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View Full Version : Why are all these deer dying..moldy corn??


whitetail fanatic
02-06-2010, 10:30 PM
I have found six dead deer around our 5 acre standing corn field within the past week. Last weekend I found 2 dead ones within 10 yards of the edge of the corn and today I found 4 more dead ones, 2 of them about 50 yards from the corn and the other 2 within 20 yards. All the deer have just died shortly before I found them because I have been checking up on the food plots usually at least once a week and the dead deer would have been seen before and they weren't there until now. All of them looked like they just bedded down next to the closest cover and died. I think it must be because of the mold. I was worried about that when I saw how moldy it was last Oct/Nov. But then I read and talked to others about it and everyone seemed to agree that the black and white mold is not very harmful and the animals shouldn't be bothered by it, or if it is too bad they just won't eat it. Our 5 acres of standing corn is about 90% consumed, and we had not noticed any problems til just last weekend when I found the first 2 dead ones. We also have about 5 acres of dwarf essex rape next to the corn and they have been devouring that as well. Theres is plenty of cover and good natural browse around. We have been doing food plots like this for years and have never found a dead deer around them like this before. Even the previous 2 winters which were pretty severe, we never found winter killed deer on this property because of the excellent food plots and browse and thick cover. 2 winters ago I found lots of dead winter killed deer in other places in SW WI because our winter was very severe, but I never found any winter killed deer that year on or near our property with all the good food plots and cover.

The only conclusion I can make is that these deer must be dying because of the moldy corn. What do you all think? Has anyone else been finding dead deer near moldy standing corn? I know there was lots of moldy corn all over the midwest this year, so you think people would be seeing this quite a bit. Is there any other reason that these deer could be dying.

Oh, and by the way, all six deer were fawns, 4 doe fawns and 2 buck fawns. Could the fawns just not be able to handle the mold as well as deer that are 1 1/2 year old and older?

It's been very upsetting for me to see this happen. If I would have known this was going to happen, I would have never planted it or I would have had the neighbor pick it.:mad:

banc123
02-07-2010, 07:12 AM
Down here if I found 6 dead deer the DNR would look into it, does it happen so much in the Midwest that they don't ?

Here is another thread on the subject from a few months back

Mold Corn Thread (http://www.qdmaforums.com/showthread.php?p=253048)

asmith
02-07-2010, 07:49 AM
That many dead fawns....yep, call DNR right away.
I'd sure want to know the cause.

sandbur
02-07-2010, 08:16 AM
Call the DNR. Also consider calling the state Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. See if they could find the cause of death if you would submit a fresh carcass. You probably would want to talk to them first, as death from mold or mycotoxins is hard to pin down.

Perhaps you can find a local veterinarian to contact the Diagnostic Lab. He may get a more prompt answer as to cost and if you are likely to find the answer.

You could also submit a sample of the corn to Dairyland Labs-for a fee of course. The ultimate answer is how much of the diet is made up of corn. It is hard to determine, but you could find out if mold levels are above recommended levels for cattle. Anderson could help out with interpretation of the mold counts and toxin levels, but no firm answer on deer. Most of the studies are on cattle with specially measured levels of intake of the moldy feeds.

Keep us informed.

JBGulf Shores
02-07-2010, 09:22 AM
I would proceed with those suggestions.......
but down here we have seen several young calves die from the cold weather.
Just a thought:confused:

Sportfish
02-07-2010, 10:07 AM
Chances are they are dieing from bloat (just eating corn) and not mixing enough grass into there diet. It was real common up hear last year in North Dakota with all the snow we had. I saw over 40 dead dear in a corn field, young to old.

whitetail fanatic
02-07-2010, 10:15 AM
quote:"Chances are they are dieing from bloat (just eating corn) and not mixing enough grass into there diet. It was real common up hear last year in North Dakota with all the snow we had. I saw over 40 dead dear in a corn field, young to old."

Wow, that's sad. I was wondering that too, if they just died from "overeating" corn like you said. Would a fawn be more likely to have that happen (overeating corn) than a deer 1 1/2 years or older? Seems to me like they might not be as able to digest corn as well as older deer or maybe just more stressed and "hungrier" than older deer?? Weird thing is after all these years of doing basically the same thing with our food plots, this is the first I've ever seen this. I'm beginning to wonder if we should not plant corn for food plots anymore?? Seems I've heard more of the same that corn is not really all that healthy for deer. Maybe we should just plant more rape, turnips, and winter rye for late fall/winter plots. What do you all think?

Jameson
02-07-2010, 11:27 AM
Whitetail Fanatic, How weedy (or clean?) are your corn plots? I am curious if a weedy corn plot would prevent this.

whitetail fanatic
02-07-2010, 11:43 AM
We never use pesticides on our food plots. I use a rotary hoe 2 or 3 times and then cultivate 2 times. This keeps the weeds down pretty good, but it's nowhere close to a field sprayed w/ roundup for example. There is so much other good browse and rape around, not sure why they would just "overeat" corn in this area if that is what happened.

smsmith
02-07-2010, 12:10 PM
You're not going to want to hear this, but call the WI DNR ASAP. Given your area and the known disease issue - I think it's your duty as a citizen to have it investigated. Chance of it being CWD are very slim I'd think given that they're all fawns, but I'd still want to know for sure.

Dying of moldy corn or bloat due to a change in diet doesn't make much sense to me. They've had access to the corn all along, correct? It's not as though they suddenly switched from woody browse to corn and their enzymes couldn't break down the corn.

Anderson
02-07-2010, 01:42 PM
Must be quite a shock!

Could be any number of reasons, whitetail fanatic. The best we can do on the forum is speculate, which is probably not helpful. I agree with the suggestion to contact the DNR in your state to see if they are interested in helping get to the bottom of it, etc.

If you send a sample of kernels to Dairyland Lab, it will probably test positive for vomitoxin. That may or may not be useful info in solving the mystery.

Sportfish
02-07-2010, 01:44 PM
What color of mold is in your corn. Blue/green is generally safe and the pink mold generally has more toxins in it.

How much snow do you have in your area. Around here we have alot of snow this year and with the loss of crp the animals are taking a major hit. A few fields I drive by have 250-300 deer concentrated on individual corn fields.

Geo
02-07-2010, 05:04 PM
One sure indication that too much corn in deers winter diet causing serious acid gut is feces sprayed all over the place. Feces splattered on trails leading away from the corn, not good.

G

jack23
02-07-2010, 05:52 PM
One sure indication that too much corn in deers winter diet causing serious acid gut is feces sprayed all over the place. Feces splattered on trails leading away from the corn, not good.

G

Could you elaborate, don't doubt but curious for more info. I have seen this on our farm.

whitetail fanatic
02-07-2010, 07:33 PM
Not good, I found 4 more dead deer today:( . 3 more fawns, and one adult doe. These were not close to the corn like the others, but I'm quite sure they probably died for the same reason as the others. There's a ridge where our property borders the neighbors to the south, and in their valley to the south of that ridge, they also have many acres of corn that they could not harvest because the moisture was too high last fall. 2 of these deer were found on top of that ridge and it looks like a lot of the deer are "splitting time" between our corn and the neighbor's to the south, with a lot of tracks coming and going from the direction of their standing corn towards ours.

quote:"One sure indication that too much corn in deers winter diet causing serious acid gut is feces sprayed all over the place. Feces splattered on trails leading away from the corn, not good."

quote:"Could you elaborate, don't doubt but curious for more info. I have seen this on our farm."

