1st confirmed EHD deer

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by mrdux, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. smashdn

    smashdn 12 pointer

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    Palmyra, Kentucky
    I pray for your safety.
     
  2. CrazyGame16

    CrazyGame16 6 pointer

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    Definitely want to hear confirmation from biologists - seems to be a little early to write the herd off. Or, I may just be holding onto the shreds of hope...
     
  3. philipfleek

    philipfleek 12 pointer

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    philville, KY
    You did. Cssarcher is one for KY.
     
  4. mrdux

    mrdux Guest

    Excuse the hell out of me for giving a crap!!

    This came from a friend of mine whose family has managed this property in far southern IL for generations for trophy bucks. These guys have raised, watched and taken more 150-170 class deer than most so called experts here will ever see in a magazine.They also keep close tabs on the health of the herd and have experienced EHD die-offs in several years. They know EHD when they see it and if they told me that they saw Elvis bending Bigfoot over on a flying saucer, I would take it as gospel because that is the kind of folks they are. I don't have anything to gain from reporting what I was told, just trying to get folks to be heads-up and keep an eye out. BTW, I have been told by certified biologists from the USF&W that they are very worried that this may be a historic year for deer die-off due to current weather conditions around here. Same conditions exist on both sides of the Ohio River.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2012
  5. buckfever

    buckfever 12 pointer

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    Harrods Creek Ky, USA.
    If it was true that they only breed in stagnant water, why wouldn't the outbreaks be worse in "wet" years where there's lots of stagnant water stands around and presumably more midges? In 2007, which was presumably the worst EHD outbreak in Ky history, the entire state was in extreme drought. I don't recall how cold the winter of 2006-2007 was, but is there any scientific evidence that a "mild" winter increases the chances of an EHD outbreak????

    I don't disagree that the midges are throughout the woods, but I'd bet that the EHD-carrying midges congregate heavily around water. I don't know about you guys, but in my experience, there are always a lot more biting bugs around when I hunt near a stream or pond (or any damp/humid area) than if I hunt high ground. When there's a drought and far fewer water holes, it makes sense to me that both the deer and the midges congregate at the same spot, and thus, more deer get infected. The outbreak is likely also compounded by the fact that the deer are heavily stressed by the hot, dry weather, and therefore, their immune responses are somewhat suppressed.

    Is it true that midges "follow" the deer through the woods or do they just happen to find them when they show up where the midges are hanging out? I don't know whether there's any studies on these midges, but it seems to me that if baiting caused EHD, you'd see a lot more incidence of the disease in "baiting allowed" states like Kentucky than in non-baiting states, and I've never heard that to be the case.
     
  6. damon kustes

    damon kustes 6 pointer

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    Guys

    There is nothing we can do to prevent another outbreak but if it does happen we can demand that the Dept address the issue instead of insisting that nothing is wrong like they did last time (I believe it was because they feared losing license revenue.)

    It is our responsibility to scream loud and hard that the doe harvest MUST BE curtailed. Last time they let hunters continue on with a doe harvest like nothing was wrong.

    It is up to US to not let that happen again..
     
  7. WildmanWilson

    WildmanWilson 12 pointer

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    Western Ky.
    In dry years the water is concentrated to just a few spots. The midges are much more concentrated and so will the deer. Thats why they have a much greater chance at getting EHD. Not every midge bite will give EHD but when there are so many more concentrated together the odds go up because they are bit many more times.

    Think about if every snake in the county was in the woods you hunt for some reason and you have to walk across that woods every day. There is a much greater chance of getting bit by a snake and also a greater chance at getting bit by a poisonous one. If the snakes went back to normal and spread out then the odds of getting bit by a snake goes down and the odds of getting bit by a poisonous on goes down even more.

    Some deer will die every year from EHD the way I understand it but the numbers will normally be low until the condition are favorable for both to be pushed together in a smaller area for a longer time.
     
  8. DRS

    DRS Banned

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    Kentucky
    Good post, which I agree with!
     
  9. DRS

    DRS Banned

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    Mar 3, 2010
    Kentucky
    buckfever posted:

    If it was true that they only breed in stagnant water, why wouldn't the outbreaks be worse in "wet" years where there's lots of stagnant water stands around and presumably more midges? In 2007, which was presumably the worst EHD outbreak in Ky history, the entire state was in extreme drought. I don't recall how cold the winter of 2006-2007 was, but is there any scientific evidence that a "mild" winter increases the chances of an EHD outbreak????

    Yes, the year 2007 was almost like we're having this year. If ther is a mild winter prior to the hot & dry Summer, then "Midges" will survive and their population will be increased. Also, if the Summer is dry & hot, Deer tend to congergate around shrinking water supplies, Midges too and some carry the EHD virus.


    I don't disagree that the midges are throughout the woods, but I'd bet that the EHD-carrying midges congregate heavily around water. When there's a drought and far fewer water holes, it makes sense to me that both the deer and the midges congregate at the same spot, and thus, more deer get infected. The outbreak is likely also compounded by the fact that the deer are heavily stressed by the hot, dry weather, and therefore, their immune responses are somewhat suppressed.


    Anytime an animal is under stress, it's immune system can be affected. Thus, a disease like EHD can affect these weak Deer, especially if the Deer are in great numbers in an area. Now, if a particular number of Deer survive an EHD out break they build-up a certain amount of immunity. Also if Deer are forced to congregate heavily around limited water supplies, before they are able to built-up an ammunity, this can contribute to an out break of EHD.


    Is it true that midges "follow" the deer through the woods or do they just happen to find them when they show up where the midges are hanging out? I don't know whether there's any studies on these midges, but it seems to me that if baiting caused EHD, you'd see a lot more incidence of the disease in "baiting allowed" states like Kentucky than in non-baiting states, and I've never heard that to be the case.

