Veterinarians with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) confirm Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is responsible for the die-off of an estimated 2,000 whitetail deer in eastern Oregon.
The EHD outbreak impacted deer on the western face of the Blue Mountains from Milton-Freewater to the Pilot Rock area. EHD losses are not uncommon in Oregon and are not expected to have long-term effects on the deer population size. There is no documented evidence showing the outbreak affected mule deer.
Wildlife biologists first learned about the whitetail deer die-off in late fall when landowners began reporting dead deer. Tissue samples for testing and lab results later confirmed EHD as the cause of death. Surveys in December showed fewer whitetail deer leading to an estimated potential loss of 2,000 deer from the disease.
ODFW is still determining if deer tags for the fall 2020 seasons need to be reduced or hunts cancelled in the units affected (Walla Walla, Mt Emily, Ukiah). ODFW will inform hunters of any changes by April 15 so they will have time to change their controlled hunt application choices before the May 15 deadline.
Find more information here.
(Photo source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)