DEC seeks public assistance in reporting deer escaped from St. Lawrence County captive deer facility

Residents and Hunters Asked to Report Any Deer Observed or Taken with Ear Tags

WATERTOWN, NY  —  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 6 announced today that a white-tailed deer recently escaped from a facility in the town of Gouverneur, St. Lawrence County. The deer is marked with ear tags and DEC is asking residents and hunters that observe or take a deer with ear tags in this township or the surrounding area to contact DEC’s Watertown Wildlife office at 315-785-2263.

In addition, to protect deer, elk, and moose from chronic wasting disease (CWD), DEC would like to collect samples from this animal once caught. CWD is a fatal disease and poses a serious threat to wild populations of cervids with the potential to impact the benefits associated with deer and moose in New York State, including hunting traditions and sustainable use of venison, economic benefits derived from big game hunting, and wildlife viewing and photography.

CWD has not been identified in New York since 2005, when both captive and wild deer from Oneida County were verified as having the disease. New York is the only state in the U.S. to have successfully eliminated CWD from the landscape after it was discovered. DEC and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets have been collecting CWD samples from both wild and captive deer for more than 15 years throughout New York State and such sampling is an important part of the State’s ongoing effort to monitor for the presence of this prion-based disease, which currently infects 31 states and three Canadian provinces.

Contact the nearest DEC regional wildlife office or Environmental Conservation Police Officer to report any deer suspected to have CWD.