    It's my belief that baiting Deer, in drought conditions, will contribute to EHD spreading through an area's herd.
     
  10. CSS archer

    CSS archer BBBC Members

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    Central KY
    When there is adequate rain, streamflow exists decreasing the amount of shallow stagnant pools. When the only lush vegetation is near streams, deer concentrate there, for the water source and eating things like nettles and jewel weed, which is succculent. Because midges breed in "stagnant" water their overall numbers are increased during these dry periods. Any concentration of deer due to high numbers or food/water sources can increase transmission of the disease.

    It's truly amazing to me that people want KDFWR to do emergency regulations to reduce harvest of deer when it really wouldn't matter. Yet, the mere thought of outlawing baiting, is so contested...

    EHD happens, and although losing mature bucks and any deer for that matter is sickening, it's natural and reduces numbers where we as hunters can't or aren't..
     
  11. BadDuck

    BadDuck 12 pointer

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    I dont think we have nearly as many deer as you do but we lost a countless amount of deer. There is a river within 100 yards of my place.
     
  12. buckfever

    buckfever 12 pointer

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    Oct 25, 2002
    Harrods Creek Ky, USA.
    A. Joe, your theory that there are more midges in drought years, because drought dries up streams, leaving more pockets of water to stagnate, makes some sense, but it has always seemed to me that we have more water-borne biting bugs (i.e. mosquitoes) when it rains heavily during the summer??? Are midges different than mosquitoes and require even more foul water? However, even if you're correct on drought = more midges, it still doesn't undermine my thought that midges will hang around water sources wherever they exist, and drought conditions force deer to congregate more heavily around the water sources where they're more likely to be bitten and infected by an EHD-carrying bug.

    B. I'm with you that calls for emergency harvest level reductions are premature and currently unwarranted (seeing as how we don't have any EHD outbreak). However, that being said, I can understand the call to arms. When the 2007 outbreak hit, KDFWR didn't take any immediate action and waited to see the results of the hunting season harvests. IMO, that was a mistake. There were a number of counties that were hit very hard by the EHD outbreak, and not reining in the harvest levels in these hard-hit counties only exacerbated a difficult situation. IMO, some of these counties that are still recovering from the outbreak would have bounced back quicker (1 to 2 years instead of 4 or 5 years) if KDFWR had proactively monitored the disease and re-zoned accordingly.

    C. I also agree that views on baiting aren't consistent with a "save the deer" mindset. However, are there scientific studies or other empirical evidence suggesting that EHD hits deer herds harder in states that allow baiting? I'm still not convinced that deer congregation at bait sites would increase the prevalence of EHD, because, as mentioned above, I tend to think that EHD takes place more frequently during drought seasons, and it's spread is primarily caused by the deer spending more time around the limited water sources (i.e. midge country).

    I know a guy with a farm on the Little Kentucky and another on Harrods Creek, and both of their farms were hit very hard by EHD. I think when there's no moisture on the ground (i.e. dew on leaves, puddles on ground, etc.), the deer gravitate to and spend more time than they otherwise would along existing water sources, where midges hang out.

    I'm with you. Pretty much what I said.
     
  13. CSS archer

    CSS archer BBBC Members

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    Dec 13, 2001
    Central KY
    Midges are found everywhere, they have to have standing water to lay eggs. Midges are the little "no seeums" that are 90 percent teeth that wear you out in Sept. if you don't have a thermacell.. I've had them bite me when I was no where near a water source.

    During adequate rainfall years deer are scattered feeding on natural food sources, they obtain water from their food rarely needing to drink water. In drought situations they are indeed concentrated near water sources and the vegetation that is doing well in those locations.

    Once a deer contracts EHD, it may die in 36 hours or survive, while the infection is ongoing, every midge that bites that deer then bites another transmitting the disease. Concentrating deer in any way during an EHD outbreak is detrimental...

    It is more severe in high density and poor habitats. In poor habitats again deer are concentrated more on available food...

    I saw some very high mortality during the last outbreak, it was type II EHD, if type I hits this time it could be equally as devastating.. That being said, I saw more deer last year than ever...

    Nothing can be done but to keep the population in check prior to this happening. We as hunters can recognize the problem and simply not take does if we've had a bad mortality to EHD in a given year..
     
  14. DRS

    DRS Banned

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    Kentucky
    Another great post, Joe. :) This EHD outbreak, with a great possibility of it occurring this year, have most folks here are afraid and concerned.

    Folks, Joe is correct inthat nothing can be done, and if EHD becomes an issue this fall, use prudent hunting knowledge, in your hunting area(s), by not taking several Doe or better only take one Buck. Also, placing out bait or corn piles, food plots cause Deer to group together increasing the possibility of EHD exposure.
     
  15. KY Swamp Beagler

    KY Swamp Beagler 12 pointer

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    the swamps of western KY
    Here are a few points to consider. EHD has always been a possibility in our deer herd. The difference is now we have a ton of deer so the impact is more "in your face" so to speak. You have a better chance now of seeing the affects of EHD because our deer herd is more widespread and concentrated. EHD is inevitable as mentioned before.

    However, I don't believe we need the KDFWR to institute a curtailment of our yearly harvest. We should be stewards of the resource and curtail our harvest based on the impact to our area. Furthermore, it seems to me that if the KDFWR did institute some sort of initiative, the first order of business would be to stop "baiting" which opens up a whole other can of worms.

    I think right now we need to step back take a breather and see how mother nature naturally thins out the deer here if it ever gets to that point. And remember there hasn't been any official press releases sent out by the KDFWR stating a confirmed case of EHD has been documented.
     

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