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Hemorrhagic Disease: The Deadliest Killer of Whitetails

Despite public admission in many cases, wildlife succumbs to disease more often than you might think.

It is curious to me how many people seem to think wildlife don't die from diseases! Yet, wild animals are no different from humans, and are beset with a host of pathogens and parasites. In the early days of my career, the only deer disease or parasite of concern was anthrax and screwworm. Anthrax was well-known to Texans, ravaging southwest Texas cattle, horse and sheep herds in areas where buffalo had over-wintered. In 1946 — the year I was born — the screwworm was named chief of insects affecting both man and animals. Building on the fact that this insect only mated once, government researchers sterilized male flies with radiation, and released them throughout infected...

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