Geo, please explain a little more. I have also seen this quite a bit before on our farm. I haven't been paying too much attention lately to say whether I've seen it this year, but I know I've seen it many times before in the past. Do you mean brown colored almost liquid like poop? I have also seen deer stools that look like a clear, slimy, mucous/gel with small amounts of blood smeared in it as explained in this thread:
http://www.qdmaforums.com/showthread.php?t=30478

Any idea what that could be caused from?

quote:"What color of mold is in your corn. Blue/green is generally safe and the pink mold generally has more toxins in it.

How much snow do you have in your area. Around here we have alot of snow this year and with the loss of crp the animals are taking a major hit. A few fields I drive by have 250-300 deer concentrated on individual corn fields."

The mold is mostly black, some white. We have had between 10-16 inches of snow on the ground most of this winter. Some areas on south slopes have a bit less than that now. About 2 weeks ago it turned to a solid slab of frozen ice/snow after we had a warm spell with some rain. That's about the time when the first of all these deer would have died. I would think that after the snow turned solid like that, the deer started filling an even greater percentage of their diet with corn because it's the easiest calories to get in conditions like that. The 2 previous winters were actually quite a bit harder than this winter, especially the winter of 07-08, and I have never found winter killed deer on this farm or the neighbors in this area before because they always have plenty to eat, both browse and food plots, and great cover. In another area we hunt about 15 miles to the south, I found a lot of winter killed deer 2 winters ago. That area had little or no crops/food plots but good cover. Also, the fall of 07 and 08 we had little of no acorns. This past fall we had tons of acorns and the does we shot in mid late December had tons of fat on them, so deer going into this winter were in much better shape.

thanks for all the replies so far!

Geo
02-07-2010, 08:21 PM
Chances are they are dieing from bloat (just eating corn) and not mixing enough grass into there diet. It was real common up hear last year in North Dakota with all the snow we had. I saw over 40 dead dear in a corn field, young to old.

I have never seen death associated like this from deer eating corn but I have never seen winters in southern Michigan or Iowa as extreme as what Whitetail fanatic is describing. In winter the enzymes and bacteria set up in a deers gut to digest fibrous woody browse. Corn startch is too readily digestible and throws a deers system out of whack, they bloat and end up with a miserable acid gut that makes it hard for them to get any nutrition at a time when they need it the most. It is a lose lose situation, they can no longer digest woody browse and they can't handle corn. For the most part their feces when they end up with acid gut looks like brown diaheria splattered all over.

G

whitetail fanatic
02-07-2010, 08:41 PM
"For the most part their feces when they end up with acid gut looks like brown diaheria splattered all over."

I've seen that a lot before. Like I said, I haven't been paying close enough attention this winter to say how much I've seen it lately, but I know I've seen that a lot in the past. Next time I'm out there I will pay closer attention to this.

smsmith
02-08-2010, 08:16 AM
One more reason to contact the WI DNR - we've had a number of wildlife poisonings (on purpose) here the last few years. I'd want to make double sure I didn't have a crazy person for a neighbor.

whitetail fanatic
02-08-2010, 09:22 AM
Poisoning by a crazy neighbor... I was wondering the same thing, like the farmer who poisoned all the turkeys a year or two ago in WI. I didn't think we had any neighbors who would do that but you never know.

smsmith
02-08-2010, 09:28 AM
Poisoning by a crazy neighbor... I was wondering the same thing, like the farmer who poisoned all the turkeys a year or two ago in WI. I didn't think we had any neighbors who would do that but you never know.

Yep............

Most likely it is something to do with mold and stress, but if it's me - I want to know for sure what's going on.

biglakeba$$
02-08-2010, 09:32 AM
When are you contacting the DNR??

On a forum here in MN, a guy has reported finding dead deer on a scary pace too. He found 6 one day. He also reported most to be faws as well.
Thats up by Lake of the Woods.

Diesel40
02-08-2010, 01:15 PM
I think I would definatly contact DNR.

whitetail fanatic
02-08-2010, 07:48 PM
I'm going to try and get the corn tested and maybe have the DNR test the deer. There's a large hog farm that gets their corn to feed the pigs from a large local farm. When they started feeding corn from last fall's harvest, the sows started aborting their young and the sperm counts of the males dropped way off. They found the harmful mold in their corn was a type that is not visible to the naked eye. I've also heard from people that other livestock in the area has gotten very sick from moldy corn this past winter. I will let you all know when I find anything out. Please keep any ideas coming. thanks.

UFi911
02-16-2010, 10:25 PM
Just bumping this to the top. Looking forward to an update.

-John

whitetail fanatic
02-16-2010, 11:06 PM
The more people I talk to, the more I think these fawns all just died from the stress of the winter we've had so far, with no letup really since the first snow storm on December 10. As I mentioned before, the first ones I found shortly after a rare thaw this winter with some rain. A day or two after that temps dropped below zero and the snow pack basically turned rock hard. I think that might have been the final blow to all these fawns. I never found any dead deer since 2 weekends ago and we've gotten more snow since then and the deer are still piled up on our property because we have the best habitat and food sources around. I was worried I was going to find a bunch more this past weekend, but I never found any. Not sure if that means the weak ones died and hopefully no more end up dying. I can only hope. The surprising thing though, this past week the deer pretty much ate the last of the corn off the cobs in the 5 acres we had standing. They still are looking for kernals buried in the snow and pounding the dwarf essex rape too. With less corn I thought maybe more fawns would have died, but no more so far.

I talked to a friend who's a very knowledgeable farmer and serious whitetail hunter. He grows cash crops for a living and also works at a feed mill type place that supplies feed to livestock farmers. They also raise chickens in large numbers. Anyway, he's very knowledgeable about deer, crops, and livestock of all kinds. He's as serious about his food plots for the deer as he is with the crops he grows to sell for a living. They have to test all the corn they sell or use to feed their animals because the mold is so common this year. I am going to have our corn tested any day now. I think what they test for is a toxic mold and he says at 1 ppm it affects the pigs. At 5 ppm it affects chickens. It takes about 10 ppm to affect cattle and he thinks it would be about the same for deer, 10 ppm. The highest of any corn from around here that he's tested so far this yeear is 5 to 6 ppm. He also felt very sure that the deer (9 of 10 were fawns) died because of the stressful winter we've had. Several other people I have talked to have also found some dead fawns recently.

biglakeba$$
02-16-2010, 11:29 PM
So you didnt take the advice of the majority in this topic to contact the DNR to get their thoughts too?:confused:
Why have the corn tested? Call the DNR and ask for their advice, and go from there.

Its a free phone call, and if I found dead deer, I would surely at least call and get their input. It is their jobs to know wildlife inside and out......

Ducks'n'Bucks
02-16-2010, 11:49 PM
So you didnt take the advice of the majority in this topic to contact the DNR to get their thoughts too?:confused:
Why have the corn tested? Call the DNR and ask for their advice, and go from there.

Its a free phone call, and if I found dead deer, I would surely at least call and get their input. It is their jobs to know wildlife inside and out......

ditto... I stayed quiet lurking but calling the DNR would have been the very first thing I would have done. We've had much harder winters up north in the past and I never recall seeing or hearing about a concentration of dead deer like those you describe... I'm not saying it's not possible but I'd still like the DNR to investigate regardless just in case.

