Tag: deer

Tick Borne Diseases

The past few years have saw a dramatic increase in tick activity throughout Michigan. Anecdotally, many life-time Michiganders are telling me that they have seen more ticks in the past year than in their whole life. There are several reasons for this. For one, deer ticks have been migrating into Michigan in greater numbers since the 2000s, so there are simply more deer ticks living in the state, especially on the west side. Increased deer populations, decreased hunting, and conversion of farms into residential subdivisions with treed lots are also contributors. Along with this increased activity comes renewed fears about tick borne illnesses. In this article, we will review the basics about Lyme disease, but also Powassan virus, a little known but very debilitating tick borne illness that people need to be aware of. Lyme Disease: Causes and Symptoms Lyme disease is the most common tick borne illness in the United…

Lyme Disease Map of Michigan
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Chronic Wasting Disease Hits Michigan Deer

Michigan deer have had it rough as of late. It was only in 2012 that Michigan deer were suffering from epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD. Now in 2015 the deer of Michigan may be exposed to another danger from chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is a neurological disease that afflicts white tailed deer. Afflicted deer will act abnormally, eventually become physically debilitated and die. The first case of CWD was found in a deer in Meridian Township, Michigan, which is east of Lansing. The 6 year old female was acting strangely. The DNR confirmed CWD in an announcement made on May 26th. That was all it took for the DNR to go into emergency preparedness. CWD is fairly contagious and already exists among deer populations in 23 states as well as Canada. It would not take much for it to spread throughout Michigan, devastating our deer population. Preventative measures taken in…

Chronic Wasting Disease Hits Michigan Deer
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Deer Populations and Heavy Snow

What sort of winter can we expect in Michigan in 2013-2014, and what effect will this have on Michigan’s deer population? Whether a winter is mild or harsh can have an extreme effect on state deer populations. In 2011-12, an excessively mild winter meant that many of the insects that normally would have died off over the colder months were able to survive. When summer of 2012 did not bring expected rains, we had an explosion of midges and gnats which in turn ed to an explosoin of EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease), which destroyed deer populations in the summer of 2012. We thus know that we need a decently cold winter to kill off excess populations of midges, gnats and other insects that would otherwise spread disease among Michigan’s wildlife. But what are the potential negative effects of a winter that is at the other extreme, something too harsh, too…

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Michigan Deer Regulations Changing, Fall 2014

In case you have not heard yet, the State of Michigan is changing its deer hunting regulations for the 2014 Michigan hunting season, which is set to kick off November 15 (bow season opens October 1st). The changes were approved by Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission this summer and make changes in both the amount of licenses sold and the types of bucks that can be hunted. So how are Michigan deer regulations changing? The first change regards the amount of antlerless deer permits that will be issued. Last summer, many deer in southern Michigan were killed off by the epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). In many of these places, the deer populations are already at the levels desired by the DNR, so there is no need for an intensive kill-off this hunting season. The DNR plans to make 30,150 antlerless licenses available for southern Michigan public lands, down from 33,950 last…

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Michigan Deer Dying from EHD

Michigan hunters may be disappointed this opening day due to the rapid spread of an infection known as epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD. While EHD has occurred sporadically in Michigan since 1955 and has returned every few years since then, this year’s outbreak of EHD is unprecedented in its scope and the amount of deer being wiped out. According to the Michigan DNR, 2,785 deer have died already this season, most of them in Ionia and Branch County. According to, some property owners have found up to 200 carcasses in a single stretch of land. EHD is a viral disease that causes severe internal bleeding in the deer; or, as one reporter put it, “cooks the deer from the inside out.” The disease is fatal within days. Deer on the brink of death may stumble around aimlessly and lose their fear of humans, not unlike distempered raccoons. The deer will…

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