A white-tailed deer in the Oklahoma Panhandle has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). A Texas County landowner reported the deer to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) after witnessing it behaving abnormally. The deer was recovered near Optima and testing was conducted.

This marks the first case of CWD in a wild deer in Oklahoma.

“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.

CWD is an always-fatal neurological disease that affects the brains of deer, elk, moose, and other members of the cervid family, creating holes that resemble those in sponges. It’s important to note that CWD transmission from wild animals to people or to livestock has never been documented

For more information on CWD, hunting regulations, and proper disposal of infected animals, go to https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/hunting/resources/deer/cwd.