The Impact of Drought, CWD, and EHD

Show Notes

John Hudspeth discusses hunting in Oklahoma and Texas, including the recent increase in non-resident hunting prices in Oklahoma. He also talks about the challenges of hunting with a young child and the impact of weather conditions on deer populations. The conversation then shifts to the topic of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and Oklahoma's plan to release captive deer that are deemed CWD-resistant into the wild. The conversation revolves around Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and the proposed plan in Oklahoma to release deer that are resistant to CWD. The hosts discuss the ethics of charging people for these deer and whether it should be done for the greater good instead of for profit. They also question the effectiveness of using captive deer to solve the CWD problem and express concerns about the potential impact on the genetics of the deer population. The conversation touches on other topics such as the prevalence of CWD in Oklahoma, the lack of testing facilities, and the potential effects of agricultural chemicals on deer and the environment.


  • Non-resident hunting prices in Oklahoma have increased, making it less affordable for out-of-state hunters.
  • Hunting with a young child can be challenging, requiring shorter trips and more strategic planning.
  • Weather conditions, such as droughts, can impact deer populations and antler growth.
  • Oklahoma has a plan to release captive deer that are deemed CWD-resistant into the wild to combat chronic wasting disease. The plan to release deer resistant to CWD in Oklahoma raises ethical questions about charging people for these deer and whether it should be done for the greater good instead of for profit.
  • Using captive deer to solve the CWD problem raises concerns about the potential impact on the genetics of the deer population.
  • There is a lack of testing facilities for CWD in Oklahoma, which hinders accurate data collection and understanding of the extent of the problem.
  • The potential effects of agricultural chemicals on deer and the environment are a cause for concern and warrant further investigation.

Show Transcript

Dan Johnson (00:01.07)
My man, all the way from, well, I can't really say Oklahoma anymore because don't you live in Texas?

John Hudspeth (00:06.326)
I Do I just recently moved back to Texas we were my wife and I were able to buy some land from my mom's side of the family and So yeah, we're just I mean 20 miles south of the Red River right on the Oklahoma, Texas border

Dan Johnson (00:24.192)
Gotcha. So you're still hunting Oklahoma and you're hunting Texas.

John Hudspeth (00:27.958)
Mm -hmm Correct. Yeah, you know, we still have all our land and everything in Oklahoma And I've got some buddies I get time with here in Texas

Dan Johnson (00:33.55)

Gotcha. So do you have to pay non -resident Oklahoma prices now?

John Hudspeth (00:41.91)
Yes and no, so I bought a lifetime license I mean, you know years ago and I still lived up there and so I'm grandfathered in And so there were a couple things that weren't included with that before but they actually this year Oklahoma is Restructuring all their license stuff and a bunch of that stuff was actually now included So like before like the bear tag the bear tag was not included in the lifetime license, but now it is so Yeah, so I'm pretty much covered

Dan Johnson (00:46.126)
Okay, okay.

Dan Johnson (00:58.351)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (01:07.374)

Gotcha. Cause if I want to go hunt, you know, I think we talked about this one the last times that we were chatting about how affordable it is to hunt Oklahoma because you can get, it was like 300 bucks and you can get two buck tags and three dough tags.

John Hudspeth (01:19.605)

Mm -hmm.

Right, yeah that is no longer. As of I believe next month is when it takes effect. They bumped it up to where it's now I believe $700. So it's I think the tags are $500 and then the non -resident license is like $205. And before that $300 that included your license as well as all your tags and now they're separating them out. So yeah it more than doubled.

Dan Johnson (01:27.792)
Yeah, exactly.

Dan Johnson (01:48.272)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Was there any rumors or vibes around why they did that?

John Hudspeth (01:59.031)
yeah. residents had been complaining about it for years. just, yeah. you know, all the other States were going up. you know, every state around us was going up. Oklahoma was becoming more popular, just social media and stuff. Word was kind of getting out. And then, yeah, like you said, you know, non -residents could come here for 300 bucks and with the archery license, you could kill six deer. and so it, it wasn't, honestly, I don't think a lot of it was just the price.

Dan Johnson (02:02.863)
There you go.

John Hudspeth (02:28.598)
I think a lot of it was just so many other states were moving to limiting non -residents. Nebraska a couple years ago, I know South Dakota a couple years ago. So Oklahoma was just one of the last over the counter type states and then you add in how cheap it was and I mean it was just starting to kind of get out of hand. So they had to do something and so yeah, they raised the prices.

Dan Johnson (02:52.241)
Hey man, good for Oklahoma. Yeah, man, and this is the trend. I mean, this is the thing now. I mean, no matter where you go, people in Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, what's some of the other states? Colorado now? I mean, it's basically...

John Hudspeth (02:53.942)
Yeah, honestly, it was needed.

John Hudspeth (03:14.039)
Mm -hmm. Yep. What the hell?

