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Heartland Outdoors

Hunters, Landowners Encouraged to Report Suspected Cases of EHD

Wed, September 27, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has received reports of 26 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) so far in 2017.  Scattered reports from the southern two-thirds of the state (see map attached) involving a few animals suggests that EHD has been very light this year, to date.  However, recent unseasonably warm temperatures coupled with prolonged dry conditions throughout the state suggest that EHD may increase this fall.

Illinois’ top year for reported cases of EHD was 2012, when 2,043 cases were reported from 76 counties. In 2013, IDNR received reports of 403 cases from 51 counties.  EHD was virtually absent in 2014 and at low levels in 2015 and 2016.

IDNR continues to ask landowners, hunters, and concerned citizens to be on the lookout for dead or dying deer, and to report suspected EHD cases to their local IDNR field office, or to the IDNR Wildlife Disease and Invasive Species Program (WDIS).  IDNR is especially interested in sick or recently dead animals, as staff may attempt to collect tissue samples in order to confirm the presence of the EHD virus.

Contact information for local IDNR biologists is available at the following link:  Cont.act the WDIS Program at 815-369-2414 or by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please provide your name and contact information, as well as the county, number of dead/sick deer, sex (if known), age (fawn or adult) and specific location of the deer (distance/direction from the nearest town or intersection of two roads).

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is a viral disease of white-tailed deer that can cause localized die-offs when conditions are favorable for transmission.  Infected animals develop a high fever and dead animals often are found near water sources. Hunters may encounter deer killed by EHD when they go into the woods during the upcoming deer hunting seasons. EHD outbreaks typically end when freezing weather kills the insects that spread the virus.  While often fatal to deer, EHD is not hazardous to humans or pets.  EHD has been shown to affect livestock, so producers are encouraged to be vigilant.

The virus is transmitted between deer by a midge that hatches from muddy areas along lakes/ponds and streams/rivers.  Although EHD is observed somewhere in Illinois every year, cases are more numerous during hot and dry weather conditions, presumably because receding water levels create these muddy areas, providing breeding sites for the midges.  Limited water resources also congregate deer at remaining watering sites, creating conditions favorable for disease transmission. 

A map showing the distribution of 2017 EHD-suspected deer reports as of September 27 is presented below.


They are missing Jasper, Calhoun and Jefferson Counties…..just that I know of.

No one bothers reporting them anymore because they feel like the DNR doesn’t really care, despite asking the public to let them know what they find. 

IDNR has completely ruined the trust and confidence that many deer hunters and other outdoorsmen and women had in them. And we don’t see a single person trying to win that trust and confidence back.  Because they just don’t care.

That is evident by the time and money they have spent trying to prevent CWD from spreading in our state.  They have no idea how many, if any, deer CWD has killed.  But they know EHD has killed many thousands.  Yet they don’t plan to do anything about EHD.  Even going so far as to downplay it’s devastation.

Posted by bw on September 29

Our state does a horrible job in my opinion managing our natural resources, however we also have an obligation to continue to advocate change, through our actions and how we as sportsmen represent ourstates resources. One way is to report dead deer we find.

Posted by jswamp on September 29

Well, if you believe the numbers the IDNR put out there were 2000 reported EHD deaths in 2012 and the estimated population of the IL deer herd is 800,000.  That’s only a quarter of one percent of the deer herd, hardly worth a second look.  Of course, the number of deer killed by EHD was probably in the tens of thousands based on comparing the number of hunting kills, DVA rates, etc in the years prior and after 2012.  Should IDNR account for unreported deer?  Sure, and maybe they do.  I have alot of issues with the way the deer herd is managed.  If the herd was managed according to the JDTF guidelines then EHD deaths would be accounted for in the following year.  As we know, it takes 2 or 3 years of being below threshold prior to DNR reducing tags or eliminating the late season hunt.  Way, way too late in my opinion.

Posted by buckbull on September 30

CPO’s in Adams county have had dead deer reported YET: Springfield’s map shows 0—go figure

Posted by walmsley on September 30

BuckBull….and we all know that the “2 or 3 years below threshold” is flexible.  Don’t quote me because I don’t have my paperwork in front of me.  But what county was it that Kevin or someone realized was below goal for 4 years before LWS was removed?

Posted by bw on September 30

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