Omicron Found in Whitetail Deer

posted on February 8, 2022
Whitetail Buck

Several months back, we ran a story about the detection of COVID-19 antibodies in the whitetail herd, meaning this may sound like old news. Scientists, however, seem especially concerned with this new development, wherein the Omicron strain was discovered in several deer on Staten Island, New York.

The primary concern seems to center, as it did before, around the fact that COVID-19 is a zoonotic virus, having spread initially from animals to humans. Further, researchers now seem to worry that new variants of the disease could actually breed within the deer populace before re-infecting humans. The jury is still out on this possibility, however. While there is evidence deer have transmitted the disease among themselves—and do seem to be asymptomatic carriers—there is no evidence that the disease has yet come back around to humans. After all, its likely humans were the ones to infect deer in the first place.

This is not to say it could not happen. In 2020, a mutated strain of COVID-19 in Denmark minks appeared to re-infect humans, prompting a mass cull of over 17-million farmed minks. In Hong Kong, a similar cull was enacted on 2,000 hamsters after they were blamed (albeit less definitively) for spreading COVID-19 through pet shops. So far, U.S. scientists have stayed thankfully far from any similar suggestion concerning the nation's deer herds.

Check back with us here as we monitor developments and updates on the story. 


Bristol Sxs
Bristol Sxs

#SundayGunday: TriStar Bristol SxS

Get a closer look at the TriStar Bristol SxS, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

First Look: Barnett Hyper Raptor

With a lightweight composite riser and measuring just over 7 inches axle-to-axle when cocked, the Hyper Raptor provides maneuverability in tight-quartered hunting spaces.

Recipe: Venison Sausage Balls

If you’re looking for a new breakfast idea, these are quick and easy to make, and come out of the oven golden, crispy and flavorful.

Primary Lessons of Spring’s Squirrel Woods

A squirrel hunt in the spring woods rekindles memories of lessons learned long ago, when almost every dad and every son chased bushytails.

Behind the Bullet: 400 Legend

The 400 Legend takes the 350 Legend concept a step further, giving hunters a straight-walled cartridge fully suitable for both bolt-action rifles as well as the AR platform, conforming to the collective statutes set forth by a number of Midwestern states.

#SundayGunday: Chiappa Little Badger Take Down Xtreme

Get a closer look at the Chiappa Little Badger Take Down Xtreme, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.