EHD infected deer
Fish and Game continues to ask for public to report dead or sick deer.
Multiple samples collected from dead deer in the Panhandle have tested positive for epizootic hemorrhagic disease.
The diseased deer were recently discovered in big game units 2 and 5 in the Plummer, Coeur d’Alene and Rathdrum areas. Fish and Game has also received reports of dead deer in locations ranging from the Bonners Ferry area down to Plummer.
It is difficult to estimate how many deer are being affected, but the number of reports received is currently less than 30. Fish and Game staff will continue to monitor the situation in the weeks ahead, but it is expected that deaths will continue until temperatures drop below freezing to kill the biting gnats that transmit the disease.
What it is
Hemorrhagic disease outbreaks occasionally occur in the Clearwater and Panhandle regions, typically during hot, dry summers like what we experienced this year.
The disease is spread by the bites of a small gnat, commonly known as “no-see-ums”, which reproduce in warm, stagnant pools of water. This summer’s hot, dry conditions proved to be ideal for the gnats to experience a population boom, creating the perfect storm of an abundance of gnats at water sources where deer congregated to stay hydrated.
Fish and Game biologists in the Clearwater Region have been closely monitoring large numbers of white-tailed deer deaths from hemorrhagic disease near Kamiah since early-August. You can learn more about that situation in the Aug. 31 update, which contains helpful FAQs on hemorrhagic disease.