Lab results have confirmed the presence of parasites in wild white-tailed deer found on a private property in Newton County in late February and early March.
About 40 deer were found on the property, dead, soon after heavy snow melted.
According to Moriah Boggess, deer biologist for the Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife, the deer may have died days or weeks before being discovered.
Lab results from diagnostic testing conducted at the Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab at Purdue University identified the parasites as lung worm, which Boggess says commonly occur throughout the range of the white-tailed deer species. He says it is likely that high parasite loads, combined with heavy snowfall, poor nutrition, and a prolonged cold snap in mid-February were contributing factors to the deer deaths. All deer sampled tested negative for chronic wasting disease.
DNR reminds hunters and their families that meat from animals known or suspected to be ill should not be consumed.
People who see sick wildlife or wildlife that appear to have died from illness are encouraged to report it to the DNR using the online reporting tool at These reports help DNR biologists monitor potential wildlife disease outbreaks and track trends in wildlife health over time.