Bird Flu And The 2006/2007 Waterfowl Season

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Bird Flu And The 2006/2007 Waterfowl Season

Postby Swamp Puppy » Sun Feb 19, 2006 7:25 pm

Nasty rumors abound that the "powers that be" are considering cancelling the 06/07 season to help prevent the possible spread of bird flu.

in a nut shell, the theory is that by keeping us from hunting waterfowl they will somehow prevent bird flu from rearing its ugly head on the west coast of the USA. Migratory waterfowl from alaska sometimes co-mingle with birds on the asian continent..then migrate down the pacific flyway through WA, OR and CA. in theory, they make a decent, however painful to hunters, point.

but here are my problems with this theory.

1) H5N1 (the virus responsible for avian flu) has yet to be shown to transfer from human to human. it is the threat of it's mutation that is the real problem. if and when it does mutate, it will spread rapidly enough through person to person contact to make any restrictions on waterfowling be moot at best. The scare tactics involving "What If" are being used to toute a possible pandemic...not the possiblity itself.

2) In almost every instance of human contraction of H5N1, domestic fowl is to blame. ie: humans working closely with poultry in unsanitary conditions. I don't believe that there is a single documented case of a human coming down with Avian Flu from contact with a wild bird. not that it COULDN'T happen...it just hasn't yet that i am aware of.

3) Studies have shown that the spread of H5N1 follows major trade routes for commercial sales and trade of domestic fowl. ie: one country sells infected chickens to another. hence the spread to that area. While migration routes are certainly a possible avenue for spread, thusfar it appears that international sales and distribution is more to blame.

4) What is the real risk? In the USA there is very little interaction between migratory fowl and domestic fowl. by "domestic" i am referring to farm rasied birds for distribution on a large scale. (Not grandmas 2 pet ducks out on the pond.) The real risk, according to experts, is minimal at best for a large scale outbreak in the states.

5) Consider the source. Liberal rags such as the Daily Fish Wrapper (aka "The Oregonian") are touting the scare and singing the possibilities of a waterfowl season closure in the best interest of public health. Bill Monroe's recent article alluding to such a possibility was nothing more than paragraph after paragraph of catch phrases and sensationalisms ment to scare the uneducated into believing that if we have a waterfowl hunting season, we were all going to die of Avian Flu. (like the birds aren't coming here anyway...) While Bill certainly seems to be on the side of the sportsman, his recent articles and ideas for management leave me wondering whose side he is really on. Sporstmen Beware. If enough "regular joes" get freaked out about the idea that waterfowling=massive human deaths. guess who gets to sit at home next year while the anti's are throwing a party? Journalism such as this has no purpose aside from frightening people who have no interests in anything other that what the media tells them to be interested in. unfortunately, most of these people vote.

I am not minimalizing the risks and possiblities of the dangers that H5N1 poses if it were to mutate into a strain that is capable of be contracted through human/human contact. Just please be aware that there are people out there who will jump at any opportunity to take away our rights and recreation simply because they have contrary beliefs. use your head and get the facts.

Closing the waterfowl season next year, or any year, will have little or no impact whatsoever on the possibilities of an H5N1 outbreak. If it mutates into a human/human strain, then anything short of a complete halt on all international travel isn't going to prevent it's spread to our shores.
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Postby tstrong » Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:32 am

Then it ought to be up to us hunters to bring in as many waterfowl as possible for testing. If they can have a woman pea on a stick and in 5 minutes tell weather or not she's pregnant they can develope a stick to test the blood of waterfowl. I've been following this and waiting for news of the possible cancellation this year.
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Postby Swamp Puppy » Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:03 pm

huh...good idea. i hadn't thought of that angle.
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Postby Trois_beaux_canards » Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:21 pm

While I would be quite sad and angry to lose a season to this threat, it seems to be a frightneing possibility. Frankly, I think they have a chicken little complex if they insist on closing the season due to a possible outbreak.
Do they think the birds will not migrate if there are no guns shooting at them?
The idea of in the field tests, or a game registration station similar to those used for larger game is a good idea. However I worry about the liability thye may face if they asked the hunter to do such tests on thier own. Accuracy of these tests would be an issue, as well as the risk of someone who handled a contagious bird and becoming infected. I am aware that this in the field testing is merely an idea (and a good one tstrong), like you said after all, they can test a womans urine for pregnancy and officers can test for some drugs in the field, why can't we test a bird?
I'd like to hear more of the developments on this issue, and of course I hope it doesnt' come true.
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Postby Oregon Honker » Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:24 pm

Where are you hearing this from I just looked at ODFW and their is no talk of it and ill do all i can to help stop it

take my Deer,Elk hunting but ill fight for my water fowl :pissed:
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Postby Swamp Puppy » Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:52 pm

Bill Monroe wrote of it in last weeks Oregonian. There has been more rumblings, bits and pieces, floating around. More discussion is supposed to happen at the pacific flyway council meeting in march.
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Postby Oregon Honker » Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:43 pm

hey isint that the guy that wrote about the coulmbia basin being such a good place to hunt waterfowl a few years back!!!
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Postby Swamp Puppy » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:04 pm

yeah, he is the outdoor columnist for The Oregonian. but the tone of his articles lately has me wondering what side he is really on.
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Postby Oregon Honker » Sat Mar 04, 2006 7:44 am

I would like to meet this man in person. I hunted up here 10 years ago and their was little pressure in eastern OR and now you might as well have half of the people in the valley up here during season.This guy also wrote an artical about Pheasent hunting awile back and i talked to a guy hunting for them and he told me he drove from portland to Irrigon Refuge
to kill wild birds. I really had to laugh thier is a youth hunt every year in that refuge and they turn over a hundred birds out every year "pen raised birds" so i guess in my opinion this guy just wants to rune your favorite hunting spot so if i were you id run if you see this reporter comming or you'll have 1000's hunting right next to you :thumbsup: :laughing:
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Postby bilwilcil » Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:44 pm

I found this at www.wildlifedepartment.com

Migratory bird hunters need not fear “bird flu” (11/10/05)

Although the spread of avian flu has health officials around the world concerned, Oklahoma bird hunters have little to worry about according to officials with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the Oklahoma Department of Health.

“The ‘bird flu’ being talked about on TV hasn’t been found in North America and there’s never been a case of a migratory bird hunter contracting the disease from a duck or goose,” said Dr. Kristy Bradley with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

According to Dr. Bradley, birds have been carriers of a variety of relatively harmless flu strains for centuries. However, a particularly potent strain of bird flu, called H5N1, emerged in domestic poultry and wild birds in Asia eight years ago. This H5N1 strain is substantially different from other types of bird flu and has caused illness and deaths in Asia. There has been no evidence that the disease has ever been spread by person-to-person contact, or by eating game birds such as dove, ducks or quail.

“There has never been a single documented case of the H5N1 avian influenza virus being transmitted from a migratory bird to a human. And at this time, there is no indication that any wild birds found in Oklahoma, or in all of North America, are infected with the H5N1 virus,” said Mike O’Meilia, migratory game bird biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Waterfowl hunters concerns for personal health and safety would be better directed at planning their safe land and water travel on their next hunt.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center are diligently monitoring migratory birds in Alaska, one of the most likely points for the disease to enter into North America. To date, thousands of waterfowl and shorebird samples from Alaska have been analyzed, and no evidence of the H5N1 avian flu has been discovered.

Bradley advised hunters to take the normal safety steps when preparing meat.

“It doesn’t matter if you are handling chicken, hamburger or wild game, you should take a few basic precautions such as washing your hands and cooking the meat thoroughly,” Dr. Bradley said.

For more information on avian flu, check out the State Health Department's Web site at www.health.state.ok.us or the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center’s Web page at http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/research/avian ... uenza.html.

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Postby tstrong » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:38 pm

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