SALT LAKE CITY — A buck deer taken during this year’s Utah rifle hunt has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the Division of Wildlife Resources announced Nov. 10.
The mature buck deer was taken on the LaSal Mountains in southeastern Utah during the hunt, which ran until Oct. 22 in the southeastern part of the state. The hunter who took the deer has been notified that she killed a deer that had CWD.
“The first batch of information from sampling we did during the rifle hunt has come in, and this is the only deer that has tested positive for CWD so far,” said Leslie McFarlane, wildlife biologist for the DWR. “We expect the rest of the test results back in two to three weeks.”
Utah State University is doing the testing for the DWR.
DWR staff collected 3,072 samples on 17 hunting units across Utah during this fall’s archery, muzzleloader and rifle hunts. Two deer sampled during the archery hunt tested positive for CWD. None of the deer sampled during the muzzleloader hunt tested positive.
The latest find brings to six the number of deer that have tested positive for CWD since the disease was first found in Utah in February 2003. Three of the six deer came from the LaSal Mountain area, two were killed near Vernal and one was killed near Fountain Green in central Utah.
CWD is fatal to deer and elk that contract it. However, according to the World Health Organization, “There is currently no evidence that CWD in cervidae (deer and elk) is transmitted to humans.”
For more information about CWD, visit wildlife.utah.gov/hunting/biggame/cwd/