Dan Johnson (03:19.729)
And I had my last podcast episode was 100 % about this. Residents are complaining because their hunting experience is going down. And they're looking for someone to, I guess, blame for it. And the easiest person to blame for it is the non -resident. And so that's why they're changing it. Now, in Oklahoma's case, man.

Look around. I mean, there's some other, I think, I'm not 100 % sure of the rules, but I think in Missouri, non -residents can kill two deer. In Nebraska, non -residents can kill two deer, although that second tag is pretty expensive. I think in Illinois, I think it used to be, I'm not sure if it is anymore, but like, okay, I get raising the prices, but change the structure for a non -resident. Like, you don't need to be offering non -residents

John Hudspeth (03:57.462)
I believe so.

Dan Johnson (04:17.841)
two bucks and three tags. That's the way I look at it, three dough tags.

John Hudspeth (04:22.904)
Yeah, that's that's I wouldn't be surprised if something happens with that in the near future because that's a big complaint and I'll be honest. Yeah, I've done a lot of research on this. I had the head of our DNR on a couple of years ago and kind of like you said, somebody's always looking for somebody to blame. When I, when I had him on, he told me the number of people, residents and non -residents that actually fill both book tags is less than 10%. I want to say it was like six or 7%, something like that.

Dan Johnson (04:49.842)

John Hudspeth (04:53.015)
But there is the you know, there is the opportunity and a lot of you know a lot of residents complaint Is that because you have that second tag the first one's like, okay Well, whatever whatever you see like, you know, we don't have antler point restrictions or anything like that people drop You know, they may have driven a thousand miles to get here And so they're gonna be a lot more willing to shoot a smaller buck because they're once I get something You know, then I'll save that second tag for my trophy and I'll hunt hard on that one

I don't think that actually plays out in reality very often, but yes, it can happen.

Dan Johnson (05:27.827)
Yeah, I agree 100%, 100%. Okay, now, how has things changed for you? I know it's not too terribly far of a drive. How far is it from where you live now to your farm in, okay. Okay.

John Hudspeth (05:45.334)
About two hours.

Dan Johnson (05:48.947)
So with that said, like it's still two hours. I know you got a baby in the house, right? And so things have changed, right? Now you got one kid or two kid, just one. Okay, that's right. So a two year old, still a very young child. And so how has that affected you even driving two hours north to go hunt?

John Hudspeth (05:55.349)
Mm -hmm.

John Hudspeth (06:00.118)
Just one, she'll turn two next week.

John Hudspeth (06:15.509)
You know, it's funny. I've talked about that a little bit on my show. This year was actually probably more difficult than last year when she was a newborn because even though, you know, I don't know how to know how you could argue that they still need to, you know, surveillance 100 % of the time, but that newborn, you know, you can kind of, you can lay them down and their little bouncy thing and they're content, give them a bottle and you know, they may stay there for an hour to kind of let you do stuff.

Dan Johnson (06:33.938)

Dan Johnson (06:43.251)
Yep. Yep.

John Hudspeth (06:44.373)
So when I was gone, it wasn't that hard on my wife because she could still do things around the house or relax whatever now We got this little dinosaur terror. It's so So, you know, it's just it's much harder on her when I'm away And so it has made it more difficult. I found myself You know instead of going for like the weekend. It's more like a one -night thing, you know get off work on Friday

Hopefully maybe get to hunt Friday evening, spend the night, hunt Saturday, come home Saturday night instead of, you know, doing the full like Friday to Sunday. so it's cut down a little bit. but it has, it's also, it's, it's probably made me a smarter hunter because I don't have as much opportunity. and so I found myself, you know, even if I had the ability to maybe go hunting one weekend, if I knew it wasn't going to be that great, I'd kind of save those Brownie points. You gotta look at the

Dan Johnson (07:20.276)
Mm -hmm.

John Hudspeth (07:40.756)
10 day forecast. It's like, all right, next weekend's looking better. I'm going to stay home, help the wife out this weekend, and I'm going to go next week when the weather's better.

Dan Johnson (07:49.88)
Right, right. Yeah, that makes sense, man. That makes sense. I'm to the point now where...

I mean, because the last couple of falls, I've really been active in my kids' sports. And now they're getting to an age where they, where I guess I would say they are surpassing my knowledge of the sport. So like, I can teach my kids grounders and pop flies, right? And I can do that all day long, that's great. But once you start getting out of that, then my experience or...

John Hudspeth (08:14.899)

Dan Johnson (08:24.917)
my expertise kind of fades away and they need someone who's like a coach that's more experienced, especially in like wrestling and soccer, definitely dance. Definitely, yeah. Yeah, you give me a couple of drinks and I'll be on the dance floor. But, so like this fall, my son's gonna be playing football, but I don't, like I want to coach, but I think they already have enough coaches for him.

John Hudspeth (08:30.546)
Mm -hmm.

John Hudspeth (08:37.171)
Come on Dan, get out there.

