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Why Are Whitetails Dying?

Nice rack (Photo courtesy GlacierNPS/Flickr)

Over one hundred dead white-tailed deer have been reported in the west Missoula Valley.  FWP is waiting for lab results to determine the cause of death and is asking the public to report observations of dead deer to help in determining the extent of the affected area.

FWP first responded to reports from local fishing guides and landowners who reported numerous dead deer in and along the Clark Fork River and fields near and downstream from Harper’s Bridge. Dead deer have also been found in the Mill Creek area northeast of Frenchtown.

FWP biologists and wardens had accounted for 103 dead deer by Tuesday. Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is a potential culprit.

EHD is transmitted by a biting midge, or gnat, and generally strikes in late summer and early fall.   The disease event typically ends within a couple weeks of the first hard frost. FWP continues to investigate the geographic extent and magnitude of the affected area and asks the public to call 406-542-5515 with observations and locations of dead white-tailed deer.

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