Brian Luther of Norwood, N.C., enjoys using scouting cameras and is a huge fan of Deer & Deer Hunting’s “Candid Whitetails” column. As a loyal follower of “Candid Whitetails,” Luther has seen a lot of strange deer photos, but one of the strangest he’s ever seen was taken with his own camera.
Luther obtained a photo of a doe whose body is largely covered with some sort of wart-like growth. His question, understandably, is “what are they?”
These growths appear to be papillomas, one of three benign tumors known to affect white-tailed deer (the others being fibromas and lipomas).According to Leonard Lee Rue III, “These are caused by viral infection, cannot be transmitted to man, and are seldom very injurious to the deer.”
Although none of these deer ailments are common, papillomas are the most common of the three tumors and consist of wart-like growths that may number in the dozens. However, despite their unsightly appearance, the growths come off with the deer’s hide when the deer is skinned, and the meat is completely safe to eat. Cattle also contract papillomas, but of a different variety.
— Joe Shead