Dan Johnson (08:53.365)
which means that I'm not gonna necessarily be involved in the activity, basically just getting them there. And so I think that this fall, I got an extra hunt this year, because I drew South Dakota and Kansas. And so I'm really looking forward to this fall, because I think my schedule is gonna be a little more open, because I haven't basically scheduled myself as any type of coach thus far.

John Hudspeth (09:08.113)

John Hudspeth (09:21.778)
Yeah, yeah, I mean, obviously family is important. That's that's gonna be my number one priority all the time. But it is it's just you think back to, you know, five, 10 years ago and how you used to hunt compared to now. It's it's definitely it's definitely different definitely changes. But but hey, that's that stuff is fun too, for sure.

Dan Johnson (09:34.101)

Heck yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. All right. So Oklahoma, are you guys in a, have you guys had a lack, like a lack of rain the last couple years?

John Hudspeth (09:53.426)
Yes, and no we've had if you look at our rain total we have not been behind But we've just gotten it differently the last two or three years so we have had a ton of Spring rains and then about right now. It's happening right now. It's looking like we're in the same pattern. It just shuts off So this is probably again. I there's no rain in the forecast and I think starting Saturday every day past that is over 100

Dan Johnson (10:00.053)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (10:13.781)
Mm -hmm.

John Hudspeth (10:21.107)
With you know, no rain in the forecast whatsoever. So it's looking like there's gonna be year three and so it hasn't really affected Deer and antler growth because we keep having these really wet springs I mean, there's just vegetation everywhere good fawning habitat and all that stuff But then like I said about right now, it's been shutting off. And so, you know last year I had some awesome soybean plots is the first time ever like really really tried to have a good spring plot had soybeans just

Dan Johnson (10:35.509)
Mm -hmm.

John Hudspeth (10:50.802)
Beautiful I mean looked like you know the front of the bag like what you dream of and then like I said about now that water just shut off and the deer hammered them I mean it was still effective like I wouldn't call them a failure But the deer started hammering them the rain shut off and just you know There's no way they made it to deer season you I had to completely replant all of them for with a fall plot Which is not a bad thing. I mean that's important to you But it was kind of sad. I was dreaming. I was dreaming of Iowa. I was dreaming of having these awesome

Dan Johnson (10:54.1)
Yep, yep.

Dan Johnson (11:07.316)

Dan Johnson (11:13.972)
Mm -hmm.

John Hudspeth (11:20.306)
Soybean fields, you know, I can't do corn because of the hogs. So that's just not in the cards But yeah, I was dreaming these awesome soybean plants and then it just cut off so I know you guys have been dry I went to I went tried to hunt Nebraska last year at my sister's place and I saw one deer the whole trip that might have been over two and a half years old I found I found several dead heads. I was talking to my

Dan Johnson (11:24.404)

John Hudspeth (11:49.65)
My sister's father -in -law, he's not a hunter, but I was asking him about like the drought and like it there's no doubt in my mind that they got hit really hard with EHD. In fact, I'm not even going this year. I'm going to go to Kansas instead just because I'm not sure it's worth my time. But I know it's been bad in a lot of places.

Dan Johnson (12:06.838)
Yeah, that's something that, so this spring has been fairly wet and we've gotten rain now. It's almost like Southern Iowa had just had a rainstorm two nights ago, a good one that moved through the entire lower half of the state. And then the Northeast corner tends to always get rain for some reason. But then you get the central part along the Interstate 80 corridor up into Northwest Iowa.

We've been pretty dry in this area the last couple of years to the point where, I don't know if it was last year or the year before, man, I think we went 90 plus days without rain at one point, starting in the June, like the early June timeframe, June, July, and maybe August. And maybe in there, there was some sprinkles, but nothing like recordable. And I'll tell you this, man, I don't like, unless you have a

a river bottom, river bottom ground where there is water moving through, even in the driest conditions where there's moving water. Dude, what I've gathered over the course of my, however many years I've been paying attention to deer, man, you want big antlers, if you want a big antlers, you got to get a spring and summer with consistent rain and they're coming out of maybe a mild winter.

John Hudspeth (13:36.081)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (13:36.182)
And dude, then that's when you start to see these antlers pop. Do you notice anything like that down in Oklahoma and Texas?

John Hudspeth (13:44.913)
Absolutely. antler growth down here is, is very much dependent on rain. And I'll say this, just kind of a different mindset, you know, for you guys and a lot of, a lot of places where the white tail live, winter is your hard time on deer down here. It's summer. Like we don't have, we don't, we don't have two feet of snow where deer having to paw for food or anything like that. you know, we have really dry.

Dan Johnson (14:03.829)
yeah, I believe that.

John Hudspeth (14:12.944)
You know, three months of a hundred plus degrees. so yeah, like rain is, is super important for us. And it was, I think it was two years ago. we, we were really, really dry. We didn't get quite as many spring rains. And I mean, it shut off and it shut off till like, I don't think it really started raining until the end of October. And actually talked about it on my podcast where like, I was afraid to hunt water.

