Friday, October 18, 2013

Rough Day at the Farm

This was the only whitetail I saw while bird hunting at my little honey hole near Cascade, MT. I only saw one pheasant consequently and no huns. I did see a handful of small mule deer, which was kind of odd. I usually don't see them there; I usually see dozens of whitetails though. It could be because most of the whitetails have died off due to epizootic hemorrhagic disease, (EHD)so now there's no competition for them but it's weird that the mule deer were less susceptible. Last year, we saw close to 30 whitetail carcasses in that small, 2 square mile area.

I should have taken a picture of it but I also found a pheasant carcass that looked a lot like the whitetail in the picture. I'm not going to make any assumptions or draw conclusions but I think it's odd that at the same time most of the whitetails died off, the birds disappeared too. Maybe it's not EHD.

I did a little research on EHD and it sounds like some deer are more susceptible than others. Some deer can come out of it and some don't even get it and it depends largely on their immunity to it. What this might mean for the future, is that the deer that do survive will have a better immunity to EHD and will have a better chance of survival and hopefully, deer populations in those areas rebound.

EHD comes from a little midge or nat that bites the deer. There's no known cure or vaccine and you can't kill all the midges. The wetter, the more bugs and the more it's transmitted. It can't spread from deer to deer so it doesn't sound like it's a problem with high density deer populations. So the bottom line is nature has to take it's course and hopefully deer populations in the effected areas rebound sooner than later.

As far as Cutter goes; he's really coming along. I wish there were more birds to see how he would have reacted but he doesn't range too far and he almost always circles back to me on the first command. It's amazing what a shock collar can do.

Keep 'em where they live...

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