Wildlife managers are seeing more and more elk with deformed hooves.
According to the Capital Press, this disease is mainly affecting the elk herds in Cowlitz County, but have had it reported in 10 other counties as well. They believe the disease is being spread inside of wet soil which is then stepped in by other elk according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
After testing they have found that it is linked to treponeme bacteria, which resembles the digital dermatitis that plagues sheep and cows and makes them lame. The WDFW has asked that hunters in the affected counties remove the hooves even if they don’t see deformities.
It is also worth it to note that this disease doesn’t affect the meat.
What do you think? Have you come across this while hunting in Washington? Let us know in the comments.