Even though I knew that might be a good strategy and I knew that a lot of deer were using it, but I was like, man, like I'm afraid if I'm hunting what little bit of water there is on our place that I'm going to push all the deer away. And so even though I thought that was a good strategy, I laid off and I didn't hunt water because I wanted those deer to have somewhere safe to go and drink. And I was like, man, I'll kill them somewhere else.

Dan Johnson (15:00.277)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's, it's crazy and how, I wonder what affects deer more, like a cold, heavy snow type of winter or a dry, really hot type of summer, right? Especially down south where you guys don't get the snow. And so like here in Iowa, obviously if we get snow,

that can kind of carry over into the spring moisture, especially in vegetation and things like that. But I don't know.

John Hudspeth (15:37.966)
Man, I don't know either. Yeah, I think they're both probably hard on them, but I'll say this. I never, you know, I don't really, I don't hunt farm ground down here where we're at. We don't have much ag. Oklahoma in general has a decent amount of ag, but it's pretty spread out. But the first spring I went up to my sister's place in Nebraska to go turkey hunting. But yeah, I was really just going to scout for deer for the following fall. I was shocked at the lack of food and cover.

for those white tails. You know, it was like late April. All the fields had been harvested. Combines are so efficient now. They had had a really hard winter, lots of snow. And I was like, man, like, where, like how on earth are these deer surviving? So after seeing that, I would probably say winter's harder. Just in the summer, there's probably gonna be something to eat. They can find some kind of river bottom or something to get in and cool off. But man, like those really hard winters in farm country.

Dan Johnson (16:06.996)

Dan Johnson (16:15.908)

John Hudspeth (16:35.534)
Like those deer have to be hurting.

Dan Johnson (16:37.589)
Yeah, I'll tell you this, man. You wanna talk about, man, I can remember my main farm. This was several, several years ago. I'm gonna say maybe probably 10 now, but maybe even more. Anyway, the farmer's combine was old and I would walk through after he combined it and I'd be like, yeah, I got a food plot now, right? Like it left so much grain on the ground.

John Hudspeth (17:03.054)
huh, huh. Yup.

Dan Johnson (17:06.773)
And I was just like, now, I used to, even after shotgun season, they would come back because they'd have a food source. But then there was a time he got a brand new combine, or he got a newer kind, I don't know if it's brand new. But I walk after he picks, like that. There was one night where I got there as he was coming out of the field with full wagons and everything. I'm like, okay, yeah, food source now, baby.

I look on the field, nothing. Like not one kernel of corn I could find, not one little soybean the next year. And what did I see late season? Nothing. I mean, nothing was there.

John Hudspeth (17:52.078)
That's when you need to walk over to this green cart and crack that bottom door open just a smidge.

Dan Johnson (17:55.317)
Yeah. Yeah. Or, or right before, right before he just walk one row and push one row all the way over into it, into there. But that's where, that's where, for like me, I've never pulled the trigger on it yet, but I would love to like go, Hey man, what are you getting for a bushel? No, like what's it, what's your bushels per acre right now? And then see that.

John Hudspeth (18:05.358)
Mm -hmm. Yep. Mm -hmm. Yep.

Dan Johnson (18:23.286)
talk to them and be like, hey, can you leave one bushel, or not one bushel, but one acre or a half acre up? And that would be, and then I would pay them for that. And so I don't know how susceptible some of these guys, but I do hear guys doing that and that it's a good strategy where you can kind of get a late season food plot without having to plant a late season food plot.

John Hudspeth (18:29.166)

John Hudspeth (18:48.642)
Yeah, for sure and again, that's that's an option. I don't really have around here, but I've heard of people doing that and Yeah, it just depends on on the farmer. But to me it's like hey money's money like either way you're gonna get 1200 bucks whatever it is So why not leave it and you know save save on your equipment That's how I'd go about it, you know Save the stress in your equipment save a little work save a little time and just let me pay you for it. But hey Dan I got something I want to ask you about I figured you would have brought this up

Dan Johnson (18:52.501)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (19:10.678)
Mm -hmm. Yep, exactly.

John Hudspeth (19:18.286)
Have you heard about Oklahoma's plan to solve CWD?

Dan Johnson (19:23.158)
no, I have not.

John Hudspeth (19:25.326)
by releasing captive deer.

Dan Johnson (19:29.27)
Okay, I would love to hear the strategy.

John Hudspeth (19:32.366)
So as far as I can tell this is happening, this is a bill that was passed in Oklahoma Essentially they're playing and I'm not a scientist. I'm not a biologist I don't have a degree in this stuff. I had to read the bill about six times to wrap my head around it But essentially they're playing and I'll say this I do not agree with it, but it sounds like this might actually happen

They have decided that deer that test CWD positive have a certain level of this whatever protein. And so their plan is to take captive deer, test them for these protein levels, and if deer are under a certain mark for this particular protein, then in their mind those deer are CWD resistant.