Just what I would have done... I'm not judging... just throwing my .02 around... Let us know if you find anything out.

sandbur
02-17-2010, 07:56 AM
Whitetail fanatic-How high are your deer numbers? For fawns to die early in the witner, it must be very high with little browse left in the woods. Unless your winter is far worse than what we have seen in the north country for this year.

Minneapolis/St . Paul have reported an average winter for cold and snowfall. do you have too many deer?

smsmith
02-17-2010, 08:07 AM
Wow, WF your winter must be a lot worse than ours here in Dane Cty. or the winter my folks are having in Juneau Cty. The winter severity in both places has been nothing compared to the last two.

smsmith
02-17-2010, 08:09 AM
Its a free phone call, and if I found dead deer, I would surely at least call and get their input. It is their jobs to know wildlife inside and out......

To me it's pretty near your responsibility to do so - if (big if) you have a disease hotspot the general public would appreciate having that information.

schlag
02-17-2010, 08:44 AM
I am calling this whole thing BS. Not one picture after all this? Most everytime people say things about all the dead dear, not one picture ever shows. Almost all inquires by professional turn up nothing. Either produce some pictures or move along. Way too many important things to talk about. You asked for advice, got it, ignored it, and came up with your own opinions. Then lets move on or produce some evidence.

whitetail fanatic
02-17-2010, 10:25 AM
OK, now you've go me sick to my stomach. This might be the last time I post on this thread. If you were from WI you would understand why I would want to keep this quiet and not get the WDNR involved. The vast majority of hunters and landowners in WI have lost any respect or trust that they ever had for the WDNR because of what they have done the last 5-10 years or so. I did not ask for anyone's advice on what I should do, I simply asked what you all thought was causing the death of these deer. I did not need someone to tell me to contact the WDNR, that was the first thing I thought of doing too and that idea lasted for about 1 second and I never seriously considered it after that. I was sort of afraid to even post it here and now I wish I never would have. Why should I have to post pics of dead deer to prove it happened? Seriously, I was too sick to see this happen that I don't think I could have taken pictures of the deer I love so much that died this way, and much less take those pics and post them here.

I think you all are right that this winter hasn't been severe enough that deer should be dying. The last 2 were much more severe as smsmith says, and I never found any dead deer in this area or on the neighbors because we have such good habitat. Also, this year we had a ton of acorns and the previous 2 there were none so the deer had much more energy reserves going into this winter. I guess I was just hoping they died from the hard winter because I didn't want to think that the corn that I worked so hard to grow was killing them, which probably did it, either by the mold or the fawns gorging themselves and not eating enough other foods with it. (5 acres, using a under powered tractor, plowing w/ 2 bottom plow, spread fertilizer, tilling, rotary hoe 2 times, cultivate 2 times, no chemical sprays whatsoever), not to mention 6 acres of DER besides.

In closing, I just want to say I think it would be hard to find someone who has as much love and repect for deer (or wildlife in general), nature, habitat, etc. and enjoys improving habitat and growing food plots as much as I do. You don't know how much it bothered me to find these dead deer and how much my guts are churning as I type this now.

thank you for everyone who replied to this thread

biglakeba$$
02-17-2010, 10:32 AM
Ummmm..... :confused:

Loss for words on this one. I had to read that 4 times and I still am not sure what I just read.

CrazyED
02-17-2010, 10:41 AM
I dont blame you one bit for not wanting to call the Wisconsin DNR. They are clueless and next thing you know everything that is brown will be down on your property. I wouldn't want them anywhere near my property. It would be nice to get one of these dead fawns tested (somehow) so you can hopefully find some scientific evidence on what caused these deaths.

Don't let the rude remarks of others bother you. I dont need to see a picture of a carcass to believe you.

smsmith
02-17-2010, 11:08 AM
I don't blame you either, that's why my first post on the thread was "you're not going to want to hear this, but.."

I won't go so far as to say that the WI DNR is clueless. I think the men and women in the field are generally doing the best they can. I would trust a field agent with a case like this, I wouldn't trust one of the bureaucrats however. I really doubt if it is CWD given the fact that they are fawns - very low incidences of disease in fawns. Therefore, I didn't think you'd have anything to lose by contacting them. Even if it were CWD, that does not allow the DNR to sharpshoot on your land (yet, I know some legislators and outdoor writers like Pat Durkin would like that though). They may "encourage" you to allow it, but they cannot force you to do so.

I don't need to see the carcasses either. I believe 100% that this occurred. I do apologize if any of my remarks offended you. That was not my intention by any means. You have to realize that when groups of deer die for some unknown reason it tends to get folks who live to deer hunt and manage deer (like yourself) a little worked up. Best of luck in resolving the issue.

Now - if you want to talk about crossbows in the archery season I'll be glad to offend you on purpose :)

whitetail fanatic
02-17-2010, 11:37 AM
Smsmith, nothing you said bothered me and I agree with you 100% that crossbows don't belong in regular archery seasons except for those with hanidcaps or over age 65. If that ever happened, we might just as well have the deer season open year round with any weapon allowed.

I realize it's easy for people like me and you to get worked up over dead deer like this, and we all should. I want to know in the worst way what really caused it but without contacting the WDNR first I don't think there's anyway I could really do anthing to find out, even if I wanted someone else to do the testing, the DNR would probably have to come out and investigate. I guarantee it's not CWD, and 99% sure it's no disease of any kind. Because of they way I found them, the fact that 9 of 10 were fawns, 6 of 10 within 50 yards of the edge of the corn, and all within 1 1/2 weeks time, I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the corn as I stated in the previous post.

CrazyED
02-17-2010, 11:49 AM
So if you are unable to get one of these deer tested to get some scientific evidence around the death and we / you assume it is in fact the moldy corn that killed these deer what are you thinking as a strategy going forward to attempt to prevent this in the future? I dont know enough about growing corn but can this mold be prevented? Maybe you need to cut down the corn in earlier in the season so young fawns cant just gorge on it late season? Switch crops?

MidwestWildlifeManagement
02-17-2010, 11:53 AM
W.F. - I have sat back and watched this thread in hopes of you finding out exactly what caused the 10 deer deaths you are speaking of. And while you asked for opinions on what may have caused this no one here or anywhere else can do anything but speculate no matter how well trained/educated they are?

The only way of getting a real answer IMO is through some form of testing by professionals in the field (likely free if you go to the DNR or other state agency or maybe you can find someone who will do a necropsy for a fee in which you would have to pay for). Isn't testing the only avenue to a true answer in which you may be able to use in the future to make mangement decisions to avod it it again if possible? Again, there may be nothing you can do but at least you know this.

I know that part of the state has been through alot with the WI DNR but don't you think you owe it to yourself, you neighbors, all the others who work so hard just like you to improve your deer herd to get to the bottom of what is actually causing the problem?

