600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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April 02, 1999
Contact: Jack Smith, (360) 249-6523 or Fred Dobler, (360)690-7241

Volunteers sought to monitor ailing deer

OLYMPIA– Training sessions will offered next week for volunteers who wish to help gather information on blacktail deer suffering from a mysterious hair-loss ailment.

Training will be offered Tuesday (April 6) at the Kitsap County Bow Hunters (KBH) Clubhouse, 3680 Old Belfair Highway; on Wednesday (April 7) at Cowlitz County Fire District, 701 Vine St., in Kelso and Thursday (April 8) in Room 172 of the Natural Resource Building, 1111 Washington St., in Olympia. All three sessions will run from 7 to 9 p.m.

The training will inform volunteers about the hair-loss syndrome affecting blacktail deer in western Washington and how and where to collect data on affected deer.

The effort is being organized by Eyes In the Woods, a volunteer group that is working with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on projects to benefit wildlife.

The Department is attempting to collect as much information as possible on the extent of the hair-loss syndrome, the cause of which is not known. For the past two years, a number of blacktail deer on the westside of the state have been observed with the hair-loss syndrome, which leaves them vulnerable to weather and exhaustion. Fawns and yearlings have been most severely affected and many have died.

The cause of the syndrome has not yet been identified. Recently, the Department transported eight deer to Washington State University for further observation and testing.

Eyes In The Woods can be contacted at http://www.crispie.com/eyes/ on the Internet or through Kyle Winton (360) 951-1727 or Tony Wells (360) 352-0616.