And so they are going to gather a bunch of these CWD resistant deer and release them into the wild to try to create a wild herd that is more CWD resistant. And they are, they, again, this is all coming straight from the bill. I believe their plan is to do it like a lottery system. So I think it's, I think it said in there it's $500. So for $500, I could put my name in there in the bucket.

And if they draw my name, they will come release these deer on my property in Oklahoma.

And that is their plan to battle CWD.

Dan Johnson (21:12.217)
Okay, two things there. One, if you're really trying to release or you're really trying to fix CWD, then why are you having people pay for it? Like, why is this like, hey, then they're weaponizing CWD. They're basically saying, hey, listen, you wanna get rid of a disease, here's, you pay for this and I'll let some deer go who are resistant to it.

John Hudspeth (21:29.678)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (21:40.856)
Don't you think that they should be doing this for the greater good instead of trying to make a profit off of it? Like, I don't understand that.

John Hudspeth (21:49.61)
I think what it comes down to is they don't have the money to do it themselves, and so that's how they're helping pay for it, pay for the deer.

Dan Johnson (21:56.409)
$500. So you're telling me five like it cost me $500 to buy like a couple deer. That's what I hear.

John Hudspeth (22:05.678)
Yeah, I agree. And I mean, I can't say this enough that I don't agree with it. I have plenty of my own arguments. For me, the top things that stand out are, you know, they're pretty sure that the way that CWD spreads so fast is through the captive deer industry. And so now you're telling me you're going to solve it somehow by using captive deer. So that's one big argument I have.

Dan Johnson (22:12.248)

John Hudspeth (22:33.774)
I don't think we know enough about it to say that it's like okay. Well this deer is Obviously never gonna have CWD because of this level again. I'm no scientist. Maybe that is fact, but but I don't think so There I've definitely seen some comments from people saying that this is just an excuse to Raise the antler quality in Oklahoma that they're gonna be you know releasing all these high fence deer with superior antler genetics I really don't see that being the case

You know, those deer are very expensive and I don't see a government organization spending tens of thousands of dollars on, you know, some breeder buck and then just turning them out and saying good luck. yes, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's probably pretty, that's probably pretty darn friendly. Yeah.

Dan Johnson (23:14.713)
Yeah, because that deer would get smoked the first season. Like, here's a 200 inch two year old pop. No one's going to know.

Yeah, exactly. All you gotta do is be like, come on, come here. And then he walks right up to you, right in the truck, you shoot him and put him in the truck. Jesus. Now, go ahead, go ahead.

John Hudspeth (23:32.91)
Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Mm -hmm. Yeah, yeah but No, no, I was just gonna say like I said this this bill has passed and it's in the bill that is supposed to be They're supposed to start working on it this summer and I believe their goals to start releasing deer next year

Dan Johnson (23:56.569)
OK. Now, in theory, I can understand this. In theory, I can say, OK, we have figured out a way that CWD is less effective on a deer. We've done our studies, and we have noticed that deer of a certain caliber or a certain genetic makeup are resistant to CWD. Let's try to introduce that deer.

into the wild so that potentially that bloodline gets put into the herd. But I think what, because it's almost like they're treating it like cattle or livestock at this point, because that's what they're doing. And that's what they've been doing for years. And what I mean, years, I kind of mean generations. And I mean, generations of an animal.

you can really weed out a sickness, a deformity or some type of genetic makeup that is not superior. So I understand that, but I think in a wild herd and I'm no scientist, that would take a lot longer than you think to do, cause it's not like it's a sickness per se. The positive genetic makeup is not necessarily a sickness. So it would take like,

One, for example, they released three does on a property. All three of these does are CWD resistant. Well, all three of them would need to get pregnant multiple years in a row, and then their offspring would need to spread multiple years in a row. And I mean, you're not necessarily, and you know how doe groups are, they pretty much stick together until there's a buck in that mix, then he gets kicked out and he goes to the next farm. I just don't see it.

being as effective unless you're doing it across the entire state at one time. And that seems like a pretty big job to do that and a lot of money to do that. So I understand the idea of it, but the application, I don't necessarily think that's gonna work, especially if people are having to pay for this.

John Hudspeth (26:19.432)
Yeah. And, and what about, you know, every single one of those deer that is offset by deer that comes over from Arkansas or down from Kansas or across from Texas? the two, I believe Oklahoma has only had two, confirmed CWD cases and both of those came across from Texas. They're out towards the panhandle. And I'll say this, you know, like I think Oklahoma was one of the last States to have a confirmed CWD case.

