For a second consecutive year, North Dakota Game and Fish Department gives refunds to hunters who purchased a deer tag due to a massive outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). The refund is available to around 30,000 hunters in the western and central parts of the state.
The state Game and Fish Department is allowing hunters with whitetail or “any” deer gun licenses in several units in western North Dakota the option of turning those licenses in for refunds.
Casey Anderson, wildlife chief, said the decision is based on continuing reports of white-tailed deer mortality caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease, and evidence of moderate to significant deer losses in some areas that might affect hunting success in those locations. The first confirmed EHD report occurred in early August.
Hunters with antlered whitetail, antlerless whitetail, any antlered and any antlerless licenses are eligible for refunds in units 2H, 2I, 2J1, 2K1, 3A1, 3A3, 3B1, 3B2, 3B3, 3C, 3D1, 3D2, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. Hunters who return their licenses will have their bonus points restored, if applicable, to the same number of points prior to the 2021 deer gun lottery.
“Compared to previous years, a much larger portion of the state seems to be affected,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, substantial mortality has been documented in some areas.”
EHD is very often fatal, but deer do occasionally recover. It is spread through a midge more commonly known as a “no-see-em.” Deer will appear weak and typically die in water since the disease causes a high fever before killing the animal. Below are some pictures of deer infected with EHD.