This last weekend was the second firearm deer season in Illinois. Sadly, it was much like the first season. Very, few deer. Very cold. We had hopes that the lack of movement was due to the brisk air. Even though the Illinois Department of Resources was reporting a state-wide decrease in cases of EHD (Epizootic hemorrhagic disease-sometimes called Blue Tongue*), a deadly disease transmitted via a ghat during high-drought conditions, the thought was vividly in the back of our minds. After a search of our ground during the first season, our hopes were aloft from the lack of deer carcasses and so we went on with our hunts as planned.
Just a day after the second season ended our fears were confirmed. A neighbor had called to report they had found 30 dead deer laying in their field. This stemmed my search for more information. In many cases throughout the state, the deer carcasses were so expired that an exact determination of death was unavailable. However, our county was one of the hardest hit areas with a total of 29 confirmed cases.
On a positive note, the number of cases decreased from 2,043 in 2012 to 403 in 2013. Some schools of thought believe that
remaining deer have built an immunity to the virus which causes high fevers and internal bleeding in deer. We’ve also learned that regardless of whether a deer has contracted the virus, the meat is safe for human and pet consumption.
To that, we are currently smoking our second batch of snack sticks & summer sausage.
**Side note: EHD is a virus that resembles what is called Blue Tongue however, the two are different.
What have you been seeing in your next of the woods?
[like xfbml=true action=like layout=standard]