Drought Impacting Deer as Well as Crops
Dry conditions are not only having an impact on the crops again this year, they are also starting to impact deer.
D-N-R State Deer Biologist, Tom Litchfield, says they are starting to see what are believe to be cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease or E-H-D. The disease is spread by a tiny insect called a midge. The midges flourished in the drought last year, and that led to a lot of cases of E-H-D.
Approximately 20 deer were found near the Linn/Johnson County line that are believed to have died from E-H-D.
Iowa had a wet spring this year before the drought hit, and Litchfield says the outbreak of E-H-D is hitting about a month later. You don’t have to worry about contracting the disease if come upon a dead deer.
He asks anyone who may see deer they believe have been stricken with E-H-D to report it to the D-N-R to allow the department to keep track of the cases. Once infected, the virus multiplies very quickly within a deer, causing high fever, breakdown of cell walls and dehydration. Dead and sick animals will often be found near water.. In later stages of the disease, the animals will be lethargic, stumbling, sometimes drooling and unresponsive.