Southeast Trophy Deer Association

Vice President's Message from Dr. Bill Leffler

12 Apr 2024 4:03 PM | Samantha Uchytil (Administrator)

Vice President's Message

from Dr. Bill Leffler

Welcome One and All

Winter is now behind us and 2024 is looking brighter than ever.  As deer farmers it's a time to kick back and relax and watch our deer get big and fat again.  Our does are bred, our breeder bucks' job is finished as they now rejoin younger bucks to put on weight and get ready to begin growing antlers, and our fawns are quickly growing and developing.  

By now our children and other kids are looking forward to Spring break, and what better place to bring them than Orlando.  Come and spend a day or two at this year's SETDA SPRING FLING Auction, March 15-16th at the Double Tree Hilton by the airport.  

The Fl Ag Commissioner, Wilton Simpson, will be speaking Friday and updating us about the status of CWD in Florida and answering some of the questions you've submitted.  I was overwhelmed with the hundreds of questions that I received from Florida land owners and deer farmers for Mr. Simpson.  There were far too many for him to be able to answer in such a limited time while he is with us.  Therefore, I will attempt to address as many as possible in this issue and upcoming issues.  When it comes to CWD, there seems to be more questions than answers and is still very misunderstood.   Unfortunately,   some are still trying to sensationalize "Zombie" deer as can be seen on social media.  Those antics help no one. 

Keith Warren will be filming at this year's event.  The topic of his show, The Truth About CWD.  All costs for the production being paid for by the Southeast Trophy Deer Association.  It's our combined effort to inform and educate the public as well.  It will be broadcast on YouTube's Deer Farming Channel and on the Pursuit Channel through December 2025.

It is always important to "Remember the Mission" when dealing with Federal and State agencies, including the FWC ( article in this issue).   Florida's response plan, for farms, in the CWD management zone, as currently stated, FDACS will " seek approval of captive cervid owners .... to identify, remove, and test any sick or dead cervids".   We are very fortunate, that everything in the Response Plan talks about "owner's choice to depopulate and test".   Owners can refuse to depopulate and test AND they can still sell deer and hunts (with restrictions).   

This year's Spring Fling looks to be bigger and better than ever.  We have received donations from across the country, representing some of the best deer and products in the industry.  The Board and I, want to thank all of our sponsors, advertisers, consignors, and donors.   We ask you to remember that as well, because without their support events like this are not possible.

Please keep our President, Smitty and his family in your prayers.  I look forward to seeing him hand out our first Scholarship check to a very qualified recipient, Presli Busby.

I want to introduce our newest board members:  Matt Young , Jack Boyd, Mike Mansfield, and Ryan Stubbs.

As you can see, your Board of Directors have been very busy working on your behalf.  

If you have not had a chance yet to see our new website, please check it out.  You can also find us on Facebook.   Your board is always ready to HELP AND SERVE YOU.

To quote a friend of mine, "Facts are facts, the truth is the truth, and science evolves".

As Always, Stay Safe, Well, and "Florida Strong".

God Bless

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