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Worming Deer

Scott

Active Member
Just curious if anyone ever puts out a dewormer for deer. Seems like a logical way to increase body size and eventually horn size. If you could kill off the worms and parasites, seems like you could help the deer population. I was thinking a Ivermectin Cattle wormer might be effective. Just an idea.
 

Shredder

Life Member
Ivomec feed additive would be a start scott...if they still make it for hogs. We did that on a missouri farm and did not see in results but I am sure it would help
 

bjkpharmd

New Member
I can understand the reason for the question & could see that deer may use a block in the cattle yard or pasture but if you put it out for the sole purpose of deer use- would it be legal? Seems completely different than feeding to me. You could in theory put out steroids or other growth hormones with an eye towards changing your local herd. Of course- I've ignored the problems with dosage delivery in a feed versus an injection for now- just a theory.
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
[ QUOTE ]
if you put it out for the sole purpose of deer use- would it be legal?

[/ QUOTE ]
My interpretation of the law is that it would be legal as long as you don't hunt over the block. But then comes the tricky question of how far away do you have to be? If a trail goes to the block can you hunt it 100 yards away? 500?
I know of a situation where two properties meet. One landowner has a salt lick established for deer watching. The other neighbor has a tree blind set up on a trail headed to the lick, and it can't be more than 300 yards out. I'm sure the hunter would claim ignorance of the salt lick and he truely might be. Should he get a certified letter informing him of the lick? Is he far enough away? Does the fact that he has no control over the lick remove any question of ethics?
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
To be effective, the deer should get an appropriate dose. I don't think one could be certain that each deer would eat the correct amount. I would offer that continous low dose of dewormer could select for a strain of worms that is resistant or immune to the medication. Might not seem to be a huge issue, but if the parasite can also infect domestic animals, then we could have a problem. Something akin to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
Ivermectin is a wonder drug. It has been used in humans, I have used it to worm dogs and horses, and it can be used for cattle (not sure about hogs). If I remember correctly, it somehow interupts the life cycle of the worm, interferring with the production of eggs or small worms. I'd hate to create the super worm that was Ivermectin tolerant.
Also, there is an ongoing study at the University of Iowa where they have found that the digestive tract has coexisted for so long with parasites that it has almost developed a symbiotic relationship. The deer have been plagued by worms for so long that if we worm them, maybe they will develop the human version of "irritable bowel syndrome", the disease where patients have been shown to benefit from worms.
 
K

Kat

Guest
That’s what I was thinking, JNR. You could end up weakening the deer in the long run.
 

Shredder

Life Member
ALthough some parasites may have a sybiotic relationship with the deer, the pathogenic ones are far more detrimental. I honestly do not think there is a real problem with parasites as wild animals tend to be resistant to or just die from them....Animals that die would tend to be unhealthy anyways from other causes. Like I posted above, I did not see a great benefit from it when I did it in the past. As far as resistance, I use Ivermectin or a next generation family drug everyday (moxidectin, milbemycine oxime, or doramectin) There is resistance to the drugs by some parasites but is unavoidable and inevitable that it happens...it does with every drug.
 

Scott

Active Member
Like I said, just an idea. Im glad some people actually put some thought into it. Thanks for your feedback. Keep the oppinions coming.
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
To improve the health of the deer herd, I would suggest some type of mineral supplement. My wife and I have horses and we set out trace mineral salt blocks for them. I don't know whether the deer visit the block, but I know they paw the ground and eat the dirt where a block used to sit. I have had them paw and eat a two foot hole in the ground. This leads me to believe they are really craving either the salt or the minerals. I think you can buy the powder form of this instead of the block. I read once that you can take a spade and turn this mix into the soil to create a "natural" mineral/salt lick. For the most part, deer in Iowa can find adequate food. Minerals and salt might be another story.

Didn't want to leave this thread on a down note.
 

Ogz

Life Member
I know in Africa that chemicals are used to help keep down ticks on the animals. When the animal walks into a water hole, it trips a pressure sensor on the ground and gets sprayed with the chemical. You would think that this would drive the game away, but they get used to it and eventually don't pay any attention to it. Pretty remarkable.
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
After my "mineral lick" post, I wondered about the hazards of concentrating deer at one site. We had a EHD (epizotic hemmoraghic disease) outbreak in south east Iowa a few years back due to deer concentrating near water holes during a dry spell. There were midges that transmitted the virus from deer to deer in such a situation. Maybe we are better off not concentrating the deer in high numbers?
 
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