Sad to Report a New Disease in Our Area Affecting Deer in New England
Keep an Eye Out for Diseased Deer
So sad to report a disease that is more common in the western and southern states has spread to our area. It’s archery season for deer in Vermont and there has been an outbreak of a disease that affects deer called Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease also known as EHD according to wmur.com.
How you can help
If you see a deer that is acting weird or seems lethargic, has a swollen face, or is near water and appears dehydrated, contact Fish and Game. Nick Fortin from Vermont Fish & Wildlife says “Even if a deer is infected with EHD, it is still safe for people to eat. That said, if a deer looks sick, we always recommend you don’t eat it because it might have something else,” per wmur.com. My wife grew up on venison. Her family would get a deer each and fill the freezer for meat for the winter months and beyond. Her brother is a skilled archer, and that extra deer helped the family. Me, being a city boy, had to be tricked to eat venison the first time but it was delicious. I don’t think I want to eat a deer with this disease, safe or not. As of now, it appears this disease does not affect humans.
Why is EHD Here Now
While EHD in deer has been confirmed in Vermont, we need to keep our eyes out in New Hampshire and Maine. EHD does not normally get this far north so the local deer population has no immunity to the disease. Wildlife officials believe the disease is spread by a midge and once we get that first frost, the midges will die off the deer population will be safe from EHD. To see the disease this far north is the result of the midge being able to expand its area due to climate change and warmer temps in New England. I’m depending on you hunters to be on the lookout because if I saw a deer on one of my hikes I would run.
And speaking of animals