Chronic wasting disease has shown up in some new parts of the state in Utah indicating the disease is spreading in the mule deer population. The Division of Wildlife Resources monitors the deer population for the disease and found it in Payson which is new. It was also found in Moab and North Salt Lake that have had cases before. 

Photo by Jaime Dantas on Unsplash
Photo by Jaime Dantas on Unsplash

Some people call them "zombie deer" because of the way the deer look lethargic and drooling. This disease affects the nervous system of deer, elk and moose. This is from the DWR site: 

Chronic wasting disease is caused by a misfolded protein, called a prion, that aggregates in the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by the same type of misfolded protein as "mad cow disease" in cows. Infected animals develop brain lesions, become emaciated, appear listless and have droopy ears. They may also salivate excessively and eventually die. 

It can spread through contact with infected animals and even be found in the ground that has been contaminated from an infected carcass. Chronic wasting disease was first discovered in Utah in 2002 and there have been 188 cases reported since then. 

Even though the chance of this disease being spread to humans is considered very small, they recommend you do not eat the meat from a contaminated animal. 

With the popularity of hunting in Utah and our desire to keep the mule deer population healthy, if you come across an animal while hiking or hunting and you suspect it is suffering from chronic wasting disease, let the DWR office know about it. 

10 Things Guys Should NEVER Say at the Deer Camp

There aren't a whole lot of rules for guys at the deer camp, but a man should always remember that his man card is on the line if he slips and says something like these things.

Gallery Credit: Gary McCoy

More From KSUB 590/107.7