LINCOLN – Hunters are asked to report observations of sick or dead deer to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission as they head afield this September.
Each summer, the Commission monitors for signs of diseased deer; reports from the public help track incidents. Deer populations in Nebraska have been healthy across most areas and last year’s harvest resulted in near-record numbers.
Few cases of sick deer have been reported so far this year. However, incidences of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) are suspected in Cedar County in northeastern Nebraska, where approximately 15 dead deer have been recently discovered. South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks recently confirmed a white-tailed deer with EHD in the southeastern part that state. Commission staff will continue to collect samples for testing and confirming cause of the death.
EHD historically has occurred in the state since the 1970s, peaking in 2012. EHD normally occurs in late August to early September, when hot and dry conditions exist. Because the disease is spread by biting insects, it usually does not persist much beyond the first frost.
The disease poses little threat to cattle and no problems for humans. Deer killed by EHD often are found near water to counteract fever and sometimes show evidence of bleeding from the eyes, nose or mouth.
More information about EHD and other wildlife diseases can be found at: OutdoorNebraska.gov/WildlifeDiseases/. The Commission will continue to track and test deer for diseases throughout the fall.
The public should report sick or dead deer to one of the following Commission offices: Alliance, 308-763-2940; North Platte, 308-535-8025; Kearney, 308-865-5310; Bassett, 402-684-2921; Norfolk, 402-370-3374; and Lincoln, 402-471-0641.