I dont think any of us on here what to see you go through what you are......we just would like to know what the cause is just like you! Hope no offense is taken here!

whitetail fanatic
02-17-2010, 12:07 PM
I've talked to many farmers who've been farming for many years all their life and they've told me they've never seen a growing season for corn that was as bad as last year. July was record coldest July ever and the overall summer was very cold and it was dry for long stretches too. Then in October we had an early hard freeze with the corn not mature yet and then it got cold and rainy the rest of October. Basically, the worst growing season for corn anyone can rememeber and the perfect conditions for severe mold like almost everyone saw last year. The yield for corn was very high, but the quality was very very poor because it never developed correctly. In other words, it probably won't ever happen again in our lifetimes, unless this global cooling keeps up. Also, I think the problem with ours was probably a bit worse than average because we got it planted 2-3 weeks later than it should have been. Like I said, we've been leaving about 5 acres of standing corn for many years and we've never seen deer die on our property before (only ones that the neighbors hit w/gun and never tracked or found, usually those are the 2.5 year old bucks we don't shoot until 4.5 years old, but the neighbors aren't so picky) and we've never had moldy corn before. So, like I said, I think it's a combination of the mold stressing fawns during winter when they are stressed to begin with, fawns that didn't have their mothers because we shot more does than ever this year, and these fawns without their mothers were probably more likely to gorge on the moldy corn than if they had their mothers leading them around to browse more. Still if the corn wasn't moldy, I don't think it would have been a problem, other wise we would find dead fawns every year and that never happens. When I found the dead deer, it looked like they had just eaten corn, walked a few yards, laid down and died.

MidwestWildlifeManagement
02-17-2010, 12:49 PM
All my corn (and I think others in the midwest) is moldy too so what is the difference other than you may have harvested more does? We had very similar growing conditions to yours. I have only been out twice to check the plots/shed hunt and not one dead deer here. Isn't the mold in the corn thing just pure speculation until some from of testing is done?

Diesel40
02-17-2010, 01:11 PM
All my corn (and I think others in the midwest) is moldy too so what is the difference other than you may have harvested more does? We had very similar growing conditions to yours. I have only been out twice to check the plots/shed hunt and not one dead deer here. Isn't the mold in the corn thing just pure speculation until some from of testing is done?

I agree that you are just speculating that your corn has mold that could harm an animal eating it. I have farmed all my life and just because you neighbor or a guy down the road has mold doesn't mean you do, or you could have it and they don't. Get the corn tested and now if you have mold and how much.

sandbur
02-17-2010, 01:52 PM
You could have the corn tested, as I said before at Dairyland labs and see if anything is toxic enough to affect cattle. I f you do not want to work with the state of Wis, and find another deer that has recently died, you could take the carcass to the Unviersity of Minn Diagnostic lab or perhaps an Illinois lab. You would be responsible for any fees, and out of state fees may be higher. The Minnesota lab is in St. Paul.

ShadowHunter
02-17-2010, 04:06 PM
Have you done any physical observations of the dead deer? Are they skinny, boney etc... Have you cut one open and looked at the stomach to determine what they have been eating or how much fat they have on their organs? If you are so against the DNR call your local QDMA branch or some other biologist in the area.

whitetail fanatic
02-17-2010, 04:35 PM
I guess we can rule out the mold as having an effect on the deer. I had it tested and he said it was below 4 ppm for vomitoxin and it would likely take 10ppm or more to affect deer.

Diesel40
02-17-2010, 04:37 PM
I guess we can rule out the mold as having an effect on the deer. I had it tested and he said it was below 4 ppm for vomitoxin and it would likely take 10ppm or more to affect deer.

Interesting. Wonder what it was then?

biglakeba$$
02-17-2010, 04:59 PM
Time to call the DNR. :)

They cant be that awful, where you cant get their guidance.

QDMWRKS
02-17-2010, 07:03 PM
I f you do not want to work with the state of Wis, and find another deer that has recently died, you could take the carcass to the Unviersity of Minn Diagnostic lab or perhaps an Illinois lab. You would be responsible for any fees, and out of state fees may be higher. The Minnesota lab is in St. Paul.

I think the WDNR might frown on somebody picking up one of "their" deer and taking it to MN without a carcass tag. You could probably get a carcass tag, but you would have to call the WDNR.
I understand your reservations about making the call. I really don't believe it is just winter mortality though. I am not far from you. I found several dead deer two winters ago, but they all died in late Feb or early March. The snow was much deeper and had frozen very early in the season. I found two or three fawns and one doe. I sent an email to the DNR district biologist just so he would know that the winter was taking a toll.

sandbur
02-17-2010, 08:06 PM
I would agree that you should get some sort of carcass tag. I thought of that after my Post.

Sportfish
02-17-2010, 09:22 PM
Guys the corn doesnt need to be moldy to kill the deer. The deer can still die from just haveing a diet of only corn.

whitetail fanatic
02-17-2010, 10:08 PM
quote:"Guys the corn doesnt need to be moldy to kill the deer. The deer can still die from just haveing a diet of only corn."

Sportfish, the 40 dead deer you found in the corn field last year, did they have access to much browse or other vegetation if they wanted to or was it mainly just a corn field amongst wide open grasslands with little or no woody vegetion around? Or was the browse so limited and the number of deer so high that there wasn't enough browse to support all the deer? How many deer do you estimate were "yarded up" in that area? How many acres of corn?

Thanks

Geo
02-17-2010, 10:10 PM
I hate to see a guy catch so much flack for wondering about something and asking for others opinions.

Someone wanted to see pictures. Call the DNR? Here is a related story, make your own inferences.

My buddy on the 160 north of me stops by in late October, he tells me about carcasses that he is wondering about and wants me to look them over and help move them out of his hunting area. Two dead bucks on or near the creek bottom, no signs of foul play or hunting wounds. Knowing a few things about deer I figured epozotic hemorrhagic but I guess that that is just speculation. My buddy called our co but he was not interested enough to drive 15 miles to come and check them out.

G

Sportfish
02-18-2010, 12:16 AM
There was a crp field near by. That was buried in snow. I don't know if the deer just don't realize they need some other browse type of material or what, but in the same area this year I have seen a half dozen dead deer that are all fawns. This year they have there choice between a corn field and a sunflower field near by.

mstatece
02-18-2010, 03:34 PM
I'm sorry but I still don't understand why you haven't called the DNR. If there is a disease it needs to be reported. I'm sure you don't have the only corn field in Wisconsin so it would stand to reason that others' would be experienceing the same problem as you. The whole corn killing the deer doesn't fly with me either. If it wasn't that hard a winter there should be suffecient brouse around for the deer. Granted deer do like corn but i suspect they would supplement thier diet with other things if it were availble. Point being we're all speculating till a biologist examines the deer. If you know what's causing it you might could take some mitigation steps to help the problem. If brouse is scarce you may can put out some hay or something for the deer. (i would recommend scatttering it out so as to not congregate too many deer incase there is a disease issue. ) Or plant more green stuff next year. If it was me and i was in your possission i would have called the DNR after the first two deer were found dead and i would want answers.

smsmith
02-18-2010, 03:40 PM
You have to understand the mistrust many folks here have for the WI DNR (now). When the government starts talking about helicopters and sharp shooters taking out every deer they can in a certain area folks get a little jumpy. I do agree however that I'd want some answers as to what's going on, just for my own piece of mind if nothing else.

As far as putting hay out - if the deer have been eating alfalfa then it may be okay. If they haven't and their diet has been only browse or corn then the alfalfa hay could be counterproductive. If providing winter food for hungry or starving deer the safest and most "natural" way to do so is to go out and drop some trees/brush for browse.

forddeerslayer
02-18-2010, 06:35 PM
im not here to bash anyone or give any advice cause im really lost. can anyone give me a site or briefly explain how a deer only eating corn can kill them? im not questioning anyone cause i have no fact to base anything on. i just want to know so that i can have an understanding of it. its interesting. maybe thats why all you read about food plots and stuff like that is diversify is the key. you read that deer are natural browsers perhaps that is why. when they dont have anything else to eat in the dead of winter they have to try to survive so they eat all that is available. mabye it has to go with supplemental feeding is bad too. im just thinking hoping i can help that is a really thing happening there.

whitetail fanatic
02-18-2010, 07:05 PM
quote:"I'm sorry but I still don't understand why you haven't called the DNR. If there is a disease it needs to be reported."

