Indiana Deer Covered With Warts

IN deer wartsCameron sent me this image via Twitter: I was driving down the road and saw her. Got out and walked within 15 yards and filmed with my phone.

I retweeted the picture and dozens of people want to know what is going on here.

Biologists say that these growths, commonly called “deer warts,” are cutaneous fibromas and they are caused by a virus. The virus could be transmitted from one deer to another by biting insects, just like bluetongue is transmitted.

The warts are hairless tumors that can be found on any part of the skin, but they rarely extend below the hide. They are usually temporary on the body and can vary from 1/2 to 8 inches in diameter, or even larger. The tumors are rarely fatal unless they grow large enough to interfere with an animal’s vision, breathing or eating. This doe has a bad case of warts and might die because her vision is impacted.

Biologists say these growths are not all that uncommon on whitetail deer in the summer. But I have spent 40 years observing and hunting deer and have never seen an animal like this.

Have you ever seen a deer with warts?

While the growths look gross, scientists say deer with these skin tumors are still edible. No report of human infection from cutaneous fibromas has been documented. The concern for hunters would be from an animal with an extensive bacterial infection, like this one. Common sense would tell you not to eat this doe.

2 thoughts on “Indiana Deer Covered With Warts

  1. The pic itself is not even appealing to the eyes, greatest concern goes to the deer, bet he is in so much pain!something should be done to try and keep the wild healthy.

  2. Wow, I have also been hunting Whitetail for many years never have I seen one like this. It is a good thing that the dear is still edible, although it would be tough getting through the gutting and skinning this critter. Then when you put it on the grill the thought going through your mind, would have to try to forget how it looked on its hoofs right! Thanks for the photo and the information on this very informative. Good luck hunting!!

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