% of those tested? (this is what I am reading, do not take this as fact)
If this is the case, is it possible that CWD was able to get to the point that it is now because the deer in the infected areas were not being tested prior to 2015? Again, just asking the question in hopes of finding our more information. It seems to me that if any significant testing was taking place in Newton County, or the surrounding area, prior to 2015 this would have been detected. Or, the disease got as far as it did because it is so contagious.
My OPINION - and I have no CWD experience - is that if approximately 2,500,000 deer were killed in this state over the past 15 years and they tested 7000 of them for a test rate of .28% - their chances of finding the disease in the deer herd was negligible. I think if it were not for the elk, they still would not have found it until deer were falling dead in the middle of the G&F offices scattered around the state. Now, that is not to say maybe when this is all said and done, we find out we have the most virulent strain of cwd ever found and is much faster spreading than anywhere else - which I doubt. Normal CWD spreading at the same rate as other states means this disease has been here a long time and G&F was ineffective at detecting the disease.
 

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My OPINION - and I have no CWD experience - is that if approximately 2,500,000 deer were killed in this state over the past 15 years and they tested 7000 of them for a test rate of .28% - their chances of finding the disease in the deer herd was negligible. I think if it were not for the elk, they still would not have found it until deer were falling dead in the middle of the G&F offices scattered around the state. Now, that is not to say maybe when this is all said and done, we find out we have the most virulent strain of cwd ever found and is much faster spreading than anywhere else - which I doubt. Normal CWD spreading at the same rate as other states means this disease has been here a long time and G&F was ineffective at detecting the disease.
You without a doubt have done much more research and are more knowledgable than I am regarding this.

The only thing that gives me pause in the theory that it has been in Arkansas for many years is the fact that Missouri tests many, many more deer each year than Arkansas and they haven't found any + CWD deer in Southern Missouri. I think if it has been in Arkansas for an extended period of time and the rates of infection in AR are that high just a short distance from the MO border, then it would reason that the MDW would have found some cases near their southern border.

I'm not informed enough to have a serious discussion regarding this, but that is just a random thought.
 

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You without a doubt have done much more research and are more knowledgable than I am regarding this.

The only thing that gives me pause in the theory that it has been in Arkansas for many years is the fact that Missouri tests many, many more deer each year than Arkansas and they haven't found any + CWD deer in Southern Missouri. I think if it has been in Arkansas for an extended period of time and the rates of infection in AR are that high just a short distance from the MO border, then it would reason that the MDW would have found some cases near their southern border.

I'm not informed enough to have a serious discussion regarding this, but that is just a random thought.
I have considered that fact and have even mentioned it a time or two - that I am hopeful it has not spread very far based upon the fact that Missouri has not detected the disease in their southern counties at a much higher testing rate. But, that also gives reason to worry about Arkansas CWD - if it has not been here very long, how is it our infection rates are so high - does that mean we have a much more virulent form of the disease? Hopefully, not.

Another thought - if you look at a US CWD map, you will see there are counties in Colorado where CWD was detected prior to 2000 - and the adjacent counties south of them have still had no CWD detections - even after 15 years.
http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/disease_information/chronic_wasting_disease/

For comparison - Missouri first found CWD in two deer in 2011. All total, including those two deer, there have been 33 confirmed CWD positive deer in Missouri. There have been two and a half times that many cervids that detected positive with CWD in AR - out of the latest 300 some tests. Missouri runs tests on thousands of deer per year. I wonder what our total number of positive cwd detections will be in Arkansas after this state runs 1000's of tests this year. Illinois, where cwd was first detected 15 years ago had 71 positive detections last year out of 1000's of tests.

All of which is to say - there is a lot yet to find out about cwd in Arkansas.
 

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I'm not smart. But I can't make it add up.

A) It's been here forever, and our strain is exceedingly virulent.
Conclusion: Then it should be all over the state by now, and it's not.

B) It's been here forever, and our strain is same as Missouri's, etc., no more virulent.
Conclusion: Then why does our density in the hot zone exceed other areas so drastically?

C) It's not been here forever, and our strain is no more virulent than Missouri's.
Conclusion: Then why is our density so high in such a small area?

D) It's not been here forever, and our strain is highly virulent.
Conclusion: Anecdotal evidence matches this hypothesis. BUT, that means it will soon be everywhere. If it isn't, this hypothesis isn't right either.

E) I have no idea what E would be!!!! But if it's not any of the above, it's something else. What? I can't fathom!!!
 

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We will have more data (theoretically) to answer those questions after the end of deer season this year when we have a lot larger sample to look at. We may find CWD is in 1/3 the counties in AR. I would think we would be better of with a slower spreading disease that has gone undetected for many years that one that just hit the herd last year and has an infection rate of 25% over a short period of time.

Straight off the Missouri website:

"Is This Animal Infected?

CWD is a slow-progressing disease affecting members of the deer family (cervids).
Animals can appear healthy for many years before they show symptoms:"

Better hope this is still true.
 

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??

How will we know more after this season? Is AGFC going to test aggressively state wide?

And why is it good that it's a slow progressing disease? I'd think we'd be better off it spread like the bubonic plague, and we knew what we had. Now, I am stuck with having to deer hunt and maybe shoot a healthy looking deer, and have no way to know if it's affected!!!
 

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??

How will we know more after this season? Is AGFC going to test aggressively state wide?

And why is it good that it's a slow progressing disease? I'd think we'd be better off it spread like the bubonic plague, and we knew what we had. Now, I am stuck with having to deer hunt and maybe shoot a healthy looking deer, and have no way to know if it's affected!!!
I think if they test 5000 deer this season, we will discover the width and breadth of the disease location. Hopefully, it is still confined to NW AR. And hopefully, it is slow moving - so you and I might not ever see it getting into our hunting areas during our remaining years.:up:
 

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You without a doubt have done much more research and are more knowledgable than I am regarding this.

The only thing that gives me pause in the theory that it has been in Arkansas for many years is the fact that Missouri tests many, many more deer each year than Arkansas and they haven't found any + CWD deer in Southern Missouri. I think if it has been in Arkansas for an extended period of time and the rates of infection in AR are that high just a short distance from the MO border, then it would reason that the MDW would have found some cases near their southern border.

I'm not informed enough to have a serious discussion regarding this, but that is just a random thought.
Do you know or are you assuming Missouri has tested "many, many more deer each year" in counties that border Arkansas. In this case Missouri counties nearest the Arkansas "Hot Zone" would be Stone, Taney and Ozark ?
 

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Swampcat, Do you have any indication or knowledge or even hope, that they will test 5,000 deer????
 

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Do you know or are you assuming Missouri has tested "many, many more deer each year" in counties that border Arkansas. In this case Missouri counties nearest the Arkansas "Hot Zone" would be Stone, Taney and Ozark ?
I don't know for fact Missouri has tested many more deer in the southern counties - but they tested 7547 deer last year, with 2670 being outside their recognized CWD containment zones. You would hope a reasonable amount of testing was done in SW MO - but possibly not. That number of tested deer is more than AR has tested since they began testing deer over 15 years ago.

http://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-...asting-disease-cwd/2015-2016-cwd-surveillance
 

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I'm back to my 4 hypotheses. I can't figure it out past that.

And I have no hope whatsoever that AGFC will test ANY deer in South Arkansas under the current circumstances. Would like to see it but can't imagine it.
 
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