What are deer warts and how do they affect your hunt?
So you’re sitting in the deer woods, or driving down the road, when you notice something completely out of the ordinary. It’s definitely a deer, but what in the world is all over its body?
The deer appears to be covered with some sort of unsightly warts or tumors. You may not know exactly what is happening with the poor deer, but the initial sentiment is, “Eeewwwwww.”
What’s a hunter to do? Do you call the DNR? If you’re legally hunting at the time, do you burn a tag and put the deer out of its misery? Can you even eat the meat? Perhaps a little investigating is in order.
The growths that you’re seeing are more than likely cutaneous fibromas, otherwise known as deer warts. And while they aren’t exactly pleasant to look at, they don’t necessarily spell doom for the deer.
So what the heck is a deer wart?
Cutaneous fibromas are the byproduct of a deer-specific papilloma virus. The warts are hairless, firm in texture, and begin as fairly miniscule nodules. However, if the virus progresses, the growths do the same. They may reside on one specific area of the body or all over, but they are especially common around the face and neck. Still, despite their ugly appearance, they are generally harmless.
Read more about this in the Sept. 21 issue of Illinois Outdoor News.