EHD Taking Toll On Whitetail Deer in Nebraska

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease continues to kill deer over much of Nebraska, spreading from the Missouri River to as far west as Garden County.

This disease historically has occurred in the state since the 1970s, but this year seems to be particularly prevalent. EHD normally occurs in late August to early September when hot and dry conditions exist. This year it started in mid-July, and because the disease is spread by biting insects, it usually does not persist much beyond the first frost.

The disease poses little threat to cattle and no problems for humans. Because of this year’s outbreak, some hunters may expect to see fewer deer in their area this fall.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will not know the full impact of the disease until after the close of the deer seasons. However, deer populations typically have recovered fairly quickly following past EHD die-offs. Game and Parks has no plans to modify 2012 deer seasons in response to EHD losses.

Deer killed by EHD often are found near water and sometimes show evidence of bleeding from the eyes, nose or mouth. Game and Parks remains interested in determining the extent of the disease and its possible effects on the deer population.

The public should report any deer deaths that may be attributed to this disease to their nearest Game and Parks office: Alliance, 308-763-2940; North Platte, 308-535-8025; Kearney, 308-865-5310; Bassett, 402-684-2921; Norfolk, 402-370-3374; and Lincoln, 402-471-0641.