In early April 2021 people began seeing sick and dead deer on the islands. This was reported to local authorities who then informed Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Samples were collected and by late May the cause had been identified as Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease. This disease only affects deer and does not affect other wild animals or livestock. Sadly, there is no cure or treatment for the disease, which is often lethal, especially in young fawns. Symptoms of the disease include open-mouthed breathing, foaming from the mouth, weakness and emaciation, but some deer, especially young fawns, can show no symptoms then die very suddenly.
For further information about AHD, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/diseases/AHD
There have not been any reports of deer with AHD yet in 2022. You can call Wolf Hollow with any observation of deer with symptoms. 360-378-5000. Please note, if you see a fawn alone in the undergrowth, that does not mean they are sick. That is the natural pattern. If the fawn is still there after 24 hours, that is the time to give us a call.
Anyone on the San Juan Islands or Skagit County who sees live or dead deer with signs of AHD such as heavy foaming from the mouth, bleeding from orifices or any other unusual signs, is asked to report their sightings online through the reporting link on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s web site. https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/diseases.