A white-tailed deer in the Oklahoma Panhandle has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD), marking the first case in a free-ranging wild deer in the state.
A Texas County landowner reported the deer to the ODWC after witnessing it behaving abnormally. The deer was recovered near Optima and testing was conducted.
“While this is unfortunate news, it is not unexpected since CWD has already been detected in every state that borders Oklahoma. We will be working through our response plan to ensure we can monitor potential spread and keep our state’s deer herd healthy,” said Jerry Shaw, Wildlife Programs Supervisor with ODWC.
The Wildlife Department has conducted CWD monitoring on hunter-harvested deer, elk and road-killed deer since 1999. This case marks the first time the disease has been detected in laboratory testing of tissue samples from more than 10,000 wild deer and elk from throughout Oklahoma.
The Wildlife Department says it will continue monitoring for evidence of CWD within the state’s borders and will release additional information, including ways deer and elk hunters can help with detection and mitigation, as hunting seasons approach.
For more information on the disease, hunting regulations and proper disposal of infected animals, visit wildlifedepartment.com/hunting/resources/deer/cwd.