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Great American Outdoors

Hunting

Kentucky whitetailed deer face EHD!

Mother Nature has her own way of managing wildlife populations.  As hunters, it is easy to become frustrated when disease hits the herd you are hunting.  However, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease or EHD, is one of Mother Nature’s tools.  Like many things in the wilds of nature, EHD is not pretty.  Here in Virginia a couple of years ago, EHD hit our herd pretty hard.  We found numerous deer around water sources.  It doesn’t take a wildlife biologist to figure out what happens to the animal with EHD.  It is hard to see a really big buck taken out by disease but again, its part of nature.

Kentucky has just confirmed additional EHD cases in whitetailed deer.  Please make notification to the proper authorities if you see deer presenting symptoms or find dead deer.  Keep reading for more info on EHD in Kentucky and how you can report deer you suspect of having EHD.

“Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease has been reported in white-tailed deer in several east Kentucky counties. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources received confirmation from the Georgia- based Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study Wednesday morning of a Kentucky deer with a strain of the disease.”

‘“Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is not transmittable to people or pets,” Dr. Iga Stasiak, state wildlife veterinarian for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “However, we always recommend that hunters avoid eating venison from deer that were obviously sick.”’

“Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is a viral disease transmitted to deer through the bite of a midge or gnat. The disease has been present in the United States for more than 60 years. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife receives and confirms EHD deer mortalities sporadically, with a small number of mortalities each year. Larger outbreaks tend occur every 5-7 years. Outbreaks cease at the first frost, which kills the biting bugs.”

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