I don't think that was because CWD was not here. I think that was because they weren't testing for CWD. If you look at how many animals were tested here compared to other states, I mean, it was a tiny, tiny fraction. And I actually reached out, cause I wanted to like, I was trying to help this figure it out. So I actually asked if there was like a place I could submit samples from deer that I killed just to help out. And there wasn't it like,

Like basically they just couldn't afford it and so they weren't even they weren't trying to test and that's why it weren't being positive the the first year that tested positive It was one of those that was like super obvious like it was on the side of the road wandering around aimlessly I can't remember if it was already killed or Still alive when they found it, but they tested it and sure enough It was positive and the second year that they found was you know out there kind of the same area so there's now a CWD zone in Oklahoma where

Dan Johnson (27:27.801)
Mm -hmm.

John Hudspeth (27:42.952)
You can't take deer out of the county and, and, or out of the zone and stuff like that. But it just, it wouldn't shock me if Oklahoma CWD problem is way worse than that. We just don't know about it.

Dan Johnson (27:54.761)
yeah, absolutely. And that blows my mind. Like, okay, we're trying to fix CWD in our state, but we don't have any testing stations for people to test their deer. That makes no sense to me, right? How are you going to get accurate data without testing facilities throughout the entire state? If that is the problem that you're trying to fix. Again, I think people are afraid of CWD. And what I mean by that is I think that

The income, if they did, let's just say Oklahoma did a mass testing year where every single deer in, you had to report it, you had to go get it tested. I know that's not realistic, but let's just say that happened. Dude, you'd get CWD from all over the place. People would be scared. Then you got what Wisconsin did.

and they just murder every deer in the area. And then now the quality of hunting goes way down because, you know, number one, you're restricted. Number two, you got to test all this stuff. And number three, there's a lack of deer population because, you know, you went through the extermination process. And I think people are not necessarily afraid of the disease per se, but afraid of what would happen if there's a whole bunch of positive CW.

detest across the entire state.

John Hudspeth (29:24.711)
Yeah, and I don't want to sound like I'm doom and gloom and it's like the Oklahoma's screwed and every deer has it by any means. And I do think it is much less prevalent in the South, you know, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana. But I also think that it's probably far more common than most people think.

Dan Johnson (29:43.929)
Mm -hmm. Yeah. Yeah. What are some of the theories? I heard, you know, like there's a group of outdoorsmen out there who think CWD is a joke, right? And then you got like the NDA who is like, beware of CWD, beware of CWD. And then you got another group of people who are like, eh, CWD. You know what I mean? Like, it's, right. So they're saying, like, what are some of the rumors that you have heard of like,

John Hudspeth (30:05.383)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (30:13.497)
CWD. Mind you, these are rumors.

John Hudspeth (30:16.936)
Right, yeah. yeah, I definitely hear all the time that it's a political disease. what, you know, what, what agenda they're trying to push. I couldn't tell you. but yeah, that's a big one. I hear, I think, I think, I don't know if this is rumor and it's gotta be somewhat fact and kind of where I fall is I think this disease was, has probably been around longer than we've known about it. I think there's probably a lot of people out there who have eaten.

Dan Johnson (30:21.913)

Dan Johnson (30:39.865)
Mm -hmm.

John Hudspeth (30:45.612)
CWD positive without even knowing it Now not to say that these deer are harmless. You know I know that as far as they know it's never jumped to a human And you know if I I hear all the time like if you knew 100 % that your deer had CWD Would you eat it? And my brother and I have had this talk a lot and our answer answer tends to be I would eat it But I don't know if I would feed it to my children So but

But yeah, I mean, the CW thing is wild. There's so many different sides to it. It's like, there are definitely people who believe that it's not even a thing. I think that's obviously false. Like it obviously is a thing. It obviously affects deer. It's obviously killing deer. But I also think the other stream is maybe a little too far as well. Like I don't think every single deer on the continent needs to be wiped away for 30 years.

Just to protect you know I guess there would even be a deer at that point anymore, so see ya somewhere in between

Dan Johnson (31:47.865)

Dan Johnson (31:51.353)
Yeah, and that's the thing about nature and evolution, right? Like nature does a really good job of surviving these types of events. And very rarely do you ever, and again, I'm not a scientist, but very rarely do you see an animal go extinct because of a sickness or a disease. Usually it's an environmental change or like.

in the case of the buffalo or, you know, like they just get hunted to extinction or almost extinction. And so, yeah, there's probably some cases where, you know, like EHD comes through an area, wipes it out. I mean, just like night, I've heard rumors out West along some of these river bottoms where EHD hit and you're looking at a 90, 80 to 90 % herd reduction in deer. Okay. That's a huge impact, but guess what?

deer come back after that, right? Slow and surely they come back. And I think that's the same thing with CWD. However, CWD is one of those things where a deer can live, it can have CWD and it can live its entire life and not be affected by it while others are affected by it. So that tells me that there's gotta be some type of genetic makeup that makes a deer, yes, you have CWD.

almost like you remember when COVID was big, right? Yeah, that one time when COVID was big, like some people were really susceptible to COVID while others were not, right? And I think that a CWD, and this is my opinion, is one of those where if you have a certain genetic makeup, you're gonna be more susceptible to that, which is why I understand

John Hudspeth (33:19.975)
Yeah, that one time.

