June 17, 2024

In the Open: Deer Fibromas Spotted on Area Deer

stars-storyBy Jim Freeman

Deer fibromas, or deer warts, have been observed on several deer in the area, according to Meigs Count wildlife officer Chris Gilkey.

Deer fibromas are wart-like growths found on the skin of deer; they can occur in white-tailed deer, black-tailed deer, and mule deer throughout North America. An infection is called fibromatosis.

He said several hunters have reported seeing or killing deer with these growths on them

In most cases these warts don’t seem to hurt the deer unless they are so numerous they interfere with vision, eating or movement, and since they don’t go beneath the skin the meat is still safe to eat (unless a large tumor gets a secondary infection that goes beneath the skin). However, they are repulsive and most people don’t want a deer with large growths on its skin, not to mention making for an ugly trophy.

Several states’ departments of natural resources and even the Quality Deer Management Association agree that the deer are generally safe to eat, even if they are ugly.

Without going into a detailed description of the disease, it appears that most deer recover from the disease and once infected develop an immunity to the affliction.

If you see a deer with fibromas, and you don’t want a deer with fibromas, let it go. Give it a pass. QDMA states that since most deer recover from the disease, there is no need to harvest a deer just because it has fibromas.

Gilkey made one thing very clear: there is no money-back guarantee on deer tags – if you take and tag a deer with fibromas, it is your deer.

Jim Freeman is the wildlife specialist with the Meigs Soil and Water Conservation District. He can be contacted weekdays at 740-992-4282 or at [email protected]