Hunters beware, your deer might be sick. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is present and could become a problem in the future.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Jeff Yurek, says that CWD is a “progressive and fatal disease of the nervous system found in deer, elk, moose or caribou”. He mentions that although no cases of CWD been found in Ontario, the disease has infiltrated two Canadian provinces and 25 American states.

Minister Yurek assures the population that the province is taking the right measures in order to stop this disease from crossing our borders. “We’ve expanded and hired more people to do surveillance during this hunt season along the Quebec border,” he says.

He adds that, should a hunter kill a deer, they are encouraged to deposit a sample of the deer head at the closest MNRF freezer, which are available at various locations. This is in the goal of getting an MNRF technician to further examine the deer and see if it has this fatal disease. Minister Yurek states that hunters should note that the meat will be returned.

For more information on MNRF freezer locations, visit their website.

With files from Devon Jolander