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Author Topic: Whitetail deer EHD/Blue tongue  (Read 2194 times)

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Offline Riggs

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Whitetail deer EHD/Blue tongue
« on: August 20, 2012, 02:29:06 PM »
We are having an outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease or Blue tongue with the deer in our area. I have never heard of this until this year and from what I can tell it is having a pretty significant impact on our population.
From what I've read, it is a virus carried by midge flies, aka gnats, no see ums, and affects wild ruminants. Basically it causes their tongues, head, neck ect. to swell, fever, lameness and eventual death.
Here is a link if you'd like to read more. http://www.growingdeer.tv/view/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Epizootic-Hemorrhagic-Disease-Fact-Sheet.pdf

I have heard of a gated community within a few miles of my house already reporting 75 dead deer. I haven't found any on my property but one of my neighbors has. This is scary stuff, and sounds like a terrible way for the deer to die.

My questions about this are,
1. Has anyone here ever had any experience with this?
2. What kind of effect will it have on our deer population long term?
3. If there are any deer left by hunting season, will they be safe to eat?

Thanks.
Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.~Ernest Hemingway

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Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: Whitetail deer EHD/Blue tongue
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2012, 03:15:03 PM »
We had an outbreak several years ago.  Significant numbers of deer were showing up dead, and due to the nature of the disease, they all headed for water (they want to cool off from the fever).  This means that as a municipal water supply, we were pulling 4-5 dead deer a day out of the reservoir.  We've had a few here and there that have showed the symptoms since then, but it doesn't seem to have had a major impact on the population as a whole.  It might drop the numbers for a year or two but they come right back up.  From the research that I've done, it's not really population density related, so an outbreak is due more to increased midge numbers and not an overpopulation of deer.  The remaining deer are safe to eat and pose no threat to humans.

A little more for your reading pleasure can be found here - http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/diseases/hd.asp 
Forester - Newport News Waterworks

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Whitetail deer EHD/Blue tongue
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 04:58:09 PM »
Nature has a way of taking out the weak and the strong will survive. Over the years I've seen several different causes of death that have taken its toll on the Deer population. I wouldn't worry about population.....they're like rabbits around here.  :)
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Offline sandhills

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Re: Whitetail deer EHD/Blue tongue
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 10:42:29 PM »
We've had it here in years past and it's showing up again now, it tends to follow extremely dry years where as VT posted they head for water, when water is hard to find as it is this year they all end up at the same watering holes and it then spreads fast.  I hadn't heard much about it since 2002 (which was bad) around here and right now we have the highest populations I have seen in my lifetime so I wouldn't be too concerned about the long term effects.

Offline wdtik

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Re: Whitetail deer EHD/Blue tongue
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 10:54:12 PM »

My questions about this are,
1. Has anyone here ever had any experience with this?

Yes both this year and maybe 10-12 years ago

2. What kind of effect will it have on our deer population long term?

The first time I saw this maybe 90+++% die off, the population was very
high at the time,beyond what the range should have had.

3. If there are any deer left by hunting season, will they be safe to eat?

Not sure about the food safety aspect, APHIS has put MT sheep under a 16 county
quarantine for 30 days, first outbreak since the '60's. 

Thanks.


  The deer came back after the last outbreak but not to the pre outbreak levels.

Offline Riggs

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Re: Whitetail deer EHD/Blue tongue
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 11:02:55 PM »
Thanks for the answers, I know this is one of Ma natures ways of population control. I still worry about feeding it to my family, even though they say it's safe. I will probably steer clear of venisen this year.
Every man's life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.~Ernest Hemingway

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Offline Autocar

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Re: Whitetail deer EHD/Blue tongue
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2012, 07:31:19 PM »
My experance with it ,it seems to be on dry summer real dry summers and the deer water at one spot and this is how it is transmitted. But I may be wrong also.
Bill

Offline clww

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Re: Whitetail deer EHD/Blue tongue
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2012, 07:35:35 PM »
I heard a report on the local NPR Radio this past weekend when I was up at the cabin talking about 11 deer found dead at Lake Moomaw, in Bath County, VA. All tested positive for EHD, which, according to the report, was rare west of the Blue Ridge in VA.
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