The state of South Dakota is pulling all its unsold deer tags from a six-county region that has been particularly hard-hit by an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease.

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In the wake of soaring deer deaths, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department has removed all unsold licenses from deer hunting units in six area counties. Secretary Jeff Vonk took the action after receiving authority from the GF&P Commission last week. The action affects Bon Homme, Hutchinson, Yankton, Clay, Union and Charles Mix counties. Yankton County conservation officer Sam Schelhaas has seen and heard firsthand the number of deer deaths across southeast South Dakota. The outbreak has worsened over the past month, with most cases attributed to Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) or a similar disease known as bluetongue.

According to the story, officials are receiving hundreds of reports of dead deer across the region, and the problem has only gotten worse, with estimates ranging from a minimum of 700 to well over 1,000 deer deaths reported so far. EHD has been a problem this year in many areas of the country. What’s the situation in your area?