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Deer Diseases: EHD Takes Toll on Nebraska Whitetail Population

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March 07, 2013

Deer Diseases: EHD Takes Toll on Nebraska Whitetail Population

By Chad Love

Field & Stream readers are well-acquainted with the scourge of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), either through reading about it or by firsthand,in-the-field knowledge. With final deer season tallies now coming in, the disease's impact on this season is becoming appallingly obvious in hard-hit states like Nebraska.

From this story on norfolkdailynews.com:
Drought and an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in 2012 caused significant reductions in whitetail deer populations, permit sales and harvest...Deer permit sales in 2012 declined 13 percent to 122,214. Total deer harvest fell 30 percent to 60,548. The whitetail buck harvest fell 29 percent to 26,309; whitetail antlerless harvest dropped 36 percent to 24,974; mule deer buck harvest declined 3 percent to 7,325; and the mule deer antlerless harvest fell 8 percent to 1,940.

According to the story, while the statewide harvest was down 30 percent, some areas experienced a 50 percent decline. Overall, the combination of drought and disease knocked back Nebraska's deer population to what they were a decade ago. How did your state's deer harvest totals look this year?

Comments (10)

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from jay wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

The Illinois harvest was down, but not significantly. The trend rates have been steadily declining in Illinois since 2005 so it wasn't a surprise they were down. I figured the numbers would be way down but they were not. I found 17 dead dear from EHD last fall on my 206 acres and there were probably more. I'm guessing we lost 70% of the herd but its hard to say. Worst deer season I have ever had. It seems EHD only hit certain areas of the state, some guys not finding any while others were finding alot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

The Illinois harvest was down, but not significantly. The trend rates have been steadily declining in Illinois since 2005 so it wasn't a surprise they were down. I figured the numbers would be way down but they were not. I found 17 dead dear from EHD last fall on my 206 acres and there were probably more. I'm guessing we lost 70% of the herd but its hard to say. Worst deer season I have ever had. It seems EHD only hit certain areas of the state, some guys not finding any while others were finding alot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

I don't understand the double post. the first submit said I had exceeded the number of posts for the time interval which is invalid so I hit post comment again. Sure would be nice to have an edit and delete feature.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Damn- that is some serious rigor mortis.

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from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Iowa was about the same as it has been the last few years. The DNR says they have the population where they want it in most of the state.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

"EHD Takes Toll on Nebraska Whitetail Population in Nebraska"

As opposed to the Nebraska whitetail population in Michigan? Or Florida?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rfleer87 wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

For Nebraska, people were saying they were finding dead deer along their fields. One person said they found 70-90 deer dead in one field.

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from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

I haven't seen any mortality estimates for Missouri, but since the estimated population is somewhere one million, I think it would have to be really high for them to reduce the amount of tags offered. Unless they pick certain areas that were especially hard hit, then it may happen.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHMAN wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Certain areas in MI were devastated. I was getting 500 trail camera photo's per week until EHD hit. In the month of November I had the trail camera out for 3 weeks and ONLY got photo's of two small button bucks.

I went coyote hunting on this property two weeks ago and there was only two sets of tracks in a 25 acre field that has had snow for amost a month. Heartbreaking!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kansashuntandfish wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Eastern Kansas deer populations are down to I have found several dead bucks in the Jefferson county Kansas area

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Post a Comment

from jay wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

The Illinois harvest was down, but not significantly. The trend rates have been steadily declining in Illinois since 2005 so it wasn't a surprise they were down. I figured the numbers would be way down but they were not. I found 17 dead dear from EHD last fall on my 206 acres and there were probably more. I'm guessing we lost 70% of the herd but its hard to say. Worst deer season I have ever had. It seems EHD only hit certain areas of the state, some guys not finding any while others were finding alot.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DSMbirddog wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Iowa was about the same as it has been the last few years. The DNR says they have the population where they want it in most of the state.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

The Illinois harvest was down, but not significantly. The trend rates have been steadily declining in Illinois since 2005 so it wasn't a surprise they were down. I figured the numbers would be way down but they were not. I found 17 dead dear from EHD last fall on my 206 acres and there were probably more. I'm guessing we lost 70% of the herd but its hard to say. Worst deer season I have ever had. It seems EHD only hit certain areas of the state, some guys not finding any while others were finding alot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jay wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

I don't understand the double post. the first submit said I had exceeded the number of posts for the time interval which is invalid so I hit post comment again. Sure would be nice to have an edit and delete feature.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RealGoodMan wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Damn- that is some serious rigor mortis.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

"EHD Takes Toll on Nebraska Whitetail Population in Nebraska"

As opposed to the Nebraska whitetail population in Michigan? Or Florida?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from rfleer87 wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

For Nebraska, people were saying they were finding dead deer along their fields. One person said they found 70-90 deer dead in one field.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

I haven't seen any mortality estimates for Missouri, but since the estimated population is somewhere one million, I think it would have to be really high for them to reduce the amount of tags offered. Unless they pick certain areas that were especially hard hit, then it may happen.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MICHMAN wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Certain areas in MI were devastated. I was getting 500 trail camera photo's per week until EHD hit. In the month of November I had the trail camera out for 3 weeks and ONLY got photo's of two small button bucks.

I went coyote hunting on this property two weeks ago and there was only two sets of tracks in a 25 acre field that has had snow for amost a month. Heartbreaking!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kansashuntandfish wrote 1 year 5 weeks ago

Eastern Kansas deer populations are down to I have found several dead bucks in the Jefferson county Kansas area

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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