Adenovirus Outbreak Suspected In SW OR Deer Deaths

Just a month after a woman was convicted of “harassing” dozens of bears in the Yachats Valley, backyard feeding may be leading to the biggest blacktail deer die-off in Southwest Oregon since 2002, reports the Roseburg Mail-Tribune.

According to Mark Freeman’s article, adenovirus is likely to blame. It’s a “highly contagious, quick-killing disease” that can be transmitted “as easily as breathing air from an infected animal, so water buckets and grain piles placed by well-intentioned landowners can turn into viral hot-spots that can kill groups of deer in days.”

The outbreak is in the Jacksonville, Gold Hill and Colestine Valley areas, as well as Bend, in Eastern Oregon, Freeman reports. In 2002, adenovirus killed anywhere from hundreds to 1,000 blacktail in Southwest Oregon.

“Congregating deer through feeding is just going to spread it,” Collin Gillin, ODFW vetrinarian told Freeman. “It’s exacerbating the issue. It’s not helping … The best thing humans can do is, don’t do anything to bring deer together.”

While the article makes clear it’s largely not illegal to feed wildlife in Oregon, Karen Noyes was barred from returning to her home in the Yachats Valley for three years for feeding bears.

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