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Deer hunting season could be affected by EEE virus

NOW: Deer hunting season could be affected by EEE virus

BERRIEN COUNTY, MI. - Fall is here and deer hunting season is starting soon. The threat of the EEE virus could now impact hunters.

Tom Cooley with the Michigan DNR tells me that there is not enough information about whether it is safe to eat deer infected with the EEE virus since most of their research has been done on horses.

But he said that in all the research, the most likely way to contract EEE is through mosquitos.

When it comes to mosquitos, wear long pants and shirts and use bug spray containing Deet.

When it comes to processing the deer, he said cutting off the antlers, and wearing gloves and goggles are standard safety protocol.

Cooley does say it’s important to look out for deer that are acting neurologically abnormal and avoid hunting those deer if you plan to eat them.

“They’re going to be unafraid of people. They’re going to be possibly circling. They could be laying down and reluctant to get up. They could be leaning against something. It’s really distinct that there’s something not right about that animal,” Cooley said. “If it’s doing any of those kinds of things where it’s acting really odd. That would be one that you don’t want to consume, regardless.”

It’s important that if you do see a sick deer, to document where it is and notify the authorities right away.

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