Of course you don't understand, you're not from WI, if you were you would understand. I know enough about deer that I'm sure if the deer did in fact die from a "disease", it would have to be one of the 2 described below, which is caused by none other than eating corn! If it's not that, I believe they died from stress caused by a combination of many different things, mainly the winter weather, but also possibly the mold, even though it wasn't highly toxic, it can't be "good" for the deer and surely adds stress when they are already highly stressed because of the winter conditions and yearly low in the food supply. If anyone thinks it might be anything else, I welcome your thoughts and opinions.

quote:"The whole corn killing the deer doesn't fly with me either. If it wasn't that hard a winter there should be suffecient brouse around for the deer."

Read through this website and if you still don't believe me, then I guess I give up.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12150_12220-26508--,00.html

From the website: "Corn toxicity is a general term related to two diseases which can affect white-tailed deer throughout Michigan and elk in the northeastern portion of the state. Both diseases occur acutely and result in the rapid death of animals in good physical condition. These diseases are acidosis (grain overload) and enterotoxemia (overeating disease)........Both of these diseases are a mortality factor usually seen in late winter (but can occur at any time of the year) in deer and elk that have not had access to corn for an extended period of time and suddenly find a source of this grain. This mortality factor does not significantly impact the deer or elk population in the state, only a limited number of individuals in isolated areas. Prohibiting supplemental feeding may prevent these diseases from occurring."

rapid death of animals in good physical condition - seems exactly like what happened on our place. These 10 deer that died could have easily been living 1 mile away all winter until just recently, and then moved into our area as they got more stressed out, especially with the snow icing up and temps dropping below 0 like it did on Jan 25, then they suddenly had all the corn they wanted and they died just like the "corn toxicity diseases" described above. Deer yarding up is a normal thing around here and other parts of the north. As we get later into winter and conditions get more severe, more and more deer keep moving into the best available habitat. They don't all "move" to the "deer yards" at the same time, so do early, some late, some in between, and some never really do at all. Even in the easiest winters we ever have around here deer "yard up" and 90% of the deer will be on 10% of the habitat. We happen to have that 10% habitat that they love:)

Also, I never said it was an easy winter, just not as severe as the last 2. A very knowledgeable friend whom I mentioned before is not at all surprised that fawns are dying this winter. Many people I have talked to over the past few days have been finding dead fawns around here. Someone found 3 dead fawns on a small sized property where the deer aren't even "yarded up", it doesn't seem all that abnormal to find 10 on our property where every deer within 1-2 miles is likely hanging out now because of the great habitat and food sources. And what about Sportfish who says he found 40 dead deer in a corn field last year and half a dozen or so this year? Don't you believe that corn killed them either? We've had a constant snow cover all winter since December 10, usually at least 12" most of that time and up to 18" at times. On January 25 the snow turned into a frozen-like slab of concrete after a brief warmup with rain. Shortly after that I found the 10 dead deer within one weeks time. We've had temps as low as -15 degrees (actual air temp) and many other days with temps below zero.

quote:"You have to understand the mistrust many folks here have for the WI DNR (now). When the government starts talking about helicopters and sharp shooters taking out every deer they can in a certain area folks get a little jumpy."

It's impossible for anyone who hasn't live here the last 15 years to have any clue what the WDNR has done to deer hunting and hunters in this state. What smsmith says is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to irrational things our DNR will do....I don't even want to get into what all could happen with the WDNR if I were to get them involved with this, but here's just one tiny bit of example. Now they are considering making a law that would allow them to go onto private property at any time WITHOUT THE LANDOWNERS PERMISSION and shoot deer. Also, they want to be able to drive deer w/ helicopters and shoot them off private property out of helicopters. I could go on and on but I don't feel like wasting my time on the WDNR.

forddeerslayer
02-18-2010, 07:12 PM
wow you answered what i was wondering. a dnr having that kind of power is never a good thing. i hope if you hunters can still do what you what you have been doing then im sure on the B&C map your state will still be almost all red.

whitetail fanatic
02-18-2010, 10:57 PM
quote:"wow you answered what i was wondering."

And it was totally a coincidence, since I was responding to the post by mstatece and I was typing my response while you posted so I never saw yours til I was done :) :D

Swerv
02-18-2010, 11:20 PM
Not trying to derail thread, but had to ask Geo a question after seeing the picture he posted. I assume these are the two bucks from your buddies place where you say it didn't look like any foul play was involved. My question is why is the backstrap cut out of the big buck?

kansas-andres
02-18-2010, 11:43 PM
I get the fact you guys do Not like the Wisconsin DNR. I Dont care for the Michigan DNR either! If you call your local Conservation Officer Im sure he would be concerned about this situation.Your local Co is likely a guy that hunts In your area & cares about hunting as much as you!! Im sure you could even strike up a conversation with him about how bad the management of the Wisconsin herd has got & I would bet he would agree.


You might look back on this a few years from now & wished you would have called. But then you cant blame the DNR, You have no one to blame but YOURSELF, Good luck

kansas-andres
02-19-2010, 12:19 AM
Also, I never said it was an easy winter, just not as severe as the last 2. A very knowledgeable friend whom I mentioned before is not at all surprised that fawns are dying this winter. Many people I have talked to over the past few days have been finding dead fawns around here. Someone found 3 dead fawns on a small sized property where the deer aren't even "yarded up", it doesn't seem all that abnormal to find 10 on our property where every deer within 1-2 miles is likely hanging out now because of the great habitat and food sources. And what about Sportfish who says he found 40 dead deer in a corn field last year and half a dozen or so this year? Don't you believe that corn killed them either? We've had a constant snow cover all winter since December 10, usually at least 12" most of that time and up to 18" at times. QUOTE


Im glad your such a Whitetail fanatic, Your "Hard winter" Conclusion Is laughable:) Your winters are no different then Michigan or canada ! We had more snow than any year I can remember, 18in On the ground In early December. We found 1 dead deer on 240 acres.

You post looking for answers, Then when you get good advice you tell people "No one understands Wisconsin" Then you threaten to not post here anymore? This Is the most respected Hunting Forum there Is, Start listening

Ducks'n'Bucks
02-19-2010, 01:14 AM
Whitetail Fanatic it's probably hard to stomach with everyone throwing out their opinions but I hope you understand why we all do... It's not because we wake up in the morning and say, "I hope I can go online today and upset someone." It's not my intent anyway but I am from WI and I know what happened to the herd over the years... I just think your confusing herd management with DNR biologists that may at least take a carcass or two and get it tested for your and our own piece of mind. I'm real curious as to what killed them... even if it is just a sole diet of corn. But I'd like to know 100% and not speculate. Going by the responses of this thread I think it's safe to say the majority does too.

Don't interpret this as a slam or any disrespect but if you do choose the path of speculation or word of mouth from locals... I think the posts we've been reading are kind of expected you know? And who knows... maybe the DNR won't even do anything... maybe they'll just come and take a look and go "Oh well. Must have been the corn..." But at least in the end you exhausted every avenue...

