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Rick

OutdoorMN News - DNR finds wild deer infected with EHD in southeastern Minnesota

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Rick

Tests initiated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have confirmed that a wild deer near Caledonia in southeastern Minnesota’s Houston County died from epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), a viral infection to which members of the deer family are susceptible. 

Although not confirmed, EHD is suspected in the death of other nearby deer.

Houston County is the second county where wild deer have contracted EHD. Earlier this month, the disease was confirmed in four wild deer in the St. Stephens area of Stearns County. Additional deer in a three-square mile area in that county are suspected to have died from the virus.

“The DNR will continue to monitor the situation in these counties, sampling suspect deer as opportunities arise,” said Michelle Carstensen, DNR wildlife health program group leader. “Sampling of multiple deer deaths may become necessary if the disease appears to be in more areas.”

Previously, the Board of Animal Health (BAH) confirmed that two farmed deer near Rushford in Houston County died from EHD.

People who find multiple dead deer should report them to the nearest DNR area wildlife office. Cervid farmers should contact their veterinarian if they’re concerned about EHD and their herd.

EHD can dramatically reduce a local deer population in the short-term but has a relatively small impact on the overall deer population.

Even though Minnesota has avoided the disease in wild deer until this year, EHD is common in the Midwest. Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio report EHD mortalities almost every year.

“EHD has circulated in the southern United States for decades and outbreaks in deer there are typically mild,” Carstensen said. “Movement of the EHD virus to the northern United States, where there is little history of previous exposure, can result in severe outbreaks with high localized mortality.”

There is no intervention available to combat the disease.

The first known instance of EHD-infected deer in Minnesota occurred in October 2018, when BAH testing confirmed it in six captive deer in Goodhue County.

EHD is a viral disease, which is spread by a biting insect called a midge. The disease is not a threat to humans or animals outside the deer family. Even so, people should not consume deer that appear to be sick or in poor health.

The disease is seasonal and most often occurs during drought-like conditions during the late summer and early fall. Frost will kill the virus and midge that carries it, ending the potential infection period.

A female midge, commonly called a no-seeum, picks up the virus when it bites an infected host and transmits the virus by biting another host. The disease cannot be transmitted deer-to-deer and does not remain on the landscape.

More information about EHD in wild deer is available on the DNR website.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wiley Coyote
      Algae!   Ever since the zebra mussels have gotten into Whitefish the floating mats of algae have been a nuisance, but this year is terrible.  I hate that crap.  You can't troll without it getting all over your line and lure.  Not fun to swim in either!  My parents have even mentioned leaving the chain it bothers them so much.     Does anyone know if this is the blue-green algae that is toxic to dogs?   No chance I'll fish during the day this weekend, it's nuts out there right now.
    • StillFishin'
      Good to hear from you Mark.  Always liked your reports and glad your still posting when you get back to LV.   jim
    • Coloradokid55
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    • MarkB
      I just returned home from a sweltering 4 day trip on Vermilion. In all of the years that I have fished Lake Vermilion, I don't ever remember it being so hot for so long. We had no top on our boat and once that sun got overhead, it was game over for us. The heat was just too unbearable. We heard that a couple of people were hauled off in ambulances due to heat stroke. But now, for the fishing report. During the 4 days that we fished, 2 were great and 2 were not so great. We fished the same spots basically, all 4 days. Nothing changed weather wise and, except for the heat, conditions seemed ideal. We saw only very sparse mayflies with no slicks anywhere. We found the walleyes in 18'-32' of water. When we were right on top of the reef in the rocks, we caught some real nice smallmouth and jumbos right along with the walleyes. Our best smallmouth was 18.5", our best jumbo was 11.5", and our best walleye was 26". We used both crawlers and leeches and I could not define a preference for one over the other. We ate walleyes while there and brought home our limit for 3 fishermen. None of the walleyes that we kept had mayflies. Surprisingly, the jumbos that came from the same reefs were full of mayflies. The areas that we fished were snaggy and I found that a 1oz bottom bouncer and a teardrop floating jig(blue and white) with a 3'-4' leader greatly reduced snags and satisfied the fish. We generally fished till about 1:00 when the heat became unbearable. We fished Big Bay, Portage Bay, and Fraser Bay. Big Bay and Fraser Bay produced all of our fish. We tried slip bobbers on top of reefs at varying depths and basically struck out. On Wednesday, we were fishing Fraser Bay when a smaller boat with a man and a woman came trolling by us next to an island(Alepo, if you must know). She hooked up and proceeded to fight what appeared to be a big fish. The fight continued and we finally decided it was a muskie. It was a joke watching these very nice people trying to land this fish because, they had no net and were completely unprepared to land this fish. She brought the fish up beside the boat and the man cradled his arms under the fish and lifted it up. That fish slapped him in the side of the head 5 or 6 times on the way into the boat. It was difficult to keep from laughing. We congratulated them and moved away only to see the man pick the fish up and heave it over the back of the boat. I went back and, sure enough, the big fish was on it's back and was belly up. We asked if they wanted us to revive it and, so, we did. She was mishandled and it took 10 minutes or better to get her to where she kicking pretty good so we could let her go. She swam away and disappeared. The fish was 45" long by their measurement and it was caught on a small spinner with a sucker minnow for bait. They said they were fast trolling this set-up for northerns. All in all, it's always great to be at the lake in spite of the weather. We have a second trip planned and reserved for late September. I'm pretty sure the weather will have cooled by then. Good Fishing, MarkB😀                                                                                                               My best walleye of the trip
    • Muskies
      Good morning resplendent.. With all the warm weather we have had the walleyes should be Biting on the reefs by this weekend. The forecast is for 80-85 next week but I would like to see some rain up here as it’s pretty dry in the bush. Good luck and enjoy your trip.
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      I plan to lake fishing next week too, hope the weather will be nice by that time.
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      Did you have much for floating weeds or moss in the stretch you were fishing?  I’ve had lots this year, the same as last.  Been enough of a pain I’ve quit fishing it.   Always love the vids!
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    • Muskies
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