Drought Increases Worry of EHD

Drought Increases Worry of EHD
Drought Increases Worry of EHD

Outdoor Channel hosts see bad signs for deer in extreme drought

For deer, the drought has become a life or death proposition; real survival of the fittest … but even some of the fittest could still perish.

Spanning from the ash-filled forests in Colorado to the cracked topsoil in Iowa, the drought of 2012 is creating exasperating repercussions for wildlife, which can result in disease and death that could grow at an alarming rate.

“The situation is ripe for a catastrophic case of EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease),” said Mark Drury, host of Drury Outdoors Wildlife Obsession. “Nature is going to take its course, and I fear what the outcome will be.”


Check out the photo gallery



EHD is spread through tiny flies, known as midges, and it is fatal to deer. The disease causes hemorrhages and extreme weakness, leaving the deer in a shock-like state until death.


It annually affects the deer population in certain areas, and Drury believes this year will be much worse due to the most extreme drought America has seen since 1956.


Drury posted a photo on the Drury Outdoors Facebook page of a mature buck decaying in a creek near his southern Iowa farm. It read, “like if you DISLIKE this nasty disease.”

So far, the post received more than 200 comments, 3,300 likes and 74 shares. Hunters from across the nation weighed in on the subject, telling of past EHD outbreaks and of their recent discovery of dead deer near them.


While Ralph Cianciarulo of Archers Choice said he’s also worried about an EHD outbreak, “also affected by the drought is antler growth.”

With the drought removing nutrients from food sources, and some drying up, deer will grow weaker and sport smaller antlers, affecting hunters looking for a big buck and leaving the deer more susceptible to death in the coming winter.


With a lack of rainfall, water sources have dried up. The fewer water sources imposes another issue. And it seems that some are growing desperate.

“I just saw a deer drinking out of my cattle trough,” Cianciarulo said while riding around his farm in northern Illinois. “And it’s 10 a.m. and 92 degrees.”

Cianciarulo said that all it takes to help is setting up something like a 55-gallon drum filled with water.

“If the deer or elk don’t have water, they’re going to go somewhere they know they can find it,” he said. “Try to keep a water source around and you’ll help your animals get through this drought.”

Drury painted a nightmarish scene of the current state of farms, serving as a microcosm to other farms across the nation.

“My crops are nonexistent,” said Drury. “I’ve lost my corn crop, and beans are 50-50 right now.”

Cianciarulo agreed. “The ground is dry and cracked,” he said

With such conditions, deer will search their habitat, and even outside their normal range, for the small areas left with both water and food, increasing the chances that EHD could spread.

Recommended for You

Hogs

Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Ian Nance - May 28, 2019

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.

Records

State Records Reported in Maryland, Michigan

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad's Saltwater Jig Lineup

Russ Whisler shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the innovative features and great color schemes in Mustad's voluminous lineup of saltwater jigs introduced at ICAST 2019.

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Catfish

Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...

Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

Walleye

Record-Sized Walleye Was Foul-Hooked, Agency Says

G&F Online Staff

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record.

See More Stories

More Stories

Stories

Grandpa'™s Gun Tags Giant Buck, Ends Multi-Year Quest

Lynn Burkhead - November 21, 2017

Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin...

Stories

Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 30, 2018

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos...

Stories

Coyotes In Suburbia

Stephen D. Carpenteri - November 30, 2016

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×