One third of Kansas counties have reported chronic wasting disease in deer


FINNEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s deer hunting season in Kansas and hunters are advised to take precautions.

“I started wearing gloves when I clean my deer because I don’t want to run the risk of it,” said deer hunter Rick Wood.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer has hit one-third of the Kansas counties so far in 2019.

That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control. Deer hunter Rick Wood said he wants to be sure he’s avoiding the risk. 

Chronic wasting disease map. (Courtesy: CDC)

“I’ve done research as a hunter because I want to know what to look for when I am out hunting and kind of understand you know what this is and how it’s affecting the population of deer,” he said.

Finney County Kansas Department of Wildlife Services said although the deer doesn’t show symptoms until the last few months of the disease, it is something to watch out for.

“They don’t behave normally,” said Finney County KDWS Angie Reisch. “For example, they might not fear people, might be standing in one area drooling, grinding their teeth, and might stand out of cover.”

Officials said deer can seem “zombie-like” and although there has been no evidence that the disease can be passed on to humans, officials urge hunters to no eat meat that may be infected.

Wood said it’s never a bad idea to stay safe. 

“The safer I can be the better off I’ll be,” he said.

Officials said that if you think you may have a deer with this “zombie-like” disease to call your local game warden and get it tested to steer clear of the disease.


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