When deer hunters head out into the field they don’t usually think to themselves, “Man, I want to harvest a healthy deer.” But we all do, even though we don’t really think about it. So., what if you harvested a deer with warts? Most hunters would be a little concerned because, after all, warts are not normal on white-tailed deer.
Although injuries and diseases are some things hunters and property owners serious about deer management try to avoid having in their herds, it usually can not be avoided.
These “deer tumors”, which are more accurately wart-like growths, and are formally referred to as cutaneous fibromatosis. The virus that causes such growth on the skin can be transmitted between deer, at least experimentally.
Deer fibroma occurs occasionally in white-tailed deer living in North America. Although the ailment is not common, it not extremely rare either. The cutaneous growths can vary in diameter, but usually vary from about 1/4 inch to 4 inches in size.
These wart-like growths can be found growing by themselves or in clusters, typically on the front-end of an infected deer. The whitetail buck featured in the above photos has warts caused by cutaneous fibroma on the underside of his neck and face.
Although these tumor-looking growths are not believed to directly harm the deer, the presence of these warts could cause additional stress or points for additional injury on an animal.
From a hunting or deer management perspective there is little that can be done once a deer contracts fibroma. In some cases the infection may not even be noticeable, but as in the example above, the warts may be very obvious. The virus has been successfully spread under experimental conditions from deer to deer, but the chances of this happening in wild deer herds is unknown.