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Deer killed by hemorrhagic disease reported in 73 Illinois counties

September 26, 2012 at 02:24 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

Deer killed by hemorrhagic disease, a virus spread by biting midges, have been reported in 73 of Illinois’ 102 counties so far.

Updated numbers of dead deer reported to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources should be available in the next few days, according to Tom Micetich, the DNR’s deer project manager.

Infected deer suffer from high fever and dead animals often are found in and around water where they go to seek relief.

This summer’s drought conditions likely have contributed to the severity of this year’s outbreak.

The last update in early September reported more than 700 dead deer had been reported to officials with calls coming from more than 50 counties.

The last severe outbreak was in 2007, when DNR received 449 reports of 1,966 deer dead in 54 counties.

Outbreaks vary in severity from years to year, and some areas are harder hit than others.

“It’s really sad,” said Mike Smith, who lives near Macomb.

Smith has property in Schuyler County where he has found dead deer.

“We are finding these deer mainly in low lying areas in dry creek beds but also have found five dead ones in ponds,” he said. “We have also found several mature bucks.

“Between me and the neighbors that surround the property in Schuyler County, we’ve found 58 deer so far,” he said Sunday evening.

He reported his findings to DNR and said he was told the number was the highest reported so far in Region 4, which encompasses West Central Illinois.

“It’s good to hear it’s not a huge problem in other areas,” he said. “I still believe that more reports will be coming in as the hunters get into the woods.”

Smith said the die-off will change the way he approaches deer season.

“Many hunters need to rethink their strategies this fall,” Smith said. “We will not be killing any does or fawns. 

“I think we will be spending a lot of time watching squirrels from the tree stand.”

Micetich said outbreaks don’t have much effect on final deer harvest numbers.

“The measurable effect of HD tends to be very local,” he said. “Rarely will even a county-level impact be detected, let alone a statewide one. 

“However, there is no question that those hunting on, or near ‘farms or locales’ where ‘high’ numbers of animals have died will likely see fewer deer while hunting.”

Micetich said dead deer can be reported to the nearest DNR office or directly to him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). His phone number is (309) 543-3316, ext. 231.

“We need the number of dead animals, the county, distance and director from the nearest town and sex if known,” Micetich said. “If a report already has been made to another DNR office, there is no need to duplicate a report to me.”

DNR Regional offices:

Region 1 office, Sterling: (815) 625-2968
Region 2 office, Bartlett:  (847) 608-3100
Region 3 office, Clinton:  (217) 935-6860
Region 4 office, Alton:  (618) 462-1181
Region 5 office, Benton:  (618) 435-8138
Springfield office, Law Enforcement:  (217) 782-6431

Anyone wanting to salvage the antlers from a dead animal must contact their Conservation Police Officer or Office of Law Enforcement at their regional office, Micetich said.

Permission must be obtained before removing the animal or its parts.

Antlers or hide must be tagged with a tag received from a Conservation Police Officer.

The complete rule is found on page 15 of the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations.

For more information, follow the link to an extensive article on hemorrhagic disease by the Quality Deer Management Association:

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I believe you put the wrong email address.  His first name is Tom, not Tim.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/27 at 09:47 AM

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/27 at 09:49 AM

OOPS, I mispelled his last name!
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 09/27 at 09:51 AM

Thanks for pointing that out. I corrected it in the story. Chris Young

Posted by Chris Young on 09/27 at 04:39 PM

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