SUBLETTE COUNTY, Wyo. \u2014 Another mule deer in Pinedale tested positive for disease \u2014 a problem that could be blamed on a residential population of deer receiving food rewards.\r\n\r\nA mule deer buck recently tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in a residential area near Pinedale. It is believed to be one of several in the local town deer population. It marks the second confirmed case of CWD in mule deer within deer hunt area 139. A doe mule deer found dead near the airport in February 2017 also tested positive.\r\n\r\nThe Wyoming Game and Fish Department reminds residents to avoid feeding wildlife. While feeding deer and other wildlife during winter might seem like a good idea, feeding can cause serious problems for these animals.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe perils of feeding:\r\n\r\n \tIncreases the spread of diseases and parasites.\u00a0Feeding wildlife can artificially congregate groups of deer and other species at feeding sites, creating conditions ripe for the spread of diseases and parasites. For example, once CWD is in the wildlife population, feeding can act to increase concentrations of prions, the infectious agent, in the environment. Prions remain in the soil for decades, forming disease \u201chot spots\u201d which put deer, elk or moose returning to those locations at risk. Once infected, animals do not recover.\r\n \tPromotes starvation and can bring about numerous conflict situations.\u00a0\u00a0Big game animals, such as deer and moose will readily eat hay or other feeds when offered, but the micro-organisms in their stomachs that aid in digestion are specialized to breakdown vegetation the animal would naturally consume during winter months, primarily woody plants. This means it takes a lot longer to digest other foods and is why these animals can often starve to death despite having a stomach full of hay, birdseed, fruit, grain or pellets.\u00a0Feeding wildlife can also lead to a higher risk of damage to private property, vehicle collisions, presence of predators and dangerous human-wildlife encounters.\r\n\r\nWyoming residents who feed wildlife during winter certainly have good intentions, but it is important to remember the unintended consequences and resist the urge to try to \u201chelp\u201d wildlife by feeding them.