Sharpshooters not the answer to CWD

I was pleased to see your article in The Rock River Times, “DNR needs new approach to CWD in deer.”

I have had a working deer herd in my IDNR forest since 2009. In 2011, two buck deer alerted me that two men with guns had climbed the fence and entered our posted west forest. I responded immediately, and they quickly left. I usually carry a camera, which enabled me to photo [sic] them. One was an “IDNR sharpshooter” who was responsible for part of the Ogle County slaughter.

These “sharpshooters” had been telling people they had the authority to come on their property as IDNR officers. I called the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department and was told that if they came on posted property, they were eligible for a $2,000 fine each.

The IDNR budget was canceled in the fall of 2010 by Gov. Pat Quinn. I phoned Mark Miller, executive director of IDNR, to ask who was paying for the sharpshooters. He wasn’t available, but the lady who took the call said she believed they were being paid by volunteers. She took a message for Mr. Miller to call me. He didn’t. The sharpshooter program seems to be embarrassing to the IDNR.

CWD in both deer and elk might be controlled through natural immunity to the prion (protein virus) that causes it. The infected deer die in about a year or two, time enough to produce offspring that could be immune and pass that immunity to the next generation. If so, nature may correct the problem in the same way descendants of European humans who survived the Black Plague passed on resistance to the disease to the next generations.

Thank you for writing a well-thought-out article.

William O’Leary

From the April 18-24, 2012, issue

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