NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now asking bowhunters to be on the lookout for white-tailed deer.

The state is looking into a deadly disease that affects domestic and wild hoofed animals.

“There are some areas in Orange County, Putnam County, Westchester County where we’re losing a lot of deer. The last count that I heard was just over 1,200 deer in that region. So in some areas there might be fewer deer for hunters to hunt this year,” said Kevin Hynes, wildlife health program leader for the state DEC.

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Reports from hunters help state officials track the spread of the disease.

The DEC says people cannot contract the disease, but hunters should not handle or eat any deer which appear to be sick or act strangely.

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