Iowa slowly is joining Wisconsin and Minnesota with that deer chronic wasting disease with Dubuque having another case.
Several years ago, Texas banned the feeding of deer because of the rampant spread of this disease. Deer are browsers, eating as they go with a bite here and there instead of standing in one spot, eating a pile of corn or licking a salt block and sharing saliva with other deer. There also is a danger of them foundering with too much of a good thing.
One deer we spotted in Texas had hoofs curled up under her feet because of too much corn. It was terrible to see her walk or try to run. Because she couldn’t stand long, she still would lie down next to a pile of corn and eat greedily.
I enjoy watching deer as much as anyone, and see the few in my backyard, doubling in size each year, which presents a problem that will increase as time goes by. For those who want to feed deer, dropping a grain of corn along the ground here and there might be one way to slow the spread of disease. They can smell through the snow. But there is enough natural vegetation in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids for their normal, balanced diets. If there is a food shortage, they will migrate.