Just when we thought that we had made it through the epizootic hemorrhagic disease season without much damage, officials from North Dakota announced that they will be suspending 1,000 antlerless deer permits because of the disease.
This from the North Dakota Game and Fish news release: _”While slightly more than 1,000 antlerless deer licenses were still available after the second lottery, all of them are in units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F in the southwestern part of the state, where Game and Fish is receiving ongoing reports of white-tailed deer mortality caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease.
As such, Game and Fish administration has decided to not issue those remaining licenses. ‘The decision is based on previous years’ experience where moderate to significant white-tailed deer losses were documented in situations similar to this year,’ said wildlife chief Randy Kreil.”_
Kreil is likely referencing the 2011 season when the state suspended license sales and offered refunds to 13,000 license holders in southwestern hunting units.
North Dakota officials are waiting for the pheasant hunting season to open before deciding if more license suspensions are necessary, according to the Associated Press. The agency hopes to use pheasant hunters as scouts to report dead deer along waterways (deer infected with EHD typically die near water sources).