As Deer Season Nears, State Re-emphasizes Fight Against Wasting Disease
Parts of Wyoming have about a quarter as many mule deer as they did 16 years ago, according to Doug Dufford, who oversees wildlife disease programs for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Not only that, but more than half the remaining deer there are infected, meaning they’ll be dead within two years, he said. No cases have been detected in humans, but “We don’t know how long it might take to manifest, if it were to occur in humans.” Dufford said. “So it’s possible that a human infection may be forthcoming.” Illinois is relatively successful at keeping infection levels low, thanks to plenty of testing, a program that offers essentially unlimited hunting permits in affected areas, and deployment of state employees to further cull the herds in those areas.