Hunting the White Tail Deer and Chronic Wasting Disease

This year, I was one of the legislators to represent Virginia at the Southern Leadership Annual Conference in St. Louis, MI. I attended several workshops on education, economic development, public safety, and sportsmen rights. As a member of the Virginia Sportsmen Caucus and an advocate for hunting/ sportsman rights, I discussed the future of hunting as a sport with John Culclasure, who is the manager of the Congressional Sportsman Foundation at the National Sportsmen caucus meeting. One of the major hunting concerns nationwide that is impacting rural communities, is the spread of chronic wasting disease among the white tail deer population.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that affect deer, elks, and moose. This disease is transmitted to deer through saliva, feces, urine and through water or soil contaminated with an abnormal infectious protein called prion. The signs and symptoms of this disease (CWD) in deer are progressive weight loss, excessive thirst, teeth grinding, excessive salivation and holding the head in a lowered position and drooping ears.

Chronic Wasting Disease was first discovered in Virginia in 2009. The first case was found in November in 2017 in Frederick County.  The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have tested 16 positive deer with chronic wasting disease during the months of October -November throughout Frederick, Warren, Shenandoah and Clarke County. Although chronic wasting disease poses a very serious threat to the deer population, the effects of the disease have shown to impose no substantial health risks to humans or domestic animals.

As we approach the deer hunting season, please be aware of this infectious disease that is gradually spreading among the white tail deer population. If you identify a deer exhibiting the above listed signs and symptoms, please contact the Game and Inland Fisheries or my office. Please feel free to invite me to your hunt club or church, or civic organization meeting by contacting my office at (434) 336-1710 or email delrtyler@house.virginia.gov.

Puma Rihanna Creeper