Deer & Deer Hunting

HYDATID DISEASE

Increasing predator populations across North America have piqued the interest of whitetail hunters everywhere. Some sportsmen view increased predator populations as a threat to local deer herds, while others see bonus hunting seasons and/or wildlife viewing opportunities.

However, as is the case with nearly all things wild, increased populations often bring negative consequences. In the case of wild canines, these can include deadly human consequences such as hydatid disease. The affliction is nothing new — it’s been around for centuries — but it should be recognized by anyone who now finds himself living and/or hunting in places like Montana, Idaho and the Upper Great Lakes states — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan — where wolves and coyotes are becoming more prevalent.

Hydatid disease, caused by the dog tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus, and the fox tapeworm E. multiloccularis, is not prevalent in all of whitetail country. However, deer hunters who travel to areas where this disease exists in order to hunt deer, elk, moose or caribou, should be aware of its dangers.

Hydatid disease is something of a personal matter with me. A relative of mine died of this disease, and my maternal grandfather quickly took steps to

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