Montana Deer Disease

Eastern Montana deer population hit hard by disease

Montana Deer - Deer Disease - Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease - EHD

Montana Deer Disease – According to a report from the Associated Press, white-tailed deer populations in eastern Montana and across the northern plains are being hit hard by epizootic hemorrhagic disease or EHD. EHD is a disease that causes internal bleeding in infected animals, and is transmitted through biting midges. Montana deer are being infected across a 100-mile section of the Milk River, and the disease has infected deer in other states including: Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Because of heavy winter kills in some areas, deer tags have been reduced or even suspended in some cases in northeast Montana and western North Dakota.

By MATTHEW BROWN Associated Press – BILLINGS, Mont. January 8, 2012 (AP) – White-tailed deer populations in parts of eastern Montana and elsewhere in the Northern Plains could take years to recover from a devastating disease that killed thousands of the animals in recent months, wildlife officials and hunting outfitters said.

In northeast Montana, officials said 90 percent or more of whitetail have been killed along a 100-mile stretch of the Milk River from Malta to east of Glasgow. Whitetail deaths also have been reported along the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers in western North Dakota and eastern Montana and scattered sites in Wyoming, South Dakota and eastern Kansas.

The deaths are being attributed to an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD. Transmitted by biting midges, EHD causes internal bleeding that can kill infected animals within just a few days.

In North Dakota, state wildlife chief Randy Kreil described the outbreak as the most extensive and deadly in two decades.

Mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk and pronghorn also are susceptible to EHD, but it is particularly damaging to whitetail herds, animal health experts said. Livestock can be infected but typically show few symptoms.

Researchers say the virus that causes EHD does not infect people and there is no risk of eating or handling infected deer. More precise estimates of the number of whitetail killed are expected after agencies conduct winter population counts and survey fall hunter success.

For the full AP report, visit

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