Friday, September 25, 2009

MICHIGAN NEWS: Dead Deer Probably Killed by EHD

Homeowners in the area around Hoisington and Bennett lakes have discovered dozens of dead white-tailed deer in their yards and waterways over the past few weeks.

Department of Natural Resources officials say it appears the deer are victims of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD — an acute, infectious and often fatal viral disease that is spread by a biting fly or midge. However, no definitive lab tests have been conducted at this point to confirm it.

“I don’t think there’s any question that’s what it is, from what they’re describing and seeing. The problem is they’re finding most of these deer by smell when they’re already decomposing and the virus breaks down with decomposition. To confirm EHD we have to work on fresh samples,” said DNR wildlife biologist Tom Cooley.

Cooley and a wildlife technician were enroute to the site on Thursday morning with a field kit in hopes of finding a carcass fresh enough to at least be examined for internal bleeding, one telltale of the disease that isn’t externally visible.

September 30 2009 Update: EHD has been confirmed as the causative agent.

Source: MLive

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

WISCONSIN NEWS: Thirty-Point Buck Bagged

Remember, if you bag a thirty-pointer, it is due to your hunting prowess. If you get skunked, it is the DNR's fault for ruining the deer herd. -TR

A Fond du Lac resident bagged a 30-point whitetail buck by bow.

Wayne Schumacher shot the deer Sunday night from a tree stand near Rosendale.

Schumacher says the shot covered about 15 yards and the deer ran about 60 or 70 yards before going down.

Schumacher noted he's hunted with bow and gun for more than 30 years and he's known people who have seen the buck but it was hard to believe.

The deer, referred to as "Lucky Buck," has an inside antler spread of 20 inches. Its field-dressed weight was about 225 pounds. Estimates are that the deer is at least 4 years old.

Schumacher says the memory will be preserved with a shoulder mount.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Monday, September 21, 2009

MAINE NEWS: Another Low Harvest Predicted for this Year

Maine’s deer kill is expected to be the smallest in at least 25 years this fall because the deer herd has been shrinking across the state.

The harvest during November’s deer-hunting season is projected to come in at 19,476. That would be the smallest harvest since 1984, when hunters bagged 19,358 deer.

To pump up the dwindling deer population, the state has issued fewer permits this year that allow hunters to shoot female deer. George Smith, head of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, expects fewer hunters to take to the woods this fall.

“We continue to lose a key part of our hunting heritage,’’ Smith said.

Maine’s deer herd has become smaller following two straight winters with deep snowpacks and cold temperatures. Contributing to the decline, Smith said, is increasing predation from bears and coyotes. Bears prey on deer fawns, and coyotes prey on both adults and fawns.

Last fall’s deer kill came in at 21,062, which was 27 percent below the 2007 total.

Other northern New England states had mixed results last year. In Vermont, hunters killed 17,046 deer, up 17 percent from 2007. The 2009 season is expected to be comparable to last year.

New Hampshire’s deer kill came in at 10,916 deer, down 19 percent from the previous year. The 2009 deer kill is expected to increase, especially in southern and western areas, where winter weather has been less severe.

This year’s deer kill in Maine could be one for the ages - but not one that hunters will like. If the kill comes in lower than projections, it could fall to levels not seen since 1971, when 18,903 deer were killed.

The smallest kill before that took place in 1934, when hunters took 13,284 deer.

“We’re right on the cusp, in that the deer harvest could go a bunch of different ways, on where it goes in the record books,’’ said Lee Kantar, the deer and moose biologist with Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Officials issue fewer permits when the deer population needs a boost, and more permits when the herd needs thinning.