Connect with us

Deer Hunting

COVID-19 Found in Utah Mule Deer



Well, there’s your problem. They’re not wearing masks!

While COVID-19 was confirmed in white-tailed deer in parts of the U.S. last year, the virus was recently confirmed in Utah mule deer for the first time after the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources submitted samples taken from deer during winter health assessments.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has been collaborating on a research study to test various wildlife species for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). As part of the study, DWR biologists collected nasal swab samples and blood samples from deer during the annual helicopter captures where biologists perform a health check and place GPS collars on the animals. From November to December, samples were taken from roughly 280 deer statewide and were sent to two USDA labs in other states for testing.

On March 22, the APHIS’ National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa confirmed a case of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant in one of the samples submitted from a female mule deer in Morgan County. Only one deer tested positive for the virus from the nasal samples, but several other Utah deer had the antibodies in their blood samples, indicating the virus had been in the deer population prior to the capture.

“While it is confirmed that mule deer are susceptible to this virus, the deer that we took samples from did not show any clinical signs of the illness, and there isn’t any evidence that it is killing mule deer,” DWR State Veterinarian Ginger Stout said. “There is also no evidence that animals, including mule deer, are playing a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2 to people, and the available research suggests that the likelihood of getting COVID-19 from an animal is quite low.”

It is unclear how the mule deer was exposed to the delta variant of COVID-19. It is possible it may have been exposed through people, other deer or another animal species.

There is no evidence that people can get COVID-19 by eating meat from an infected animal. However, hunters should always practice good food hygiene when processing harvested wildlife by doing the following:

  • Don’t allow contact between wildlife and domestic animals, including pets and hunting dogs.
  • Do not harvest animals that appear sick or are found already dead.
  • Keep game meat clean, and cool the meat down as soon as possible after harvesting the animal.
  • Avoid cutting through the animal’s backbone and spinal tissues, and do not eat the brains of wildlife.
  • When handling and cleaning game meat, wear rubber or disposable gloves. Don’t eat, drink or smoke while handling the meat.
  • When you are finished handling and cleaning the meat, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.


  1. Dennis

    April 18, 2022 at 11:37 am

    Those that believe in covid-1984 should be wearing as many masks as they can to promote their immediate suffocation while continuing to get their jabs everyday until death occurs due to covid-1984. The less of these idiots remaining the better the world will be. Stupid is an incurable disease.


    April 7, 2022 at 11:40 pm

    Thank you for submitting the article –
    But as was stated by another commenter….Where is the data? Where are the specific facts of these statements? I believe we would all like to understand and rely on your article, but without the specifics – it rings hollow.

  3. Rand

    March 30, 2022 at 2:21 pm

    Wearing gloves while cleaning game is important , due to the possible flea jumping onto the hands and biting, thereby a possible transmission of another disease can occur. 1980’s , a man killed a rabbit, while taking it back to camp , he was bitten and got “the plague” , and yes , he died. Extremely rare , but stuff happens.

  4. James

    March 30, 2022 at 10:08 am

    Faucci or what ever his name is should jailed alone with his China cohorts that developed this Covid mess. The sorry doctor is still releasing different version of it to keep us under government control until the whole country economy collapse.

  5. James

    March 29, 2022 at 9:57 am

    Plese show me actual scientific tested data reports that actually prove this article. Dates, times , places and names of actual people who performed these test with actual results.
    there are alot of Hack reports being produced and published to misinform the public. Avid outdoors people like being informed but not by ( lazy , ignorant , bias ) reporting.
    Eager for your reply and actual data.


    • Heretic

      March 30, 2022 at 4:44 pm

      ..and Putin has been nominated for Nobel prize award in medicine for stopping the pandemic…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Newsletter Sign Up


Copyright © 2021 Brand Avalanche Media, LLC. Popular Outdoorsman is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brand Avalanche Media, LLC. This copyrighted material may not be republished without express permission. The information presented here is for general educational purposes only. MATERIAL CONNECTION DISCLOSURE: You should assume that this website has an affiliate relationship and/or another material connection to the persons or businesses mentioned in or linked to from this page and may receive commissions from purchases you make on subsequent web sites. You should not rely solely on information contained in this email to evaluate the product or service being endorsed. Always exercise due diligence before purchasing any product or service. This website contains advertisements.