They also blended it in with antlerless tags instead of the two ways the program was administered before.
When the CWD program started, it was by permit only. One had to apply for the permit and report results, positive (kill) or negative (did not kill). The advantage was that the deer could be taken the first week of the regular season, while those with doe tags had to wait until the first Saturday . It stayed that way for a few years.
Then it changed to become part of the DMAP program, but the permit could be bought over the counter when purchasing a license (limit of two) and not have to be applied for separately. Same reporting criteria — had to report or not be permitted to get one next year. Same deal with starting early.
This year it was rolled into the antlerless program by upping, in most cases, but not all, the doe tag allocation (my area actually went down, I believe, which is odd since this was an area marked for bait and slaughter). They fun part was that the meeting to change the program was held after licenses went on sale, so many, including the sellers, were surprised when the permits, that had their areas outlined in the digest, could not be bought over the counter as expected. The meeting and subsequent results were not known for weeks after license went on sale.
There were many reasons given for the delay in changing the program, none of which were very satisfactory. The theory floating in these parts, where a lot of the action was happening is that when the complete data provided under the first two steps of the program were analyzed, which contained a more realistic picture of the deer kill because it was almost 100% reported, positive and negative, the kill numbers didn’t come anywhere near matching those produced by the formulas used for decades to estimate the kill and having that data in the public forum was going to raise a lot of questions about the accuracy of their kill estimates.
Further, the number of deer confirmed with CWD was nowhere near what they projected. Some of their numbers were based on WCO anecdotal information, such as a WCO claiming to put down three CWD deer, but those deer were never tested, just his word that they were acting like they had it. Further, area landowners told them that they could not bait and slaughter on their property. They also told the PGC that they didn’t really appreciate selling the permits then involving the landowners in fielding whether they were going to let hunters on their property.
I had more than a dozen people stop and ask last year and zero this year since it was now just part of the doe tag program. None of my neighbors were approached either. In addition, no one I know was contacted by the PGC about baiting or slaughtering. Maybe they gave up.
They still have collection bibs around and processors still have to keep CWD parts and must landfill them after the GC collects the samples, but there haven’t been any published or anecdotal reports.
The poster formally known as Duncsdad
Everything I say can be fully substantiated by my own opinion.