Skip to comments.State deer herd hit with hemorrhagic disease (LA)
Posted on 02/26/2013 5:28:16 PM PST by neverdem
Southcentral, Southeast Louisiana hit particularly hard, LDWF veterinarian says.
Hunters could see sick deer this season, as hemorrhagic disease makes its way through the deer herd. The LDWF said deer in Southcentral and Southeast Louisiana have been particularly hard hit.
LouisianaSportsman.com user papa-p was shocked when he checked his trail camera recently and found a photo of what could only be described as a very sick deer.
Hate seeing this picture on trail cam, papa wrote on Oct. 12. We had also found a young deer dead last month.
User sportsman0917 worried it could be chronic wasting disease spreading from Texas, while fishfearme! commented that he has seen reports online of numbers of deer dead around Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge and in St. Martin Parish.
Dr. Jim LaCour, the state wildlife veterinarian with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, confirmed today (Oct. 15) that deer across the state have been hit particularly hard this year but fortunately the culprit isnt chronic wasting disease.
Weve got a bunch of hemorrhagic disease going on, LaCour told Louisiana Sportsman. Were getting reports from all around, but Southcentral to Southeast Louisiana probably have been more represented; that may be caused by more disease (in those areas), or or that may be because more people are finding them.
The disease, a close relative to blue tongue, isnt anything new.
If you look over the course of time, (hemorrhagic disease) kind of waxes and wanes, LaCour said. This happens to be one of those years when we have a lot of it.
But his years outbreak seems to be a bad one in comparison to recent years. To date, 100 reports of dead deer have been made to the LDWF, LaCour said.
Hemorrhagic disease affects all age groups of deer, and there are three factors that have roles to play in the severity of an outbreak, he said.
Flooding plays a part in an outbreak because its a vector-born disease spread by gnats, its a disease that can be exacerbated by new viruses, and it is more prevalent when we have a wet spring and a dry June, LaCour said. It just happens that we had all three of those this year.
This years spring was wet, while June was dry; mark off one of the necessary factors for a major outbreak.
LaCour said sampling as revealed this years outbreak is caused by a new strain of the disease; tick off another factor.
And, of course, severe flooding in Southeast and parts of Southcentral Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Isaac bunched deer up on small areas of dry ground.
If all of your deer are very spread out they are less likely to be infected than if they are pushed up on ridges, LaCour said. We had all three factors come into play this year.
Lacour said there are three forms of hemorrhagic disease.
There is the peracute form, LaCour said. Those deer look perfectly healthy, except theyre down or dead.
And then theres the deer that just look awful.
Theres the accute form, and those deer may be breathing rapidly; they may have ulcers in their mouths or lesions on their hooves, LaCour explained. Those deer will usually die.
And then there are some deer that have been impacted and seemingly recovered, only to die a long, slow death.
Theres the chronic form, LaCour said. Those are deer that live through the initial disease, but they have suffered from a real high fever that has damaged their stomachs, and they cant absorb nutrients. They loose a bunch of weight and get real skinny.
I get pictures every year of deer at feeders just eating, eating and eating, but they die of malnutrition because they cant absorb the nutrients.
The bottom line is that hunters shouldnt be surprised if they find dead deer or deer that look like they will die soon while out an about this season.
But hunters shouldnt be overly concerned that they will serve their family dangerous meat.
Its not ever been shown to be contagious to humans, LaCour said.
Of course, a bit of common sense is in order, he said.
If a deer looks healthy and acts healthy, then its fine, LaCour said. If a deer is sick, if its got multiple ulcers or lesions, its best to chunk it.
Deer management practices probably dont need to be altered, either. In fact, LaCour pointed out that, even though this is a severe outbreak, the LDWF is not considering any changes to hunting regs.
Overall, its part of the normal cycle, he said. If you find three deer on your place, there are probably some more. If you have 4,000 acres, you might have 10 more. But thats not a significant impact, so for the most part theres no need to for any management considerations.
LaCour said dead deer can be reported to the nearest LDWF regional office, and any freshly dead deer will be sampled.
Of course, not all dead deer are victims of the disease.
If its by the road, it probably got hit by a car, LaCour said. If its in the woods its probably hemorrhagic disease.
I was looking for an explanation of that link when I found this hemorrhagic disease story.
I wonder who would benefit if all the deer in North America were to get ill?
“..I wonder who would benefit if all the deer in North America were to get ill?...”
The communists that want to take control of the entire country. We all know their names.
Everyone is susceptible to Lyme’s disease... deer carry the lyme’s ticks.
Lyme’s kills eventually. This a a man made disease from the cold war
Not the people who I think you are implying.
All those people who hunt deer would just hunt something else. And it would be open season on communists.
Had it around here a few years ago. It waxes and wanes. Burns itself out and you might not see it for a long time.
Both stories linked together make sense now.... but! why aren’t both stories united into one article?
We have plenty of spare deer up here. Come and get em.
This went through Nebraska last season. I was in an area where I had seen 30 deer in an hour a few months before, and didn’t see a single track.
Lots of carcasses by the waterways though.
Auto insurance companies......
This past deer season was horrible. Deer were like they just disappeared. Bama used to be a buck a day limit. 4 years or so ago they went to 3 buck a season. Hunting hasn’t been the same since. Heck, just a couple of years ago you could pretty much ride down any country road during the rut and see many deer. Now, you see very few if any.
Also, during the rut, the body shops would stay busy repairing cars damaged by collisions with deer. Not so this year. They never saw the peak that they always get. My dad, who doesn’t hunt even asked me what happened to all the deer. Heck if I know.
It depends on what causes chronic wasting disease in particular or the spongiform encephalopathies in general. Is it prion proteins gone awry by misfolding? Some folks think so.
But F.O. Bastian thinks Spiroplasma species causes it. Somebody needs to nail it down. Culling would be useful only in the latter, IMHO.
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