Dan Johnson (33:46.269)
why Oklahoma made that decision.

John Hudspeth (33:49.573)
Yeah. And you know, you mentioned EHD. you know, that's something that we don't really have down here. And from my understanding, it's because it used to be really, really bad down here and like the early to mid early to mid 1900s. but just over time, kind of that herd mentality or herd immunity thing, the deer that were not as susceptible to it survived and those bred. And, and now, like I said, we, we don't really have EHD down here where I'm at.

Dan Johnson (34:09.181)
Mm -hmm.

John Hudspeth (34:19.109)
so it could be the same thing with CWD it might just take a while.

Dan Johnson (34:23.101)
Yeah, I think with EH, EHD is a tricky one because here's what I think, or here's, I shouldn't say what I think. Here's what I have observed, okay? I have observed that if there is even the slightest amount of moving water, right? Even in a severe drought, the farm, my main farm that I hunt, even in a severe drought, that they, if they have,

a little bit of running water, even if it's just the slightest. I don't, I'm not seeing like on the farm that I hunt man, I've never found mass dead deer because of the HD. However, the prop like the county to the south of where I hunt, where my stepbrother lives, he walked up on a pond to go fishing with his boy one day and there was 22 dead deer in it. 22, he counted 22 dead deer all around it and

It's because the pond had slowly evaporated throughout that year and the deer were having to walk through the mud and the grime and the wet junk to get to the water, the stagnant water. And that's probably how that whole thing happened. But I think the key is running water with EHD. Now, I don't know if that's true because out west, there's a lot of places.

I believe the Milk River was a perfect example. That place used to thrive back in the day and that's where all like the real tree monster buck guys would go and things like that. But I don't know if that water was continuous or if it eventually pooled up and that's where severe drought. But obviously in wetter years and wetter springs and in wetter summers, you don't see that as much.

Maybe it's the running water thing.

John Hudspeth (36:21.093)
Yeah, yeah, when you're talking about that, you know, I know a big thing for a lot of land managers now is water holes, you know, little dirt tanks or even burying like kiddie pools and stuff. I wonder if those, I mean, they're obviously not running water at any time. I wonder if those have maybe led to some of the EHG problems, just so much more stagnant water on the, on the landscape.

Dan Johnson (36:44.351)
Yeah. And it's not necessarily stagnant water. It's the mud around it. Right? Because if you bury a swimming pool or a cattle tank and you put water in it, there's not a lot of that mud around it. Right? I've seen it where they bury it. It's like a four foot cattle tank and about this much.

John Hudspeth (36:50.309)

Dan Johnson (37:11.679)
that sticks out of it, just enough for a deer to dip its head down in there and get a drink. And so I don't feel like those would potentially spread EHD. It's the mud and the gunk around it. So another thing popped into my head as we're talking about this. And last night I saw three or four bucks in my backyard.

or well in the bean field to the south of my backyard. And earlier that day, I heard a tractor running and the tractor is spraying the field. Okay. I don't know what he's spraying. I'm guessing it's like roundup, right? The beans are starting to come up. The weeds are up. I'm guessing it's some kind of roundup and roundup resistant. But that night, last night, I'm seeing deer.

John Hudspeth (37:59.843)
Mm -hmm. Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (38:10.4)
eat vegetation out of this field that had previously been sprayed. And I mean sprayed within the last eight hours. And they're eating that food. So I say to myself, if you sprinkle Roundup on my salad and I ate that,

probably gets like I feel like I would get sick and start throwing up or something bad would happen to me if I'm eating a chemical that kills plants. Right. And now you spread that across the entire landscape of ag country in the United States. That dude, that can't be good. That can't be good at all.

John Hudspeth (38:56.099)

Yeah, you got me there. I mean, you know, I had my, I had my chemical applicator license for, for awhile. It just expired a year or two ago. And I do remember, you know, you had to take like the courses every year to keep your license up. And I do remember hearing time and time again, that roundup is about the safest chemical out there. but that being said, I agree, especially used in large doses.

Dan Johnson (39:00.32)
Yeah, army!

Dan Johnson (39:07.392)
Mm -hmm.

Dan Johnson (39:21.44)

John Hudspeth (39:26.529)
you would hope and think that they would not allow it to be used if it was super harmful. Yeah, exactly. But I mean, yeah, I mean, you definitely have a point. You know, you hear about the whole runoff thing all the time, and that's why our waters are being so polluted and fish are dying and stuff like that. Yeah, that's I mean.

Dan Johnson (39:31.263)
killing a natural resource.

