Southwest Wisconsin five-year deer/predator study wrapping up, but …

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A total of 319 adult bucks were captured during the five-year study and fitted with expanding collars to allow for neck expansion during the rut. (Photo by Jerry Davis)

Now that the Southwest Wisconsin CWD, Deer, and Predator Study, conducted in parts of Dane, Grant and Iowa counties, is wrapping up, when can some of the findings be available to be used by deer biologists and public groups in suggesting possible changes and directions for deer management?

Maybe, as importantly, when can a bar stool discussion be won or lost by pulling out some numbers and facts about, say, deer dispersal and fawn predation?

Not for a while, according to one of the DNR’s lead deer biologists regarding data and observations to clear some minds.

Science takes time.  The data part is nearly in the computer files, so analysis can begin on these items.

The public, as well as the DNR’s scientists, won’t be getting a book of results any time soon.  Rather, parts will filter out when time permits to analyze.

Some of the collared deer will continue to be followed for several years, but no more captures will take place.  In fact, no days-old fawns were captured and collared this past spring, due to COVID-19.

This is how science works.  It’s slow and methodical with observations and then analyses.

Some samples may sit in a freezer for a month, years, or until time, money, and personnel are available.

Categories: CWD, Whitetail Deer, Wisconsin – Jerry Davis

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