I am the man “calling himself the ‘executive’ director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri,” as referenced in Larry Dablemont’s submission of fiction for the week.
To save you from horribly misinforming your readers, I have taken the time to retort to Dablemont’s most recent work of fiction. What you see in bold print are his words. My responses are below. I hope you take the time to consider the harm in printing such a horrible perversion of the truth.
1. “Such venison comes, as a rule, from those trophy hunters who just want to shoot a buck with a nice set of antlers and not have to mess with the meat.”
Where does this “fact” originate? This is an opinion, which is not even close to true. There is no evidence of this, at all.
2. “Recently at the Wal-Mart sporting goods counter, a lady selling deer tags was telling folks that the MDC has determined that Chronic Wasting Disease will not affect humans.”
Even if this lady actually exists and was claiming this, should anyone be obtaining their scientific information from the lady selling licenses at Wal-Mart? The fact is, MDC is holding all Share the Harvest deer meat donations from CWD positive counties until all those animals are tested. As the man “calling himself the ‘executive’ director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri,” I can positively attest to this, because CFM has paid for the refrigeration trucks.
3. “Almost no one knows much about the deer disease…”
Actually, there are countless scientists who know a significant amount about Chronic Wasting Disease. You can begin with Matthew Dunfee at the Wildlife Management Institute, or Dr. John Fischer, head of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia who just presented at Michigan’s Chronic Wasting Disease Symposium, that brought together wildlife scientists from across the country.
Even with all of his extensive knowledge and information collected at Wal-Mart, Larry Dablemont somehow was left off the agenda as an expert.
4. “A good number of deer hunters in Missouri have also died from prions in their system, and it has been hidden.”
Can this be backed up by a single case released by a medical professional? You can not print this in a newspaper. It is simply unsubstantiated nonsense.
5. “Death can take several weeks or months, but believe me, no media, nor the MDC has ever talked with relatives of those who died from the disease. I have!!”
Do you believe the scientific world has ignored cases of human death? Good thing Larry Dablemont is on the case.
6. “Folks like the ‘executive’ director of the Conservation Federation will tell you that since this awful disease in humans can be derived by eating elk, beef, goat or sheep, no one can be sure that the disease which has killed many humans in Missouri, was caused by eating deer meat.”
I will not tell you that. There is no scientific evidence of CWD ever jumping to humans. What I will tell you is, if I know a deer is CWD positive, I will not eat it, because it is not worth the risk. There is potential risk. But that is all there is today. That is why CWD testing is now implemented in all deer harvested in CWD positive counties that are donated to Share the Harvest.
7. “The MDC and the Conservation Federation will not tell you this, and the deer meat they send you from various meat processors as part of the ‘share your harvest’ program has NOT BEEN TESTED!”
Again, this is false. Here is the link to the MDC CWD Page showcasing the extreme measures MDC is taking to test for CWD and how hunters can have their deer tested – https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/wildlife-diseases/chronic-wasting-disease-cwd.
8. “The chances may be that 100,000 people could eat that venison and no more than one or two or three will ingest those horrible prions.”
Utter speculation and numbers plucked from the air. You can not let readers believe this.
9. “I just want to see everyone know that the risk is there, and it is important to know why the Conservation Federation and the MDC want to keep hunters uninformed. Both could lose millions of dollars if there were huge numbers of deer tags sold.”
I actually laughed out loud. CFM does not have millions of dollars. We are a 501c3, so a little online investigating will quickly prove this.
10. “Trophy hunters from out of state pay a tremendous amount to shoot a deer in Missouri with big antlers, and turn the meat over to be eaten by the poor.”
Hunters from out of state pay $225 to hunt a buck. That is about half of what they pay in Illinois, Iowa or Kansas.
11. “Anyone receiving donated venison should also know that in deer pen operations where domestically raised buck deer are killed by trophy hunters, the deer is injected a day before he is killed with chemicals which have warnings on the box that the chemical should not be given to animals which are to be eaten.”
While I may be at odds with the captive deer industry most of the time, this is simply an insane statement. Many of the deer killed on private ranches have been out living on those ranches for extended periods of time. How in the world can Dablemont claim every private deer is rounded up and injected with unlabeled chemicals before being shot. This is beyond absurd.
12. “So now you have information that you will not hear anywhere else.”
Which pretty much explains just how ridiculous these claims are.
13. “Have you ever seen any effort by the news media, including T.V. stations in your area, that criticized the MDC or the Conservation Federation in any way?”
Again, I’m laughing out loud. What a joke.
14. “Everything you have read here is the truth, and I will go anywhere, anytime to discuss this.”
As a journalist, you can not possibly begin to believe what Dablemont saying in this column is truth. To print this article would be a huge disservice to your readers and an absolute shame.
Conservation Federation of Missouri