Dan Johnson (39:41.279)

Dan Johnson (39:48.031)
I mean, let's say what it is. It's a chemical that is designed to kill all plant life except genetically altered organisms that are CWD resistant. Now, or not CWD, chemical resistant, Roundup Ready soybeans basically. Like, I don't know, do they have Roundup Ready?

John Hudspeth (40:00.321)

John Hudspeth (40:08.129)

Dan Johnson (40:15.551)
Like do they have roundup ready whitetails?

John Hudspeth (40:18.753)
I mean apparently we do because they're all still alive but

Dan Johnson (40:22.303)
my God, I just, I look at that and I go, okay, something there can't be right. Right? And I would love to talk with, like, if you're listening to this and you have the answer, I would love to talk with you about this because I look at the environment as a whole, not necessarily just deer, but like, I know farming practices are getting better and better about, you know, being more efficient, being,

Like there was a time where they were farming all the way up to fences. There wasn't very many buffer strips to collect, you know, stop erosion or, you know, stop maybe chemicals from getting into the waterways. I can remember the time where a lot of fish eating animals were dying because of the chemicals that were in the water and it didn't necessarily kill the fish per se, but it eventually

killed the animals that ate the fish, right? Specifically bald eagles out of the Mississippi River. And so I know that farming practices are getting better at this. However, man, I look at that and I say, okay, if a deer is eating, continuously eating a chemical, if this chemical is going into the ground, right? And then erosion happened and it's getting absorbed into

you know, maybe it's killing in the runoff or it's absorbed by like, I just, it doesn't like, it's gotta be affecting more than just the plants it's being sprayed on. It has to be. I don't know, man.

John Hudspeth (42:07.264)
Yeah, I mean, you know, we're talking about the deer eating it, but I'm sure all those same exact chemicals are on just about everything you put in your mouth every single day.

Dan Johnson (42:14.914)
shit, yeah. Dude, I watched a little thing about shredded cheese. Okay, this has nothing to do with deer hunting. I watched a little thing about shredded cheese. And this guy was like, do you know why shredded cheese does not stick to itself? Like if you were to take a block of cheese and you were to grate it and put it on your salad or put it on something, it would be.

John Hudspeth (42:23.296)

Dan Johnson (42:44.098)
and he's just left it there for just a second, it would stick to each other. It would stick to itself. Shredded cheese does not stick to itself because for all intents and purposes, sawdust is added to, so it's a wood product that is added to it to prevent it from sticking to each other, sticking to itself.

So you're not just eating cheese, shredded cheese, you're eating wood too. So it's basically human safe. So that tells you what's in the food that you eat. And so, and the chemicals, I heard that strawberries have the most amount of chemicals sprayed on them throughout their life because of, and so it's very important to wash those. But I mean, Jesus, that's why I like hunting and eating deer is because I know that it...

John Hudspeth (43:12.032)

John Hudspeth (43:37.024)

Dan Johnson (43:40.098)
I mean, other than eating roundup, right? Other than eating whatever is sprayed on the fields, at least it goes through. Shit, I don't know. I don't know, man. At least it goes.

John Hudspeth (43:40.96)
I was about to say, other than a little bit, yeah, other than a little roundup, you're good.

John Hudspeth (43:52.127)
Yeah, hey, just think of this. You got like three or four months for that stuff to get out of that deer's body before you kill it and eat it, so it'll be fine by then.

Dan Johnson (43:58.658)
yeah, yeah.

Yeah, exactly, exactly. Well, this has been a good fun BS session, man. I really appreciate you taking time out of your day. I'm really looking forward to how your season goes. You're hunting Texas and Oklahoma this year, right?

John Hudspeth (44:07.199)

John Hudspeth (44:13.919)
Yeah, man.

man this year I got I got the lineup so I'm doing starting in Kansas with a muzzleloader Oklahoma Texas I drew a special tag in Oklahoma I'll be hunting with a traditional bow on an army ammunition plant and then I'm doing my first ever fully guided hunt for mule deer in South Texas this year so yeah I'll have three buck tags in Oklahoma Kansas and Texas

Dan Johnson (44:22.209)

Dan Johnson (44:36.641)

Dan Johnson (44:43.201)
fully guided hunt in South Texas. What part of the year is that?

John Hudspeth (44:45.855)
Mm -hmm. Yep.

That'll be the weekend after Thanksgiving. So mule deer mule deer season starts the Saturday after Thanksgiving. So be like a four. Yep. So like right in the big bend area.

Dan Johnson (44:56.481)
Okay, is that Southwestern Texas?

Dan Johnson (45:02.081)
Okay, awesome man. Well, I'm looking forward to seeing your success and hearing about what you've done. Keep me posted and John, by the way, if you guys haven't had the opportunity to listen to the Oklahoma Outdoors podcast, it's a great A podcast man, really good content, really good interviewing skills. You're on the network for a reason man, keep doing what you're doing and everybody go check out his podcast. John, appreciate your time man.

John Hudspeth (45:30.014)
I appreciate it, Dan. Always fun.