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GRANT: August 7th and we’ve had a death at The Proving Grounds.
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GRANT: Every August I hope I don’t find dead deer near water sources. Die offs of deer from HD have been known since we’ve studied deer. But this year with the drought being so widespread and so severe, we could have one of the largest outbreaks of HD, Hemorrhagic Disease, that’s been recorded since we’ve been studying deer.
GRANT: This deer has been dead for over a day, looking at the sign here. And the virus actually dies in the deer about the time the deer cools off. So, there’s no need for me to pull a sample. We checked the Reconyx camera we had on the water source just yards behind Adam running the camera now. And just as we all expected, there’s pictures of this exact buck coming to the water with his tongue hanging out.
GRANT: He had a fever; he was feeling bad; made it to the water source and literally died just a few yards from that pool in the creek.
GRANT: Deer that have the acute form of this virus, typically will get in the water trying to cool off from the fever. And that’s why this time of year, if there’s a big outbreak of EHD, more than likely, you’ll find carcasses near or at the edge of the water. The bad news is deer are going to keep coming to these water sources for a long time. There’s no big rain in sight. And the only thing that’s gonna kill these midges or biting flies is a frost. The first frost date here in Missouri usually occurs around October 14th – more than two months away.
GRANT: But if you find deer that are acting depressed or droopy or not afraid of man – or a very fresh kill by water, please get ahold of your local biologist, have them collect a sample and we can confirm how large the outbreak is this year. We all need to work together to monitor this disease and see the impact so we’ll know how to set harvest regulations this fall.
GRANT: I just want to assure everyone that EHD and Blue Tongue have been recorded for a long, long time. It’s not going to destroy our deer herds. It probably will have a pretty major impact in some areas and we may need to back off that deer herd just a little bit. But deer have the ability to repopulate rapidly and we’ll be back in the game very soon.
GRANT: There’s a great, simple publication online from the Southeastern Wildlife Disease Cooperative. They're the best in the world about wildlife diseases and I’ve got a link to it right below here. If you’ll click on that link, it’s full of great pictures and an easy description that will help you understand and diagnose HD.
ADAM: Today, we’re moving our Muddys from the tree just behind the camera to this huge Post Oak just over my shoulder because it provides more cover throughout the season.
ADAM: We got our ladder up. Now I’m getting ready to add one of my most important pieces to my hunting stands. And that’s a Muddy Safeline.
ADAM: A simple technique to avoid cutting your shooting lanes year after year after year is go by your local hardware store and pick up a bottle of Tordon RTU. Once you’ve picked up your Tordon RTU, and you’ve cut the tree, you want to treat the outside edge of the stump to kill the roots and ultimately avoid stump sprouts in the future.
GRANT: As we showed in last week’s episode, I’ve already got my camera programmed to slow down a little bit because the deer are gonna hang around the corn station longer than just moving through the woods or at a scrape. So, I’m taking a burst of three pictures, delayed 10 seconds each picture. Then after that, the camera’s gotta set on idle for five minutes. Give time for those deer to move away and more deer to come in so I get unique pictures of each deer, but not thousands of pictures of the same deer.
GRANT: I’m gonna swap cards this morning, run all our cameras; go back to the office and see what’s happening. 621 pictures. So, we are looking good.
GRANT: We keep our Reconyx cameras out year round, but oftentimes, we’re putting ‘em on trap sites or over water sources. But this time of year, we always pull ‘em in to our Trophy Rock places and add a little Record Rack corn in an effort to attract all the deer to each site so we can do a survey of the deer herd.
GRANT: There’s a lot of science involved in a trail camera survey. But even without that science, it’s a huge amount of fun just seeing which buck survived from hunting season to hunting season and how much they’ve grown for this upcoming year.
GRANT: A buck that showed up early during our trail camera survey this year is this great looking buck. Bean Flipper. He almost looks like a muley, with that big branch and then split tines on the end. I am not 100% certain that buck is Bean Flipper, but it sure looks that way and it would be interesting if this, in fact was his two year old, three year old and that’s him as a four year old.
GRANT: If you like this kind of information, we often post pictures daily on our Facebook page of bucks we’re studying and tell you why we’ve estimated their age as we have.
GRANT: We look forward to your input on helping us name bucks and we’ll keep you posted as states release more information about the spread of HD throughout the range.
GRANT: Whether you're working on your camera survey or just getting out and scouting and hanging some more stands, take an opportunity this week to enjoy Creation. Thanks for watching GrowingDeer.tv.