Improper hunting practices leading to greater numbers of infected deer
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deer from at least 22 different U.S. states and parts of Canada have all been affected by a disease caused by hunters who shoot the deer then allow them to escape with the bullets lodged in their bodies, rather than tracking the deer down and putting them down humanely.
It has been proven by the CDC that the lead bullets that the hunters use settles in the skin of the deer and creates lead poison that ends up killing the deer, also spoiling the meat. If the infected deer mate, the disease is also passed to their offspring.
The disease was first discovered in Colorado in 1967, according to the CDC, and so far, no cases in humans have ever been reported. The so called "zombie deer disease" is the words used to describe the deer that have been exposed to lead poison.
The lead poison affects these deer by causing chronic wasting disease; that in turn causes a number of symptoms in animals, including drastic weight loss, a lack of coordination, drooling, listlessness or a blank facial expression, and a lack of fear of people. According to the CDC, it infects members of the deer family, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, reindeer, moose, and elk.