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Guest Blog

EHD taking toll in Calhoun County

Mon, September 10, 2012


The fact that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is only reporting 75 cases of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in Calhoun is only the tip of the iceberg.  Below is my report to Tom Micetich at the DNR.

I found 7 deer dead over the weekend while fixing some deer stands. Smelled at least that many more that I could not see. I’ve never seen the woods littered with so many deer. I’m guessing all died from blue tongue. 

I have 206 acres in northern Calhoun County, about 5 miles northwest of Kampsville on Panther Creek Road. Scary thing is that all these deer were on 80 acres; I didn’t bother looking through the entire property. 

This outbreak is 10 times worse than 2007.  Below are some pictures I took.

Lang 1

Lang 2

Lang 3

lang 4

Lang 5



I can almost smell the stink! YUCK! But agree that there are WAY more deer unreported than reported.

Posted by Mallardmike on September 10

Yeah, some stunk so bad I didn’t want to get close enough with my camera phone.  Some of the animals were so disenigrated it was hard to make out what it was besides a few bones left.  Had one carcass about 50 yards from my cabin.  Must have been an adult doe, her two fawns were bedded by the carcass and never left no matter how much noise and commotion we made.  Coyotes must be eating well.  I have a two mile drive on a dead end road that follows a creek.  I could smell rotting deer the entire trip back to my property.  Like I said, I smelled more than I actually found.  If I would have spent the day looking for dead deer instead of fixing stand locations lord knows how many I would have found.

Posted by buckbull on September 10

Man that is horrible!  Did you at least cut the rack off the buck?

Posted by illinibowhunter on September 10

I haven’t cut the racks off.  The stink was so bad on most I held my breath, ran up and shot a pic, and then ran back out. The fourth pick was really ripe but since it was a buck I dealt with it.  I’m almost certain I have the first buck on my trail cam. He looked alive and well two weeks ago.  Died about 40 yards from my stand.  Probably a good thing I’m headed to Wyoming in a couple weeks to chase Pronghorn; might be tough to shoot a deer during the season.  Lets hope for an early frost to end this trajedy.

Posted by buckbull on September 10

this disease clearly doesnt care about over population.  I have found about 5 this year without looking much and NONE were at the areas where i have higher deer populations.  The ones i found were melted into the ground.  Looked to be atleast a month old.

Posted by clintharvey on September 10

HMM, a horrible crop,whitch alot is harvested already, extending the hunting season and adding a new one, makes you sit back and think. Good/bad we shall see.

Posted by bowfisher1 on September 11

In the EHD breakout of 2007, one thing I noticed was Coons, Coyotes, and even Oppossums wouldn’t touch a fresh dead Blue Tongue deer carcuss. The only thing I saw eat them was the Turkey Vultures, and they loved their tongue and eyes! Kinda creepy.

Posted by walmsley on September 11

Now that you mention it Tim, I didn’t find any deer that looked like coyotes had ate on them.  Usually the rear of the animal will be eaten first and none of the deer that were still somewhat intact had been eaten on.  Turkey buzzards were out in force too; counted 17 circling one particular area.

Posted by buckbull on September 11

We must be fortunate in the couple of counties I hunt.  I have seen nothing that even remotely suggests that we have a problem like this in our area.

Posted by illinibowhunter on September 11

There are alot of dead deer being found in Macon County all over the place besides the many confirmed cases around Rock Springs Park.

Posted by yellowstone on September 11

Tim, it looks like we have lost about 10 percent of our herd in wayne county already before hunting season even starts.  I know the Dnr will figure in around 40 deer were killed and do nothing to help things out.  Its going to be a mess this year with all the corn out already.

Posted by clintharvey on September 11

That’s funny - we’re in Macon County and haven’t seen (or smelled) one dead dear in all of the areas we hunt which is about 100 acres combined. Still getting the same deer on trail camera, # of pics have actually increased, and none of them show signs of sick or stressed deer. Weird how localized this is. That’s the DNR’s new favorite word: “localized”. But it may be true.

Posted by Walston on September 12

Clint, while 10% totally sucks, it could be a lot worse, like Calhoun county or central Illinois- Like I’ve stated before, 2007 was over 50% dead in my area.

Walston, You are EXTREMELY Lucky buddy!  The Sangamon river basin is getting hit really hard starting over towards Springfield. Besides in the park on the west side of Decatur, the deer are dead and floating in Lake Decatur and on up north east. I have a buddy that live out by the KC park near the Piatt county line, and there are a bunch dead around his pond.

Posted by walmsley on September 12

Any reports out by the Argenta-Friends Creek area?  I’m there are EHD deer out there but we just haven’t seen them ... yet.

Posted by Walston on September 12

None that I’ve heard-that’s not very far north of my friend though-

Call Mike Bricker at that park and ask him-

Posted by walmsley on September 12

Well thats why folks need to report all the deer they find.  Tom M. at DNR said Calhoun is reporting about double the number of EHD deaths for the same time period.  All DNR can (or willing to) do is rely on what folks are finding in the field.  If I had time, I’d spend a weekend documenting all the cases I find.  I only have 206 acres but could get some kind of idea about the death toll.

Posted by buckbull on September 12

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