PINEDALE, WYOMING (Jan. 17, 2020) — A buck mule deer recently tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a residential area near Pinedale and was likely associated with the local town deer population. This is the second confirmed case of CWD in mule deer within deer hunt area 139, as a doe mule deer found dead near the airport in February 2017 also tested positive.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reminds residents to avoid feeding wildlife. While feeding deer and other wildlife during winter might seem like a good idea, feeding can cause serious problems for these animals.
- Increases spread of diseases and parasites. Feeding wildlife can artificially congregate groups of deer and other species at feeding sites, creating conditions ripe for the spread of diseases and parasites.
- Promotes starvation and can bring about numerous conflict situations. Big game animals, such as deer and moose will readily eat hay or other feeds when offered, but the micro-organisms in their stomachs that aid in digestion are specialized to breakdown vegetation the animal would naturally consume during winter months, primarily woody plants. This means it takes a lot longer to digest other foods and is why these animals can often starve to death despite having a stomach full of hay, birdseed, fruit, grain or pellets.
Wyoming residents who feed wildlife during winter certainly have good intentions, but it is important to remember the unintended consequences and resist the urge to try to “help” wildlife by feeding them.
Game and Fish asks the public to report any deer, elk or moose that appear to be sick or not acting in a normal manner by contacting your local game warden, wildlife biologist or Game and Fish office immediately.