Again this is just my opinion and obviously your free to do what you will. I think the idea of the DNR sharpshooting your property is an extreme stance... Unless of course there's some crazy virus strain that has infected your deer:D . Of course this won't be the case but if it were I should hope every hunter would want them to in order to try and preserve the remaining deer herd. Also I want to add that despite the DNR's shortcomings they will change it. At least I'm going to try to be optimistic about it anyway:D . "DNR CWD Coordinator Davin Lopez said deer hunting adds $1 billion annually to the state's economy." That was from Jan WI Outdoor News... That's a big number and the state can't afford to lose that...

Good luck over there, stay strong, and keep us posted...

Ducks'n'Bucks
02-19-2010, 01:15 AM
My question is why is the backstrap cut out of the big buck?

Because they're delicious!!!;) :D

whitetail fanatic
02-19-2010, 07:45 AM
quote:"Im glad your such a Whitetail fanatic, Your "Hard winter" Conclusion Is laughable Your winters are no different then Michigan or canada ! We had more snow than any year I can remember, 18in On the ground In early December. We found 1 dead deer on 240 acres.

You post looking for answers, Then when you get good advice you tell people "No one understands Wisconsin" Then you threaten to not post here anymore? This Is the most respected Hunting Forum there Is, Start listening"

I never said it was simply the hard winter killing the deer, but it is one factor. If it had been an easy winter they would not have died. I know it's not the reason they died because as I've said, the previous 2 were much more stressful to the deer and no deer died in this area. I'm only saying that the winter has been hard enough that it has had a big effect on why these deer died, there are probably many things affecting why these deer died and the winter conditions is a part of that. Combined with the other factors, I believe it helped cause their death. If the winter had been easier, half the deer that are hanging out on our property now wouldn't even be around, the area, and the fawns that I found dead could still be a mile or two away where they likely were up until a few weeks ago. I know this winter hasn't come close to what places farther north of here see every winter and I know 2 winters ago the conditions were far more stressful to deer around here.

I never said "no one understands Wisconsin", I simply said if you haven't lived here, esp. the southern 1/4 of the state, the last 15 years, you have no idea what our DNR has done to deer hunting and hunters, and therefore would not be likely to understand why I wouldn't want to contact the WDNR. I am listening, and I hope I haven't made it sound like I'm not listening to your advice (other than contacting the WDNR) or that I don't appreciate every post everyone has made here. I know this is the most respected hunting forum and I appreciate and am thankful for that.

schlag
02-19-2010, 08:00 AM
Maybe if someone would have wontacted the WDNR 16 years ago you wouldn't have had as many of the problems you have in southern Wisconsin?

whitetail fanatic
02-19-2010, 08:10 AM
quote"Maybe if someone would have wontacted the WDNR 16 years ago you wouldn't have had as many of the problems you have in southern Wisconsin?"

Believe me, we are working on that evey day. I was just at a meeting last night with a group of people. We are working on changing the way the DNR mismanages the deer herd.

quote:"If you call your local Conservation Officer Im sure he would be concerned about this situation.Your local Co is likely a guy that hunts In your area & cares about hunting as much as you!! Im sure you could even strike up a conversation with him about how bad the management of the Wisconsin herd has got & I would bet he would agree."

I know the county warden very well. I helped him solve a poaching case years ago. We've talked many times over the years. He's as upset as I am with the way our DNR manages the deer herd.

smsmith
02-19-2010, 08:41 AM
Maybe if someone would have wontacted the WDNR 16 years ago you wouldn't have had as many of the problems you have in southern Wisconsin?

I assume you mean if someone had contacted them about CWD? Maybe not since it was discovered here less than a decade ago. If so, that isn't really a fair statement. Seeing an obviously sick deer with CWD is a pretty rare happening. The vast majority of the positives "look" healthy. Most deer with CWD end up dying from a bullet or an arrow - they don't live long enough for the disease to take them out. There are obviously exceptions to this statement, but those are exceptions not the norm. CWD was "discovered" here via routine sampling by the WI DNR. I believe they had been sampling for it for a number of years before we got the first positive.

whitetail fanatic
02-19-2010, 08:54 AM
quote: "I am listening, and I hope I haven't made it sound like I'm not listening to your advice (other than contacting the WDNR) or that I don't appreciate every post everyone has made here. I know this is the most respected hunting forum and I appreciate and am thankful for that."

I should have said that differently, because I am listening to your advice about contacting the WDNR, but I just can't make myself do it, and believe me, that's the hardest part about all this. It's tearing me apart because I know how much all of you would like for me to do the same and get a definite answer. It's sad that it has to be that way and one can't feel free to contact their state DNR, but like I said, we are working on changing that. For 7 years I have been working with a group of people to try and change the way the DNR mismanages deer and we have made big steps already, it has gotten better around here the last few years and I'm confident it will continue to do so.

As I've said before, I welcome anyone's thoughts, opinions, or advice here and don't feel afraid to share no matter what it might be. thanks

Ducks'n'Bucks
02-19-2010, 09:24 AM
Again whitetail I think you're confusing herd management with DNR biologists... I don't think the board from herd management will show up with choppers to investigate your deer. It's my opinion that these are two completely seperate entities and your problem is with one of them... not the entire department...

whitetail fanatic
02-19-2010, 11:47 AM
quote:"You post looking for answers, Then when you get good advice you tell people "No one understands Wisconsin" Then you threaten to not post here anymore? This Is the most respected Hunting Forum there Is, Start listening"

and quote:"Whitetail Fanatic it's probably hard to stomach with everyone throwing out their opinions but I hope you understand why we all do... It's not because we wake up in the morning and say, "I hope I can go online today and upset someone." "

I'm sorry if it sounded like I was upset with everyone posting here, there was just one post (I think you can figure out which one) that lit a fire under me and I may have taken it out on everyone after that. sorry if I did.

whitetail fanatic
02-19-2010, 01:52 PM
from an article on corn acidosis in deer :

"The problem is that deer digestion is a finely tuned physiological process. Just the right combination of microorganisms, enzymes, and pH enable deer to digest a normal winter diet of woody vegetation. When offered a sudden supply of corn, a deer's digestive system doesn't have time to adjust to a high carbohydrate diet. The result can be acute acidosis followed by death within 72 hours. At the time of death these individuals can appear normal and well fed. It's just that they cannot digest the corn. Within six hours, corn alters the environment in the rumen. It turns the rumen acidic and destroys the microbes needed for normal digestion."

yoderj@cox.net
02-19-2010, 01:52 PM
To my way of thinking, there is a lot bigger problem here than dead deer. First, let me say that I know NOTHING about WI or their particular DNR.

My experience has been that most DNRs are largely staffed by professional wildlife biologists who work with other wildlife biologists across the nation to keep abreast of the latest scientific literature. The generally use sound science to make management decisions and by far, the hardest part of the job is managing the public, both hunters and non-hunters.

Here in VA, the department is now run by Bob Duncan who was, in my opinion, a visionary in keeping CWD out of VA for many years though identifying the most likely sources of disease spread and championing regulations to minimize them. Finally, this year, CWD has been confirmed in VA. VA had a comprehensive deer management plan that targets county by county for increase, decrease, or stabilization of the deer population. They have a deer management assistance program for private land owners that allows them to collect biological samples and harvest measurements from across the state.

I'm originally from PA. I watched from afar as Gary Alt tried to drag them into the 20th century in deer management. His reward was death threats and he eventually left. I still remember how unacceptable it was to shoot a doe up there when I was growing up but the guy who shot a 3" spike was patted on the back.

