October 04, 2012
Michigan Residents Believe DNR is Under-Reporting EHD Deer Fatalities
By Chad Love
Is the state of Michigan deliberately under-reporting the number of deer dying from EHD? Some Michigan hunters think so, according to this story on mlive.com:
Joe Ives said about 90 percent of the deer population on the 60-acre Jackson property he leases have died. “I’ve found 18 on my property around the Eagle Lake area,” Ives said. What Snell, Ives and hunters around the county and state are seeing is the result of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, a disease that has been thinning the deer population ahead of hunting season, and many hunters think the problems in Jackson County are bigger than what the state is reporting. According to the Department of Natural Resources, 259 cases of EHD have been confirmed in Jackson County through Wednesday. Those figures mean Jackson County has the 11th most of the 30 counties where EHD has been confirmed, according to the DNR.
However, according to the story, many hunters say the problem in their area is much worse than the state is letting on.
From the story: “I don’t think (the DNR wants) people to know about how many deer have died because they won’t be able to sell licenses as easy,” Ives said. Ives said he called the DNR about the deer he found on his property but no one came to his property to test them.
But the Michigan DNR says those numbers aren't meant to be taken as the definitive number of deer that have died, but rather an indication that EHD has been confirmed in an area.
From the story: “We don’t test every one. If we have a positive township, you can assume it’s EHD because it’s already been confirmed,” said Steve Schmitt, veterinarian with the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab. “It would be a big waste of money if we tested every deer. We also don’t have a lot of biologists on staff to do the testing.”
Thoughts? Reaction? Have you encountered EHD in your area?