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Illinois hunting and fishing

Map of EHD occurrences by number of reports per county. Map courtesy of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

DNR: 2,043 EHD deer deaths reported so far

October 04, 2012 at 02:35 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has received reports of 2,043 deer deaths from 76 counties likely caused by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).

DNR released a report Oct. 4 updating efforts to monitor the intensity of the outbreak in Illinois.

EHD is caused by a virus spread by biting midges and is often fatal in white-tailed deer.

Deer experience high fever, and often are found dead in and around water sources.

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

Freezing temperatures will put an end to the outbreak because insects will no longer be active.

Counties with the highest number of reported deer deaths include Cook with 326, Calhoun at 181, Coles with 138 and Macon and Shelby reporting 121.

The last update in early September said 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.

According to DNR, hunters should not be concerned about eating venison from deer that might have been infected with EHD and survived.

EHD has been found in neighboring Midwest states including Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Michigan has been especially hard hit with reports of more than 4,200 deer found dead in 24 counties.

Sick or dead deer that hunters or landowners suspect have contracted EHD, especially those found in or near water, should contact their regional DNR field office.

Reports also can be made directly to Tom Micetich, DNR deer project manager, at (309) 543-3316, ext. 231, or e-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Include your name and phone number along with the county, number of dead deer, and specific location of the deer including the distance and direction from the nearest town.

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

For more information, follow the link to an extensive article on hemorrhagic disease by the Quality Deer Management Association: http://www.qdma.com/articles/know-the-signs-of-hd-hemorrhagic-disease

Chris Young can be reached at (217) 788-1528.

Illinois hunting and fishing
The remains of a deer found near a dry creek bed in Sangamon County. Photo by Chris Young.

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