North Dakota Offering License Refunds Due to EHD

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11 hunting units in North Dakota are severely impacted by EHD, with white-tail deer herd die-offs. Over 13,000 hunters will have the option of receiving a refund on their white-tail deer license.

EHD has been affecting North Dakota deer since August. The white-tail deer get bitten by midges that spread the disease. Mule deer seem to be unaffected and few have actually died from EHD. After the first frost the midges are usually killed off, and EHD does not spread as rapidly.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department waited until pheasant season, when there are more hunters out to make the call. There have been reports of up to 300 deer carcasses in areas. In 2000, a refund was made available to deer hunters due to EHD but most hunters did not request the refund. Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, believes it will be similar this year as well.

The units affected are: 3B1, 3D1, 3E1, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. Kreil said in addition, the department is suspending the sale of remaining first-come, first-service licenses in units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F effective at  5  p.m. Friday.

This year's deer season opens November 4th and runs for 16 and 1/2 days. There were less than 110,000 deer licenses available for the state. All units are currently sold out. Some areas have not had deer die-offs reported, and may not have the hard hit effects of EHD as some units do.

If one wants a refund they must return their license to the Game and Fish Department, along with a note requesting a refund because of EHD before Nov. 3. Envelopes postmarked Nov. 3 will be accepted. From The Bismarck Tribune.


Worse than thought

I live in ND on the western edge and mostly hunt the Misourri & Yellowstone river bottoms for whitetails. This was my first year of retirement and I meant to make up for lost time. This desease hit a much larger area than I have ever seen or heard of in my lifetime. I have seen the blue tounge or EHD several times and it is deadly in small areas.But this time it was on a large scale . With historic flooding this summer and following two very hard winters the deer have taken an extreme hit. From what I have  seen in my scouting , by the end of August the deer that had survived the winters took another hit from EHD of about another 50 percent dead by the end of August prior to Bow season. I am sure this is the reason for F&G's offering a first ever refund on rifle tags. A lot of deer never returned to the bottoms for bow season as this area was under water for such a long time ( several months) that it is devoid of any vegitation. Where grass and brush cover once grew has been replaced by silt or scrubbed away by the strong flood waters. Some of the areas that I have hunted for 30 years and can locate my tree stands in the dark, had changed so much that I could not even regonise them in the daylight, and had to use my GPS just to see if I was in the right place. In the areas that never flooded the deer were bunched up and this must have help the desease spread. I found about 2 dead deer scouting for every  live one. 3 of these were nice 150 class bucks that still had the velvet on their horns. It was really a sad start to my retirement and I am sure it will take 3-4 good years for the deer to recover, providing that they have easy winters and the like. I plan to hunt elsewhere next year.

numbnutz's picture

Wow! this is a bad deal. 300

Wow! this is a bad deal. 300 dead deer in one area is a pretty big number. It reminds me of the poaching ring here in Oregon taking out over 300  deer in an area and almost wiping out the herd in the area. Sounds like this diesease is a pretty scary and fast spread thing that can take a toll on the herd. I agree tha I don't think very many hunters will take a refund. I'd rather be in the field and not see anything then stting at home doing nothing or working. Hopefully the frost will slow this down and the deer will rebound. I have an uncle in North dakota I will have to ask him a few questions on the issue they are facing there. Good luck to anyone hunting in North Dakota this season.

Retired2hunt's picture

  The bad part of this


The bad part of this disease is that it can drastically reduce populations of deer within a given area.  The disease has been around for quite some time and has affected really only a handful of states.  Once the frost happens it kills the flies thus the disease is eliminated until the following year.

I have to agree with the North Dakota wildlife chief that not many hunters will take the refund.  One reason is that a bad day of hunting is better than no hunt at all... and secondly if the frost happens then chances of harvesting an infected deer are minimal.


hunter25's picture

This is another disease that

This is another disease that I don't know very much about but it sure sounds csary. I have never seen that many animals killed so quickly before. The Dakotas have been hit hard by severe weather and I believe at least one other disease this year. Hopefully this will run it's course and and not be seen for a long time again. I hope to hunt in the Dakota's at some point in the future but things like this don't make it look very promising.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Man, really sad to see this

Man, really sad to see this happening in North Dakota.  300 dead in one area? Geez.  I have never been one to get all worried over CWD, but this hemmoragic disease scares me.  I remember seeing a hunting show, don't remember who it was, where he came across an animal on the riverbank that was flopping around, unable to get up.  It was all emaciated, and was in obvious distress.

The host did the right thing and put it down.  Very sad to see that happen, but if you let that get into a herd, it can be a catastrophe, as is evidenced there in North Dakota.

Glad to see they are offering refunds.  Sucks that this had to piggy back on the couple of severe winters that region has had, and the already declining deer herd.  Hopefully there are brighter days on the horizon.