Lansing, Michigan – -(Ammoland.com)- When word of the discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a free-ranging deer in Meridian Township, Michigan hit us earlier this year, it struck like a sledge hammer.
Fortunately for Michigan’s efforts to combat the disease, becoming the 23rd state having been faced with the dilemma, means we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
But, we must continue killing deer to save them.
Those same yearling deer, which we’ve protected through the years in an effort to allow them to grow to maturity, are now on the hit list. Those young bucks tend to travel and that’s the fear; they must be stopped, or the disease will certainly spread. Accordingly, hunters are being called to action by the DNR.
“We have focused our efforts thus far in the area around the first case,” Dr. Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian stated.
”We need individuals who have always hunted in Ingham County and surrounding counties to keep hunting. The DNR can’t fight this disease without their support. Hunters need to have their deer checked and tested so we can determine if this disease is established over a broad area or just persisting in a local pocket.”
If there’s a better solution to the challenge, it’s yet to be discovered.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) hasn’t offered any financial support, even though it’s in a position to help. That’s because its goal is end hunting; to enlist the support of its enemies would be sacrilegious – even if it would mean the survival of a species. Apparently, its desire to fund tens of millions of dollars in offshore hedge funds is more important.
Doing nothing – as the HSUS supports by its inaction on the issue – is doing something. It’s conspicuous, yet predictable response, flies in the face of true conservation, and yes, humane care. Hunters on the other hand will pay to hunt with full knowledge that their contributions in the form of license sales and excise taxes on their necessary equipment will go toward research, testing, and control of the fatal disease.
Hunters are critical to helping the Michigan DNR understand the prevalence and geographic distribution of the disease. Even though hunting has been maligned by a recent episode of a single lion in Zimbabwe, law-abiding hunters are just as outraged by the act – maybe even more so than non-hunters. Ethical hunters hate poachers, too!
So far, a total of 3 CWD-infected deer have been found in the total of 341 tested. It’s going to take millions of dollars to proceed with the well-founded surveillance and response plan to minimize the spread of the dreaded disease.
If hunters don’t step up, who will?
About Glen Wunderlich Charter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press (www.argus-press.com) and blog site at www.thinkingafield.org Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM).