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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Pesticides 101. If you see them eat pesticides, then you know they have eaten them. This method of discerning this is the simplest, as it does not require any "special" powers.

We'll start with a picture from a few hours ago.


Nice symmetry! They love to feed in those treated power line right of ways, note the treated and defoliated trees in the background. Did you know the same gene that governs under bites, is also responsible for left/right fore/aft symmetry?

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Another two from a few hours ago.




These guys just fed on the side of a treated roadway. Again nice symmetry huh?. That left antler is actually sporting velvet from last year. Note the large "cactus" base. He has an under bite as well, but I did not get a pic with the bad light.
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From a few days ago


This doe is picking around through this grass specifically targeting something, but what?



Oh, I should have known.
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From last night


This grouse ^ was feeding a few feet from here, on the side of the road.



Right here ^ were the vegetation has been sprayed with herbicides.
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Another from a few hours ago


Orphaned dizzy skunks like to roll in the treated stuff. Eat it? I don't know, but this guy was in the same place doing the same thing 24 hours earlier.
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From a week ago


These guys are feeding on a treated pipeline right of way, headed to a mag-chloride lick. The guy on the right has some interesting junk, and his G1s point the wrong way. He has a white ear tag from Hardware, which might explain some of this that I saw last winter http://westernwildlifeecology.org/service/31-hardware-ranch-ut/
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From a few hours ago


This year the elk have been loving the treated power line right of ways. They especially love the spot treated stuff. We know they like aspens, but aspens with Garlon, mmmmmmm! who wants more?
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From last week.


This raggedy deer only has a few inches of growth, is stiff legged, and has a severe cough. And yes, he is feeding on a power line right of way.
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From a week ago
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Very young deer with some nice growth, which is good right? Except that he is feeding on a treated roadside and his testicles are either partially undescended, or atrophied. Well, that explains the growth. When he does not breed they will probably have an explanation like "he's saving it up for a better time".
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And that's how you know if they have been exposed to pesticides, no surveys, or special powers needed. Just sixth grade observational life science.

And we did not even cover porcupines and rabbits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
More Pesticides

From last night:




More nice symmetry right? This one was just feeding on treated vegetation on the roadside.

So Why does symmetry matter? What is important here is that this lack of symmetry is not isolated. It is part of a pattern of a group of deer, that all frequent the same stretch of highway.

Here is what brings us to this pattern:

The deer, moose, elk, sheep, antelope, rabbits, etc. eat pesticides, which starts a chain reaction. One of the biological affects of ingestion of particular herbicides along this road is a condition called metabolic acidosis. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/safety/healthcare/handbook/Chap09.pdf This condition causes a lot of things, one of which is the disruption of thyroid: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9176376

This disruption of the thyroid then affects the signalling of a molecule called Sonic Hedgehog gene: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_hedgehog

Sonic hedge hog is governed by thyroid function, and in turn governs cranial-facial development, incisor development, limb development, and left/right and fore/aft developmental morphogenesis. It reads and implements the DNA blue print. The accuracy of this being governed by other forces like the thyroid.

So in the real world, in the field, this can play out as under bites as well as antler abnormalities.

Another from last night, and a few nights before:




This one does not like to cooperate for the camera. But I always know where to find him. He is usually not far from his magnesium lick.

One of his Mag licks:


Another deer on a mag lick last night:


So what does deer licking magnesium out of the dirt have to do with pesticide exposure?

It comes back to the metabolic acidosis induced by the herbicides the deer have been eating. The metabolic acidosis causes renal magnesium wasting, and induces hypomagnesemia. Magnesium is an alkaline cation, which has been shown to reverse the affects of metabolic acidosis: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/2038394-overview

So by eating the magnesium, the deer are both replacing the lost magnesium, and mitigating the affects of their herbicide exposure. This could explain why some deer and antelope seem to target high alkaline plants, with no apparent side affects.

Apparently not all deer know about their need for magnesium, so UDOT has launched a new public awareness campaign to let more effected deer know about the benefits of alkaline cations.





And even more good news, UDWR is conducting a study of collared deer in the area, so they should have this figured out pretty quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And we did not even get to cover the implications this has on Buck to doe ratios......
 

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This is actually intriguing and fascinating. I would definitely like to learn more. I have four bucks in my back yard that (urban deer) that likely are exposed to a broad range of herbicides and pesticides and while fun to see and watch they too are largely non symmetrical. I have pics but they are not the best.

Cheddar
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think you should shoot the uncooperative nag licker buck. He looks pretty good.-----SS
He is real nice, but not in my unit. If I put in the kind of time scouting I do on these units, on the unit I drew, I would probably do a lot better come October.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I need to hunt powerline area's from now on!
Get on it while you can. I was talking to some guys recently that hunted a Northern Utah pipeline for elk back in the late '80s and early '90s. They used the right of way to get to places they could not before, a few years after it was built, the elk and deer were all over it, jacked up antlers and all. They said it was awesome..........until it crashed, everywhere.

For those that were out in the field from ~'89-'94 you know what I'm talking about when it comes to deformed antlers and cactus bucks. They were all over many places, along with the higher buck to doe ratios.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is actually intriguing and fascinating. I would definitely like to learn more. I have four bucks in my back yard that (urban deer) that likely are exposed to a broad range of herbicides and pesticides and while fun to see and watch they too are largely non symmetrical. I have pics but they are not the best.

Cheddar
Submit those pictures here: http://westernwildlifeecology.org/service/photo-contest/ We gave away over $2000 in gear for last years submissions.

Depending on where, and what they look like, it would be interesting to see if they are drawn to magnesium. So far the draw to mag appears to only be associated with herbicide exposure. Not all deer are interested in it, it tastes nasty and bitter, and leaves an almost burning sensation. Yes I ate some. Deer that are exposed on road sides will have a ready supply, because the roads that get sprayed with herbicides, also get sprayed with magnesium chloride in the winter. This is of course not the case with a lot of other avenues of exposure.

PM me if you want some mag-chloride to put out. You have to mix it into some soil, or let it "melt" in for awhile before the deer can really utilize it. If you just put it out in a pile, they will go for it, but it is too strong straight, and they can't really eat it. Once it is diluted down some, they will start to eat the dirt with the mag in it.



That's what is going on in this picture^. That spot had magnesium chloride applied to it about 2 weeks ago by me. Now deer are pawing at it and eating the mag coated dirt.

In my testing last year, I used magnesium chloride that was from the Great Salt Lake, which is where UDOT would be getting theirs as well. A researcher in Wyoming tested several of these road side licks in other states(their mag would come from the GSL as well), and found high concentrations of selenium. The GSL has high levels of selenium, so it was proposed that it was selenium they were after, not magnesium. This is surely part of it, but this year I sourced magnesium chloride form the Dead Sea, which has much lower levels of selenium because of the form and processing, and the results are the same. I also created "virgin" licks with this mag, to further demonstrate the draw is for magnesium, and not other minerals. Deer will preferentially go for selenium salt as well, but this demonstrates a separate and unique draw to magnesium, not documented or recognized before now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm no photographer, and my camera does not like shooting at dusk, but here is some more.

More Asymmetry. Left side is folding in at the top. from a week or so ago.


This one is coming off of a magnesium lick. I watched him eat treated vegetation at the same place moose were drawn to last year. Taken about 2 weeks ago.


The tree in the background^ just to the right of the sign in the picture, is the same treated tree the moose below was feeding on last year.


This one is on a magnesium lick, just off of a pipeline right of way. A week or so ago.


He has all the makings to end up looking like the right side of the one below. Which came off a mountain with massive habitat treatments on either side of it.


I still have thousands of trail camera pictures from last year that I have not looked at closely. Here is one that we just found from last year. We were not looking at antlers so much as we were counting hits on magnesium verses salt. He has a misplaced pedicle and severely deformed antler. The white pile is mag-chloride, this is before I knew it was too strong when its straight.


The one below has big "cactus" bases with very small protrusions coming through them.
 

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Last year on the Beaver we camped to scout for my wifes Mt Goat hunt. There were a crazy number of mis-shapen bucks like this running around, like over 1 dozen within a mile or so of our camp that I could see. All goofy 1x2's.

There is NO powerlines, herbicides, pesticides in use anywhere near that area where we were.


-DallanC
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Last year on the Beaver we camped to scout for my wifes Mt Goat hunt. There were a crazy number of mis-shapen bucks like this running around, like over 1 dozen within a mile or so of our camp that I could see. All goofy 1x2's.

There is NO powerlines, herbicides, pesticides in use anywhere near that area where we were.

-DallanC
Dallen, there is herbicides being used, you just have to know what to look for. It does not need to be power line right of ways, or pipeline right of ways, or highways. It can be fires, and "habitat improvements" of both sage brush or cedars.

In the case of fires, there are a lot of herbicides that are used on areas after they burn. Because just like in the case of chaining off sage brush, or juniper, you get increased growth of grasses and forbs after these disturbances, which includes "weeds" and invasive plants.

There was a "habitat improvement" just East of Beaver between 2011 and 2014. The area surely would have had herbicides used at some point after the treatment. Especially if they were targeting cheat grass as well.

Here is the before(2011) and after (2014) This one was done once in the past as well. I added a picture of what it looked like in 1993, it was probably done a few years before that.






Here are more "habitat improvements" just outside of Circleville. around 2006




Another one near Circleville between 2011 and 2014




And then we had a large fire in the heart of the Tushars in ~2010




The entire range is ringed with habitat disturbances, and a burn area, that all tend to involve the use of large amounts of herbicides. These are just a few examples. I can take you to just about anywhere in the Western United States and show you an increase in this since about 2011. The last time this was happening on this scale was in the late 1980s, and early 1990s, when we saw all the same things, just before everything crashed.

In the case of young deer like you are seeing, it is probably congenital, meaning they were born with it. So you would need to look to the mothers, and where they winter, and what they eat. What you are describing is classic developmental disruption tied to thyroid function. Antler development is epigenetic meaning that it is influenced by external forces. Good habitat and feed gets you nice large symmetrical bucks, chemical disruption of development gets you what you were seeing. So if its not herbicides disrupting their development, what is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
WHERE'S THIS AT??
Just about everywhere. Most of the photos of deer and elk in this thread are in Weber, Morgan, Cache, and Rich counties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Another example: Bighorn sheep were transplanted to the Pilot Peak range on the Utah-Nevada border. Once the herd reached a certain size a tag was allocated every other year to Utah and Nevada. Utah would get it one year, Nevada the next. In 2013 it was decided that the herd was large enough to allow a tag every year to Utah and Nevada. But before that could be done the hunt was pulled entirely, because the sheep had come down with pneumonia, and were in decline.

Below are pictures of a fire that occurred between 2011 and 2013 on the Pilot peak range.




I can show you places where the bighorns decline, and/or come down with pnuemonia every time their winter range is treated with herbicides.

Probably just a coincidence right?

I always hear people complain about point creep, what do you think this does to point creep? How do moose odds look lately?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Its funny how outraged hunters get when a guy poaches one elk, or a lion kills a few deer. But when an entire ecosystem is collapsed and their hunting gets cut to nothing, and someone points out what happened, and what is happening again, that brought on that theft of their hunting heritage and future, the response is quite different.

I guess it is easier to complain with righteous indignation about things that you will never have to give any real thought, responsibility, or action to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK, maybe I'm wrong about the fire on the Pilot Peak range. It may be all the sage brush removal. Or I guess it could be both?

2011


2013
 

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What method did you use to rule out any one of the several dozen possibilities for these perceived deformities and determine that is was solely because of herbicide ingestion?
 

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Lost do you think that pesticides / herbicides could possibly be a benefit? Do unknown carcinogens mean that cigarettes should be smoked until the cause and affect of every known carcinogen is proven beyond refute?

You go eat some of the crap being used and see how it affects you. Maybe your teeth will fall out and your testicles will rescind while leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.

Wait a minute..............have you been eating the same shrubs already?:shock:
 

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Lost do you think that pesticides / herbicides could possibly be a benefit? Do unknown carcinogens mean that cigarettes should be smoked until the cause and affect of every known carcinogen is proven beyond refute?

You go eat some of the crap being used and see how it affects you. Maybe your teeth will fall out and your testicles will rescind while leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.

Wait a minute..............have you been eating the same shrubs already?:shock:
Instead of attacking me just simply answer the question, is that too much to ask? After all I did already debunk the Glyphosate-Avian Cholera connection with ACTUAL scientifically FACTUAL evidence. Conjecture doesn't pass scientific methods but feel free to flame away.
 
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