The more people I talk to the more prevalent it seems to be. As farmers are out checking crops for harvest and hunters scouting, the smell has been the key to finding these deer. There have also been reports of sickly looking deer wandering near farmsteads unafraid of humans. This is a clear sign that one is likely sick.
In our part of the country we were rather dry during July and August creating the perfect conditions for the biting midges that spread EHD. Although we have had some wet weather in the recent weeks, I think the damage is done. All we can hope for is a good freeze to kill the midges. So far it doesn’t seem to be quite as bad as it was in 2012. In fact it may be a good thing to get it coming through again.
If it occurs more often, it gives the population a chance to build immunity for the disease, in my opinion. Those who survived the last go round as fawns are only 4 years old now and if they survived then they should be able to get through it now especially if they contracted the disease the first time and made it.
I suspect we will see the full story of how bad this year’s outbreak is, as crop harvest ramps up in the coming weeks. So far the reports, I don’t think, are near as bad as they were 4 years ago. Hopefully your hunting grounds haven’t been affected too badly. There is no way to treat this but as I stated above maybe the herds can begin to build immunity towards the disease. Otherwise we can make sure our herds are in the best shape they can be by harvesting the appropriate number of deer for each individual property, providing the best habitat possible with the best food and water sources we can so that deer remain as healthy as they can.
Remember to manage today for a better tomorrow!