A weekly blog for all things conservation
By Dan Rhodes, Education Coordinator, BCCD
Since big game rifle season for white-tailed deer opened on November 27th across Pennsylvania, nearly 900,000 PA hunters have taken to the woods to try and harvest a monster buck or replenish their freezer’s supply of organic, healthy, venison meat. Unfortunately, within the last few weeks or months, media reports have also surfaced claiming that hunters coming in close contact with wild white-tailed deer may also have an elevated risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus if the deer themselves are infected.
As a result of these reports and concerns, the PA Game Commission has had to create an informational section on their website titled ‘Wild white-tailed deer and COVID-19’ where they have summarized the most recent scientific data from a joint USDA/Cornell University study conducted in May 2021 that sought to illustrate the real relationships between humans, deer and COVID infection risks. In that study, researchers discovered the following facts:
Unfortunately, finding real reasons for concern in today’s world does not usually seem to be a very difficult job, but thankfully, at least for now, catching COVID-19 from a white-tailed deer does not appear to be one of them! Here’s hoping you have a happy and safe 2021/2022 hunting season!
Various staff at the Bradford County Conservation District