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EHD In Deer On Decline - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

EHD In Deer On Decline

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FRANKFORT, Ky (LEX 18) Experts with the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department said that the fall temperatures coming in will hopefully result in better health for Kentucky's deer population. 

The summer heat makes deer want to gravitate towards cooler spots, like water masses. Unfortunately, water masses are often a breeding ground for dangerous insects, including those that cause EHD or Epizootic hemorrhagic disease.

"It's a disease we see in our deer herd every year. Some years it can be severe like it was this year," said Gabe Jenkins with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife.

EHD was an epidemic this year in many Eastern Kentucky counties. 

"It impacted the population, and our hunters can expect to see fewer deer than what there was on the landscape in July or June," said Jenkins. 

During our warmer days, it could have been dangerous to eat the deer as they might have been infected, but now that it's getting a little bit cooler, that should change. 

"The frost will kill the flies and that, in theory, should stop the outbreak,"  said Jenkins.

In case it is not yet completely eradicated, Jenkins has tips on what to look for.

"If that animal acted and behaved normally while you hunted it, and shot it thinking it was a normal deer, there's no concern there at all," he said Jenkins. 

If a deer gets EHD, it will likely cause its death within 24 to 72 hours, so the likelihood of killing and harvesting one this time of year is not likely. 

Kentucky's deer season with bow-and-arrow is underway and rifle season begins in November.

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