Quite often, very sound management decisions hurt the short-term personal interests of one group or another. If you owned a fenced operation in VA and you had to spend a lot of money to meet new regulations aimed at CWD mitigation, you were none too happy. Many PA hunters thought their chances of harvesting a deer would go way down if more does were killed and antler restrictions were imposed. If you are a suburban archery hunter and you watch them bring sharp shooters into a park at night and remove deer, you are none to happy.

Again, I know NOTHING about WI DNR in particular. However, I suggest this:

- Talk to the DNR biologists. Find out what management decisions they are making and what science they are using to make the decisions. It may turn out you will want to get on board with the program if you get a complete understanding.

- If you come away from that believing that your DNR is not staffed by professionals making the best management decisions they can using the best science available, then change it!

From what I've read in this thread (assuming that the WI contributors are representative of hunters in WI), I'd say that WI DNR is doing a poor job. I don't know if they are doing a poor job in making wildlife management decisions or not because I don't know what the decision or rational are. However, it is clear they are doing a poor job managing hunters and their expectations.

When a hunting community operates in opposition to their DNR, only bad things can result.

We all love this sport and anything that we perceive as a threat to it is pretty hard to swallow. Diagnosis is never perfect and medicine never tastes good and sometimes has negative side effects, but we pay doctors to go to school for many years and spend their lives weighing the good and bad.

I don't intend any of this to be an admonishment, just food for thought...

Thanks,

Jack

smsmith
02-19-2010, 02:37 PM
All valid points Jack. I can't say that there is a general mistrust of the WI DNR field agents here. Most all sportsmen/women I know and talk to feel those folks are well trained and do a fine job (and are underpaid). The mistrust comes in when the bureaucrats who run the department get involved. We have a guy who used to run the Dept. of Corrections running a natural resource agency. He's there because our governor put him there. The guy that was there before him (also put there by the same governor) was replaced because he didn't fall into lockstep with the Guv's positions.

I also can't say that the WI CWD plan is "bad" in and of itself. I do believe that a herd reduction was necessary in many areas of WI (lots of folks don't think so). CWD is a real threat to our herd IMHO. We did have to do something to contain the disease and attempt to prevent its spread. The science behind the plan was the best we had at the time and was supported by about 99% of all state wildlife agencies, DNR's, hunting groups, etc.

The problem is that along with the CWD reduction we have experienced DRASTIC reductions in the entire state. Areas hundreds of miles away have had very liberal doe seasons for about 6 years now. Couple that with several bad winters in a row and you suddenly have a herd that is below goal densities.

Your most telling and accurate statement is this one "I don't know if they are doing a poor job in making wildlife management decisions or not because I don't know what the decision or rational are. However, it is clear they are doing a poor job managing hunters and their expectations."

That's the bottom line. The WI DNR has lost the faith of deer hunters by and large. They can't allow that to happen so they had better learn to start working with us and find a better way to show they are listening. They tend to come across with a "high and mighty" party line and that isn't selling anymore. Find a way to communicate effectively with the common man and they may get us back on board.

Swerv
02-19-2010, 07:17 PM
Because they're delicious!!!;) :D

Funny, but I doubt someone would cut the backstrap out of a buck they found dead and didn't know the time of death or the cause. That picture looks like a poached deer to me, although I may not know the whole story. That's why I was asking. :)

Geo
02-19-2010, 09:46 PM
Not trying to derail thread, but had to ask Geo a question after seeing the picture he posted. I assume these are the two bucks from your buddies place where you say it didn't look like any foul play was involved. My question is why is the backstrap cut out of the big buck?

I told you the whole story in the constraints of a few sentences. Some of the details I left out, for example, the ten point was found in the water of the creek bed. The deer was dragged out and the rotten side is down, the side that a coyote chewed on the back strap is up. That was quite a leap from no foul play to looking like a poached deer. For me to tell the whole story would take two pages, if you would like to know more please ask.

G

HabitatMaker
02-20-2010, 06:34 PM
Anyone who has what was described through this thread and does not call DNR is guilty of the worst judgement possible. One can only hope its all made up or that the cause if real is not contagous.

sometimes i just cannot get over the lack of ethics that abounds anymore.

Sorry if that hurts but its just there so deal with it.

Anderson
02-21-2010, 08:12 AM
There is no universally-accepted safe level for vomitoxin in ruminant animals. It's complicated. Plenty of local farmers, feed salesmen, etc will quote all sorts of facts and numbers, but the experts who have done extensive research in controlled situations still seem to be shrugging their shoulders. If your corn was 3 ppm vomitoxin, then it is on par with a lot of corn in the US this year, for better or worse. Most folks who work in the animal nutrition business seem to think that higher doses of vomitoxin can cause trouble in cattle, but not acute deaths.

If I had to guess, I'd say it is likely that more than one factor contributed to the death of those deer. Stressors are additive on an animal, so if you combine a few ppm of mycotoxin and winter stress and maybe a shot of rumen acidosis by hungry deer suddenly moving into a corn field...and the risk of trouble is probably higher.

Since everyone else is...I'll give you some unsolicited advice: don't drive yourself crazy over this. Cycle of life and all that.

whitetail fanatic
02-21-2010, 11:23 AM
quote:"If I had to guess, I'd say it is likely that more than one factor contributed to the death of those deer. Stressors are additive on an animal, so if you combine a few ppm of mycotoxin and winter stress and maybe a shot of rumen acidosis by hungry deer suddenly moving into a corn field...and the risk of trouble is probably higher.

Since everyone else is...I'll give you some unsolicited advice: don't drive yourself crazy over this. Cycle of life and all that."

Thanks Anderson. That's exactly the point I've been trying to make on here lately. Now I must move onto more important issues.


quote:"Anyone who has what was described through this thread and does not call DNR is guilty of the worst judgement possible. One can only hope its all made up or that the cause if real is not contagous.

sometimes i just cannot get over the lack of ethics that abounds anymore.

Sorry if that hurts but its just there so deal with it."

HabitatMaker, you are the one guilty of the worst judgement possible. You saying that I lack ethics is like saying Michael Jordan sucked at playing basketball. The reason I could not contact the WDNR in a situation like this is because my extremely strong ethics would not allow me to. As I've said repeatedly, you have no idea of what the WDNR has done around here the last 15 years. The "top dogs" controlling the WDNR are the most unethical people I have ever seen. A wildlife poacher has more eithics than they do. For me to contact the WDNR about this would be like telling a poacher about a monster buck that is frequently seen in a secluded field on a back country road that has little or no human traffic - nothing good could possibly result from either situation. And I'm not just talking about them possiblly coming and trying to kill all the deer or how they have caused the reduction of deer to near zero in many areas across the state, as some of the others posting here seem to think. Those are a tiny part of the harm that the WDNR has already done and could possibly do in the near future to deer, deer hunting, deer hunters and landowners.

In the last 15 years, the WDNR has done more to harm the future of hunting than the strongest anti hunting organization could do in a lifetime. They have diminished the status of deer in this state to that of rats. To the non hunting public, they have tarnished the reputation of all hunters . They have repeatedly lied to and insulted deer hunters, landowners, and even the general public. I could write a book on this alone, but the things the WDNR has done to suppoesedly "control CWD" is not about trying to control CWD at all. I could give many, but here's just one example that proves the previous sentence: A good friend and neighbor to one area that I deer hunt did not know any better and allowed the WDNR sharpshooters onto his land to kill deer. They claim CWD spreads from contact between deer especially like at bait piles. Yet they establish bait piles to sit over at night with spotlights and silent rifles to kill the deer. They lie to the public that what they do is no harm because they kill all the deer that come to the bait so there is no chance of causing CWD to spread by doing this. They told this landowner that they would replenish the bait as needed for about 4 weeks before even trying to shoot any deer over these bait piles. I know that 50-70 deer usually use his property every winter. Yet they had bait piles sitting out their from mid January to late February before even trying to kill a deer, then when they finally started killing deer, they ended up with a total of 5 for the winter. And they kill every deer that comes to the bait, yeah right. They have done this many times on many different properties all over the CWD Zone for several years.

