For the past month or so, midwestern farmers and outdoorsmen have been seeing the effects of a deer-disease known as blue-tongue, (epizootic hemorrhagic disease). There are areas in the Ozarks where large numbers of dead whitetail deer are being found in or near water. The disease is perhaps worse this summer than I have ever known it to be. It is a high fever, which sends the deer to water, the result of a virus spread by a biting midge fly. You seldom see the disease except during hot dry summer months, from July through most of September. It affects deer of all ages, from fawns to big bucks.
There isn’t a thing in the world that can be done about it, it is a disease which first showed up in the 1950’s and affects goats as well as deer. Apparently cattle do not get it. There are occasionally years when it isn’t seen at all, and then hot dry summers when it is particularly bad, like this one. A state often refers to all the deer within its boundaries as a herd, but that isn’t exactly accurate. There isn’t a uniform herd of deer in the state, but small groups in different regions that are much different in density than in other areas. There are some areas of the Ozarks which have so many deer that the disease won’t hurt them much, but other areas have far fewer deer per 100 acres than others. In those places where deer numbers are not high, on individual private lands and farms, losing so many from blue tongue is quite a blow.
It scares folks, seeing sick deer, because there is the knowledge that mad deer disease, which biologists call ‘chronic wasting’ has been found in north Missouri. It is a disease we could have stopped by outlawing the pen-raised deer projects wherein bucks are raised to be shot for a large amount of money, as Colorado did when chronic wasting disease was found in pen-raised deer in their state. It was a disease created by feeding deer and elk a commercial food with meat by-products in it, just as it created the similar disease in cattle.
Human greed has no boundaries… the hope of producing big record antlers which could be sold for tens of thousands of dollars was behind it all, and in Missouri, the state conservation department and the department of agriculture just let it go. The disease spread into wild deer in Macon County from a commercial operation that should have been closed down.
Mad deer disease will be here, in the Ozarks, someday. I hope it is a few years away, but no one knows. It will spread throughout northern Missouri much sooner, and it will completely change deer hunting as we have known it.
Page 2 of 2 - Not a hoax
I thought it was a hoax at first but a strange new malady is appearing in southeastern states. Several outdoor writers from that region, one of them a physician himself, confirms that several people bitten by lone star ticks have developed an allergy to red meat. Here is the report I received, and you can look into it further if you wish…
“Early season hunters need to beware of ticks! Besides carrying lime disease the “Lone Star Tick” has been conveying a MEAT ALLERGY to its victims throughout the southeastern United States. People who acquire this new allergy cannot eat any meat that comes from mammals (like beef, pork and venison)! Patients have reported suffering from nasty hives and acute anaphylaxis (a dangerous and potentially fatal allergic reaction). The reactions are serious enough to require hospitalization.”
My website is www.larrydablemontoutdoors.blogspot.com and my address is Box 22, Bolivar, Mo. 65613. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org