EHD Kills Hundreds of Deer in Tennessee Just Before Season Opener
OutdoorHub Reporters 10.23.17
Tennessee’s archery season is already underway, but with the firearm season just weeks away, this news is awfully daunting.
An outbreak of the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) has already effected enough whitetail deer in the area to the point where it will likely take years to restore.
WIBR reports Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency information and education officer Mime Barnes, said, “the disease has always been around, and it kind of pops up here and there, and there’s no predictor of when it’s going to be an outbreak or how big the outbreak will be.”
This particular disease is spread by biting midges and other tiny biting insects.
So how did Tennessee discover they had a problem?
Recent word of EHD started to spread after Morgan County native Ben Gamble noticed something very odd in the deer population on his farm.
“Usually, we mow a lot of crops down there at night, so the deer come out into the fields when they get used to the tractor. There weren’t any deer, so I just made the dreaded walk one day and just found them dead everywhere,” Gamble claimed. “I walked the creek one day and found about a dozen in a 300-yard walk, and that answered all my questions. That was all I needed to see.”
Wildlife officials say there is no cause for concern, however, because the disease is cyclical, and will eventually stop after the first frost; the tiny flies, commonly called ‘No-see-ums,’ can’t survive such cold temperatures.
Anyway you chop it, the timing couldn’t have been worse for something like this. . . It sounds like Tennessee deer hunters will have to hunt a little harder this year if they want to bag a buck.