Hunters Surveyed on Bovine TB Response

Hunters Surveyed on Bovine TB Response Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 23, 2012 at 8:49 am

MINNEAPOLIS (KNSI) - The Minnesota DNR is looking to the state's hunters for feedback on their handling of the bovine tuberculosis outbreak discovered in wild deer back in 2005.

Cases of bovine TB in deers have dropped to the point where the DNR has not seen a positive test in the past two years. So now the focus shifts to determining on how well the agency handled the task of informing hunters of the issue when it arose.

"The prevalence is on the verge of becoming not detectable. So what we are doing is working with the University of Minnesota on a survey of our deer hunters," wildlife research manager Lou Cornicelli said. "It is a mail survey of 2000 hunters and what we want to do is get a basic assessment of how we did."

Cornicelli said the survey will focus on how well the agency communicated the risk of the disease event and how accurately hunters perceived the threat of bovine TB in deer.

While TB instances are basically non-existent big game in Minnesota are dealing with a variety of weather conditions this summer. Drought in the northwest, flooding in the northeast and record setting heat in all corners of the state have wild animals dealing with a variety of climates.

But Cornicelli says, when it comes to the deer specifically, there is not much need for concern from the changing weather conditions.

"Their species is well adapted to these strange climates. They live everywhere from south america to alberta. For white tailed deer it is generally not a problem," Cornicelli said.

Other species however, like moose, can feel some effects of the heat specifically.

"We know that extremely high temperatures stress moose and then we see increased mortality, they don't adjust to the high heat that a white tail deer would," Cornicelli said. "So the different ungulate species deal with this differently, but for white tail it is generally not a big deal."

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