Mike: I hunt in North Florida and I have a cam picture of a whitetail doe with a large snout. I cannot find a lot of info on this subject except that it is believed to be a bacterial infection (that causes the nose swelling). Is the meat safe to eat? Does the deer need to be taken out of the herd? Thanks, Marcus
I have posted on this weird topic several times; BIG DEER is amassing the best Internet database on big-nose deer. Here’s the best biological info we have to date, from Kevin Keel, a wildlife pathologist at at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia:
Mike: I have a series of these cases from all over the country. The lesion that he photographed is most likely chronic inflammation due to a bacterial infection. To my knowledge I’m the only one that has worked on these cases and I have about ten of them now from Georgia to Idaho. SCWDS has been working with deer diseases since 1957 and has examined many thousands of deer over the years. However, we have only received submissions of deer like this in the last seven years. I’m not certain what is going on but I’m anxious to get as much information about such cases as possible, even if tissues are no longer available.–Thanks, Kevin Keel
To answer Marcus’ questions, second one first: No, since it’s apparently a bacterial infection, I don’t think it’s necessary to cull the big-nose doe from the herd. But to be on the cautious side, I would not eat the meat.
You run across something strange like a big-nose buck in the woods let us know, we’ll get to the bottom of it, or try to.