If we let nature take its course, will deer become resistant to CWD?
The agent of CWD is a type of protein, not a virus or bacteria. These proteins, called prions, have a normal form that occurs naturally in deer and all mammals. Since prions are a normal part of deer and since animals are likely to survive through at least one more breeding season after being infected, immunity and genetic selection are likely functioning differently than with more typical diseases.
No white-tailed deer have been identified with complete resistance to CWD. Research shows that white-tailed deer with a certain genotype survive longer with the disease than other genetic types. They still eventually die from CWD, and living longer merely means that they have more time to expose other deer.