Last year at this time, hunters across the Great Plains were lamenting the loss of thousands of deer to disease. A hot, dry summer concentrated deer on what little water sources were available, creating a perfect environment for the spread of EHD in epidemic proportions. So far this year, reports of EHD have been rare, giving hunters hope that this year’s deer season will be better than the last. In fact, the only report I’ve heard so far has come from this press release out of North Dakota:
“Dr. Dan Grove, State Game and Fish Department wildlife veterinarian, said the reports have characteristics similar to previous EHD events, and initial necropsy results on a freshly dead deer from Burleigh County indicate the potential presence of EHD.
“‘Deer losses to EHD occur periodically,’ Grove said. ‘Sometimes the incidents are isolated and affect few animals, and in other cases the disease is spread over a large geographic region.’
“As of Aug. 28, less than 20 dead deer have been reported to the department in three counties – Bowman, Grant and Burleigh. However, the typical range where EHD is found in North Dakota is southwest of the Missouri River, and in large outbreaks most counties in this region are affected.”
Grove and the NDFGD are encouraging hunters in the field this month to report finding any dead deer, including the species of deer, sex and an exact of location as possible.