Thanks to all for your assistance during this mortality event; to the public for contacting us with reports of dead deer; and to DNR personnel whether you were answering phone calls, investigating reports of dead deer, transporting carcasses, checking harvested deer for hoof lesions, or countless other contacts that you had with the public concerning this disease outbreak. Your efforts were greatly appreciated.
As always, if you have any questions concerning the EHD die-off, contact me.
Thomas M. Cooley, Wildlife Biologist/Pathologist
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife Disease Lab, 517-336-5030
- click to enlarge -
White-tailed deer died of EHD in 2007 (MDNR photo)
2012 Map of EHD in wild deer occurrences - January 8, 2013
Total number of dead deer reported: 14,898
INFORMATION FOR HUNTERS:
November 8, 2012: The DNR Director signed an emergency order decreasing the antlerless license season limits in response to deer losses due to EHD. See details in the Antlerless Deer License Purchase Limits (Per Hunter) table, found towards the bottom of the 2012 Antlerless Deer Hunting License Information webpage.
What to look for in your deer:
If you see any of these please take your deer to a MDNR Check Station.
If you come across dead deer in the field, please report them by following these directions:
To report the presence of dead deer, we encourage members of the public to contact their nearest MDNR Wildlife office or fill out the Sick or diseased bird or mammal Reporting Form. If you have specific information that has been reported to you but that has not yet been shared (not first hand), you may report it on the same form. The form requests a zip code; if you don't know the zip code of the location of the suspect EHD deer, just enter 55555. The MDNR Wildlife Division will be taking reports of dead deer that are likely EHD-related right up until January 1, 2013. Thank you.
MDNR Press Release October 22: DNR asks for continued assistance in reporting deer die-offs from EHD
Message from DNR's Brent Rudolph, Wildlife Research Specialist, Deer and Elk Program Leader, 517-641-4903 (ext 248), firstname.lastname@example.org:
The number of deer listed on the map and in the table is a MINIMUM number, since not all deer that die are reported. The DNR is VERY thankful to the many hunters and volunteers that are working with us to provide this information. This is a horrible disease for hunters, the public in general, and DNR personnel to see impacting the deer. But, while nobody is pleased to be dealing with this, we'll get through it, these local deer populations will rebound, and we can at least be thankful this is not a disease with human health concerns or permanent impacts on the health of our deer.
For questions about the EHD outbreak, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section below, or contact the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab at 517-336-5030 or email@example.com
- MDNR Press Release September 24, 2012: DNR announces EHD now found in 24 counties
- MDARD Press Release August 30, 2012: MDARD Warns of EHD in Domestic Deer Facilities
- MDNR Press Release August 16, 2012: EHD confirmed in eight Michigan counties: Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Clinton, Eaton, Ionia and Montcalm
- MDNR Press Release July 31, 2012: EHD outbreak confirmed in deer in Ionia and Branch counties
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is EHD?
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is an acute, infectious, viral disease found in wild ruminants like white-tailed deer.
- Can humans get EHD?
EHD does not affect humans so edibility of the venison is not impacted by this disease. There is no evidence that humans can contract the EHD virus either from the midge or from handling and eating venison.
- Where has EHD been found?
EHD has been present in the United States for over 50 years now and no long-term effects on any deer herd have been recorded. Where EHD is more common, deer have built up antibodies to the disease. Michigan deer do not have the benefit of these antibodies. Losses may be severe, and while impacts on deer numbers are typically restricted to localized areas, recovery may take longer than has been experienced in other states. Large scale regional deer population decreases have not been observed. Die-offs attributed to EHD in Michigan have occurred periodically since 1955 in multiple counties including Allegan, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, Berrien, Cass, Ottawa, St Joseph and Van Buren Counties with an estimated total mortality of 2,150 deer. There is an outbreak on-going currenty (2012) in Michigan.
- How do deer get EHD?
A deer must be bitten by a midge carrying the virus to become infected. A midge can carry the virus to other deer after it has bitten an infected live animal. The disease is not transmitted directly from one deer to another but must go through the insect vector, in this case a midge species, Culicoides variipennis. The midges cannot survive frost and die in autumn. Because of this, the disease appears during late summer and early fall (August-October) and ceases abruptly with the onset of frost.
- Can my livestock get EHD?
EHD can infect domestic animals -- most commonly hoof stock, but rarely causes any disease.
- What are the symptoms of EHD?
The disease has a sudden onset. White-tailed deer develop signs of illness about 7 days after exposure. Symptoms of the disease include; loss of appetite and fear of man, weakness, excessive salivation, rapid pulse and respiration rates, fever and unconsciousness. Dead deer are usually found near bodies of water as they use streams, rivers and lakes as places to cool themselves down from the fever. Eight to 36 hours following the onset of observable signs, deer pass into a shock-like state, lay down and die.
More photos of dead deer in water with permission from Tom Stafford of QDMA.com
- How is EHD treated?
There is no known effective treatment or control for EHD.
- What will EHD do to my local deer herd?
Because of its very high mortality rate, EHD can have a significant effect upon a local deer population, reducing numbers drastically. However, large scale decreases on entire populations (statewide) have not been observed. EHD has been present in the United States for over 50 years now and no long-term effects on any deer herd have been recorded.
- What should I do if I find a dead deer on my property I suspect has died from EHD?
If you find a dead deer you suspect has died from EHD, you should contact your nearest DNR office and report it. In the vicinity of Branch County, contact the Crane Pond field office (269) 244-5928 and in Ionia County, contact the Flat River field office (616) 794-2658. The DNR is collecting data where EHD outbreaks have occurred and to what extent the die-offs are happening.
- What can I do with the carcass?
If you find a dead deer on your property you can either: let nature take its course and allow the carcass to decompose naturally or you can dispose of the carcass by burying it at a sufficient depth so that body parts are not showing.
For more information, visit the Michigan Wildlife Disease Manual page on EHD.
- EHD in Wild Ruminants, National Wildlife Health Center, Wildlife Health Bulletin 2012-5
- EHD Brochure from the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia