June 6, 2023

Deer Management Moves Into The 21st Century

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One of the greatest challenges of deer management in this country is chronic wasting disease. Scientists say the disease is similar to mad cow disease but has its on characteristics and personality. There are always two issues when it comes to dealing with diseases like CWD. Scientists want to know how a disease is transmitted and what spreads it.

Dr. William Porter, an esteemed wildlife ecologist, will be heading up a study in and around the central New York area, that will track and study whitetail deer. This study, using the latest is global positioning satellite technology, hopes to give him better ideas on how CWD is spread among herds of deer.

With the assistance of a couple of students seeking advanced degrees, they will trap and collar 50 deer in the first year. These deer will be equipped with devices that will record location at all times, times of movement, temperature, weather, etc. This way they will be able to determine better the habitat of the deer and what influences, natural or man made, cause them to move and to where they move.

After one year, these 50 deer will be recaptured and have their collars removed. They will then capture and collar 50 more deer. The data collected will take several months to analyze before any conclusions can be made. This could be a major step toward better understanding how CWD spreads and help to devise ways of controling it.

Tom Remington