This has been, like last year, here in the Appalachians Mountains, a wet year. This has afforded the local flora to grow well and fatten the wildlife. There is a problem for DEER HUNTERS though; a spread of another communal disease: PRIONS.
Do you remember the English problem a few years ago with MAD COW Disease?
It was the custom in tribal warfare in New Guinea to eat the dead person‘s brains. Of course this is no longer done, but a mental disorder effecting the nervous system would appear. This was labeled: the Jacob-Crutchfield disease.
Now back to merry olde England and the cattle industry. Cattle were fed ground up sheep offeral mixed in their vegetable feed of grains and hay. They too developed a nervous disorder. This disorder was evidenced by twitching, wandering in circles, falling down, and generally looking sick.
The solution to the multi million dollar MAD COW Disease was to quit supplementing feed with offeral. The same solution is recognized, but not well enforced to the MAD DEER Disease that is growing each year.
The Whitetail deer, a mainstay for many impoverished souls, as well as sportsmen, and women, is subject to this disease. It is growing in North Carolinas, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota and many other states. I have reports of droopy, sick looking deer standing in a creek that would not move when approached. Their normal expected patterns of running away did not exist. Also elk, moose, antelope, and other handsome creatures of the forests and plains show similar symptoms.
For years rural folk have been feeding deer, usually labeled “Deer Food”- Grow bigger antlers, “ Massive buck” foods etc. All these deer supplements have mostly been removed from the market as they contain animal offeral that in turn promotes MAD DEER Disease. There are other names for this disease, such as “Wasting Disease”, but I like the analogy of Mad Cow-Mad Deer disease best. It is illegal to feed deer supplements if you can find any in the stores.
To further understand this disease we have to look at the microscopic cause. This is caused by “PRIONS”. These are not a virus, nor bacteria. They are inert, non-living ”life forms” that exist in nature and once amassed in an organism they affect the nervous system; and the organism dies.
Essentially mankind wants bigger and better animals, and animals thrive on protein. Mankind has an abundance of animal parts-offeral- that has no commercial value, BUT it has protein. Hence the mixing of tasty tidbits in animal feeds.
Our hunters are advised not to take home a deer that looks like it is wasting, or has odd behaviors. You are requested by the Fish and Game in your state to report these animals. When home be sure to cook your wild meat-well done. This will not destroy prions but will kill other pathogens. Nothing will destroy prions.
I would suspect that Black Bear, Raccoons, and Opossums, which are all table fare; also they may be eating this deer’s super foods. However wasting disease affects primarily ruminants. If you have not fallen asleep in your tree stand while watching your bait, you might think on this. In the mean time go to Google Images: Deer wasting disease
God Bless us all. Do not forget to vote this November 4th so you may live longer and prosper.
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