On August 3, the biologists euthanized a mule deer buck in the Manti-La Sal National Forest southwest of Monticello.
The deer was walking in circles when the biologists found it. It also had a swollen tongue and was salivating excessively.
After euthanizing the deer, the biologists collected tissue samples from the animal. They sent the samples to the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Logan.
Results the DWR have received from the lab confirm the deer had epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD).
EHD does not affect people, but it does affect deer and can spread in deer populations. Because the area the buck was found in is fairly remote, biologists need your eyes and ears. If you see any sick or dying deer in the area, please report the animals to the DWR’s office in Price.
The telephone number is (435) 613-3700.
Leslie McFarlane, wildlife disease coordinator for the DWR, says 2007 was the last time EHD was documented in Utah.
“The disease is exacerbated by these hot, dry conditions,” McFarlane says. “Some states are seeing huge outbreaks this year. In Nebraska, for example, hundreds of deer have died.”
Symptoms that indicate an animal might have the disease include weakness, listlessness, lack of coordination, excessive salivation, lameness, inability to get up, shortness of breath, swelling of the face, and ulcers on the tongue and mouth.
McFarlane encourages you to harvest a deer only if the animal appears healthy, alert and active.
Those who observe deer or elk that show any of the symptoms described above should call the Price DWR office and report the location of the animal as precisely as possible.
Global positioning system (GPS) coordinates are helpful in helping officers and biologists locate sick animals.