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Chronic wasting disease is a fatal disease that affects members of the deer family. It has always been something to watch out for when hunting because you don't want to eat meat from animals that have it and will cause higher mortality in herds.

There have been a bunch of news articles on it recently, has it suddenly gotten worse with more animals being infected or spreading to more areas?

  • There are WMU's up in Canada here when it's mandatory to submit the head of your deer for testing. Lot's of those WMU's border Montana. – ShemSeger Feb 22 at 18:21
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I do not have a global (US-wide) answer to the question. However, I can point to my state, where CWD is not getting worse, suddenly or not. In fact, it seems to be getting better.

In New Mexico, 58 deer have been confirmed to have CWD since 2002 (year of first confirmed case in NM). The last positive case was in 2016. Every year between 2002 and 2016 saw at least two confirmed CWD cases. The last two seasons there have been none. All cases over the 2002-2016 period have been confined to a relatively small area in NM (and remote from Colorado where it was first detected in the 1960's). The NM Game and Fish folks require all hunters in two game management units to submit animals for testing, so this decrease is not because folks aren't testing. This decrease is further interesting because the last few seasons have been in a drought, and such conditions have been thought to be a possible driver for the spread of CWD through the wild populations.

Now, that does not mean that it has not gotten worse in your particular area lately. Check with your local Fish & Wildlife folks. It may also just be that they have started checking for it.

But, no, CWD has not suddenly gotten worse across the US. Be aware, follow your state's rules, and be safe.

  • I am not sure this is an answer to the question. Not sure it is even worthy of being a comment. – James Jenkins Feb 20 at 13:35
  • Your updates make this a much better answer. – James Jenkins Feb 21 at 13:25
  • @JamesJenkins - I appreciate the 'help' prodding me to make it actually answer the question. – Jon Custer Feb 21 at 13:47

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