I got a first-hand look at how bad the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is around Bismarck the last couple of days.  Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is a virus that attacks Whitetail Deer from biting midges.

According to the Bismarck Tribune, This year's dry hot summer made for perfect conditions for the insects to really take hold of the Whitetail population, but officials fear it could be even worse around the Bismarck area.  Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is nothing new, it's been present in the state for decades.  This year, it appears the disease extends from south of Bismarck along the Missouri River north to Garrison Dam.  A smaller area near Williston is also present.

I've done some pheasant hunting southeast of Bismarck the last couple of nights and what I have witnessed is shocking.  I've counted at least 30 dead whitetails in two different tracks of grasslands.  The cover is fairly thick in these areas, so it's likely there are a lot more dead animals than that.

It's so bad that the North Dakota Game and Fish are offering license refunds for bow hunters.  It's believed they will also offer refunds for rifle hunters as well.

What I witnessed last night while hunting pheasants was scary.  It seemed like there were just as many bucks affected as does.  I saw some very big racks too.  One, in particular, was a 6 by 6, 12 pointer that I'm sure somebody had on their trail camera.  A pretty safe assumption it's going to be a pretty bleak year for deer hunters in our area.

Here's a photo I snapped while pheasant hunting last evening.  WARNING disturbing image.  Nature is cruel.

Rick Rider

 

Beautiful North Dakota home found full of dead animals.

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