DAMN EHD IS BACK! It’s been nearly 12 years since the last outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease turned up on our southern Indiana farm and took a heavy toll of resident deer.
Today I found this young buck dead in a creek bed after a neighbor reported the same finding on his nearby farm nearly two weeks ago. I later saw a sickly buck here but didn’t find a carcass.
I’m (scouting and) counting 15 to 25 whitetails daily so far this month and all appear in good health. Praying they’ll stay that way.
It takes a killing frost to kill the gnats that transmit EHD and fall is a long way off. Thankfully, EHD is not contagious but the flying bugs are the real problem.
An area game warden confirmed that EHD has now been confirmed in 10 Indiana counties so far.
After a few wet years, It has been hot and dry in many areas for the last 2 months, and those conditions are conducive to an outbreak of EHD.
Wildlife Research Center and Tink’s have partnered with CWD Evolution to fund a study on a testing protocol known as RT-QuIC, which is designed to examine deer urine for CWD contamination. This will allow manufacturers of deer and elk scents to test and verify that no CWD is detected in the urine used in their products.
According to Phil Robinson of Tink’s, “We sought out the most recognized authorities regarding CWD transmission via urine to get their opinion. We are 100% confident that our products pose no risk of spreading CWD. This test is just a confirmation of that fact.”
“Our industry is committed to the health of wild cervids and the sport of hunting,” adds Sam Burgeson of Wildlife Research Center (WRC). “This is a break-through for our industry and for all the loyal hunters that use our products.”
Tink’s and WRC have already begun testing urine in 2019 and other companies will soon follow. Beginning in 2020, bottles of WRC and Tink’s scent will carry the “RT-QuIC Tested” logo on their labels for easy identification.
For the upcoming 2019 deer season check your hunting regulations regarding scents. While you can still carry and use deer urine in most places, 9 states require the use of synthetic scents. Both Wildlife Research Center and Tink’s offer urine-based and synthetic lures.
This year I teamed up with Outdoor Life digital for the 8th annual BIG DEER rut guide, with specific tips on planning your hunting vacay this November. Click the above link to read the entire guide; below are some highlights:
New moon this rut cycle begins on October 27…expect deer to be most active at dawn and for 30 minutes thereafter… expect deer to be move from daylight until 9:00a.m. or so…get on stand extra early and hunt especially hard that first hour.
November 4, 2019 First-Quarter Moon: Looking back to my notes and all the research I’ve done over the years it is fact that many huge bucks are killed every year during the seeking phase of the rut November 6-10. This is always a good week to take off work and hunt.
Week of November 11, 2019: Full Moon: November 8 through 16 could be good for midday deer movement, especially if it’s cold. Movement from, say, 10 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. …spend all day in a stand, you never when a mature buck will come by.
Week of November 18, 2019 Last-Quarter Moon: deer movement should be good to great from November 19 through about 24, especially around food sources…if you are going to hunt the last hour of the day anytime this season, you should do it during the last-quarter phase.
Good luck whichever week you take off to hunt the rut!
One more thing: If you have the flexibility to wait until late October to plan your rut-hunting week do it. Study the long-range weather forecast for November, pick a cool to cold week when bucks will move best and factor in the moon advice you read here for a killer game plan.