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Friday, October 27, 2017

Disease kills hundreds of deer before hunting season starts

Deer in East Tennessee are being ravaged by a virus weeks before firearm hunting season opens.

The recent outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, which is transmitted by small flies, is concerning hunters in Tennessee because of the damage it is doing to the white-tailed deer population.

"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," sportsman and farmer Ben Gamble toldUSA Today.

"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,” he continued.

The disease, which is spread through biting midges and other tiny biting insects, is common for deer to get, says Mime Barnes, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency information and education officer. What isn’t common is the number of deer the virus has killed this year – the highest number since 2007.



Anonymous said...

This is commonly known as "Blue Tongue". It occasionally hits our deer herd here on the shore. Actually, many believe that it has struck the herd in the Vienna area this year. It seems to attack white tails more heavily than sikas. When a deer becomes afflicted it tends to head to water which may explain finding a large number near a stream in the Tenn. article.

Anonymous said...

There's a disease called a "crop damage permit" here on the shore. Countless deer are gut-shot and left to die by farmers. DNR is also to blame because they issue unlimited permits per the farmer's request. What a waste...