It has been said repeatedly, both on here and by the WDNR to the public that their ways of dealing with CWD is supported by biologists and disease experts from all across the country. If that's the case, then why is no other state or province doing what the WDNR has been to try "controlling CWD". The fact is, nothing has been proven to reduce the incidence rate of CWD or slow the spread of CWD as the WDNR claims. The WY. and CO Game and Fish have told me that they learned years ago that in their wild deer herds, CWD is not density dependent, it makes no difference if they reduce deer numbers as low as possible. They tried it and studied it for years before learning that it doesn't work and since then they have been rebuilding the herds in those areas by limiting doe harvest. If Wyoming and Colorado praise our approach why aren't they doing it themselves? And the WDNR says because WY. and CO. have had it for so long and it's known in such a large area. That's the lamest excuse ever. The WDNR will take one "outside expert" who will say that WY. or CO. says this is the right thing to do, yet when I talk to multiple people from both the WY. and CO. Game and Fish, and ask them about talk t them about what has been going on here, I get a totally different response from their experts whom have been studing CWD for decades. They basically laugh at the WDNR response to CWD. I will say it again, it's not that they have forced the deer population to near zero in many areas that has me so upset, it goes WAY deeper than that. If that was the only thing to have happened here, I would not be concerned at all because that can be changed in a hurry. They have done so much irrepraable damage to deer, deer hunting traditions, landowners, and the public in general by their words, actions, and how they have carried on their deer mismanagement, not only around here, but statewide the past 15 years.

Don't get me wrong, as smsmith has said, most WDNR employees are great people and do a great job, but their hands are tied behind their backs by the "top dogs" in the WDNR. I have already mentioned that I'm good friends with the local warden and have helped him in a poaching case in the past and have notified him of other wrongdoings since. He feels the same as I do about how the WDNR has mismanaged the deer here. Of course, he can't open is mouth too much for fear of losing his job.

It has also been said that we should do something about changing things here if the DNR is so terrible. I have already said, I have been seriously working on that for 7-8 years. At first I was a member of an organized group who was driven to improve deer management. Ethics and QDMA like principles were the foundation of this group and it even led to the start of a new QDMA chapter in the area. Our efforts have helped make small improvements in seasons and regulations the last few years but there is a LONG way to go, and as I said, a lot of irreparable damage has been done by the WDNR. And just within the last couple months, a new group has organized with similar goals and strong ethics, of which I am now a part of. We are gaining a lot of support and plan on going statewide with this.

Just one example, in case you still question my ethics, a couple years ago I was turkey hunting with my mother and called in 4 gobblers. They were close together and even though she never tried to, accidently killed two of them with one shot. I immediately called the warden and he met us to pick up the extra bird and we expected a fine for killing the extra bird. He said a lot of people would not have had the ethics to make that call to notify him, and thankfully he never fined us because he knew it was clearly an accident and we called him right away. I'm not trying to brag or anything, because I would hope that most hunters would be ethical enough to call a warden in that case, but you saying that had poor judgement and I'm not ethical because I did not contact the WDNR about these dead fawns is not true. It was clearly not caused by a contagious disease because 9 of 10 were fawns and fawns are always the first to die of stress during the winter. As I have been trying to explain lately, and as Anderson said, it was likely a combination of factors along with the stress of winter that lead to their death. Oh, and when I had the corn tested, even though he said the level of vomitoxin should not have been high enough to cause death in deer, he showed me the pink on the corn indicating the toxic mold, and as Anderson says, "There is no universally-accepted safe level for vomitoxin in ruminant animals" Even if the toxic mold levels weren't high enough to kill them outright, it sure added to the stress they were undergoing.

HabitatMaker, you are the one guilty of the worst judgement possible. This is such a great site, I never pictured myself getting into such an "arguement" on here, but I just had to respond to that. I hope you feel good that I lost a lot of sleep over this last night and I've wasted all morning typing this when I could have been out making habitat improvements, scouting, shed hunting, and contacting landowners to gain support for our most recent organization to help improve the deer mismanagement and terrible ethics that have ahold of the top of our WDNR.

sandbur
02-21-2010, 12:19 PM
Thanks to Anderson for his advice and common sense in this thread.

Whitetail fanatic- I admire your dedication to the whitetail deer. I can tell that you have put much thought into the last post. It is hard for many of us to understand the situation with the Wis. DNR when we have not been in the middle of it and the CWD outbreak.

I hope we can find some ways to control CWD and that the rest of us will not be facing CWD in the near future. Perhaps the study with Virginia and QDMA working with them will help us out. My gut feeling is that some of the things that Wis is doing are on the right track for disease control, but only time will tell. It does sound like some of their sharpshooting was a fiasco at best! I feel all hunting organizations fsuch as QDMA, our Minnesota Deer Hunters Assn, and the Minnesota Blufflands Deer Hunters Assn need to take a close look at what they advocate and if it is truly best for the deer and the tradition of deer hunting. The problems arise from traditions being so different in different areas.

If legal, take a knife to any freshly dead deer that you find. Look at what is in the rumen for food, mostly corn or not. Look at the lungs and see if they are a salmon color pink-at least for the top lung as the animal is presented. Is there fat around the kidneys? Where some gloves when you do this. please pm me if I can help you out.

yoderj@cox.net
02-21-2010, 01:11 PM
It is easy for guys like me who are out of the area and don't have all the facts to criticize or make suggestions. There is only so much context that can be communicated using this medium.

While I think it is healthy for us as a community to question each other and spur thought, we should also keep in mind that we benefit little when the harshness of our critique places others on the defensive.

In general I would say this. Some kind of organization that is chartered to manage wildlife for the benefit of everyone is necessary. Today the state DNRs are the organizations with that charter. Granted, they are all influenced by politics to some degree because anytime we try to establish the best interests of a group, it is political by definition.

So, if you are doing whatever is possible to improve your DNR, then I'm not sure what else to suggest. I'm sure a decision to report or withhold reporting was not done cavalierly but with much thought and consideration.

The problem is that seeking "opinion" here about cause of death will benefit you little. If you decide to abandon DNR as part of the solution, then perhaps it is incumbent upon you to carry the load personally. We pay DNR through our taxes to take the biological samples and see the testing is done in cases like this to determine the underlying issue. Perhaps you should higher a biologist, take samples, and send them to a private lab for testing.

Perhaps if you have hard data on the cause of death it will inform any decision you make about what to do next.

Thanks,

Jack

Ohioboy
02-21-2010, 05:33 PM
This week ohio farm and dairy had an article "Feeding corn to deer could be a death sentence". Based on a study done by the Pa Game Commission(www.pgc.state.pa.us) it was found that deer consuming corn upsets the ph in their digestive system, which causes acute acidosis which can cause death within 72 hours. Old and young deer are more likely to suffer. The article states that it takes two to four weeks of feeding on a new food source for the deer to establish the necessary microbes to digest the new food source. 25 to 40 percent of the deer population could perish with a belly full of corn.