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. 


Mainmaxima Sable
Mainmaxima Sable

Carbon Express Introduces Maxima Sable

Designed to combine the ultimate in speed and stealth, the Carbon Express Maxima Sable RZ is constructed with Carbon Express’s exclusive TriSpine technology.

First Look: 457 Varmint Precision Chassis MTR in 22LR

On the heels of CZ’s introduction of the 457 Varmint Precision Trainer MTR comes the 457 Varmint Precision Chassis MTR in 22 Long Rifle. 

2022 Gear of the Year: FORLOH AllClima Softshell Clothing w/RECCO

FORLOH is an all-American gear company formed in 2020 with the express intent of delivering high-quality technology to the outdoor world. It stands at the cutting edge of clothing technology—and it does so with all-American-made products.

#SundayGunday: GForce Arms LVR410

Get a closer look at GForce Arms LVR410, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

2022 Ammo of the Year: Winchester 6.8 Western

Any way you cut it, this cartridge is a long-range winner. It maintains its energy at distance, and it’s plenty accurate, too.

Pioneering Wild Turkey Research Underway

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is helping fund a new wild-turkey research project conducted by Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.