Washington -(Ammoland.com)- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has confirmed an outbreak of bluetongue disease in white-tailed deer in the state’s drought-stricken eastern region, but wildlife managers say this year’s hunting seasons will not be affected.
WDFW veterinarian Kristin Mansfield said today that bluetongue is a common virus transmitted by biting gnats at water sources where deer congregate during dry conditions. Every year in late summer and early fall, some white-tailed deer are lost to bluetongue and a similar virus known as EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease).
She said the department does not know precisely how many deer have been affected, but reports are more widespread and numerous than in the past, probably because of the severe drought across the region.
As of Sept. 17, WDFW had received reports of suspected deaths from bluetongue or EHD in several portions of the department’s eastern region, which includes Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, Walla Walla and Whitman counties.
WDFW wildlife managers said the emergence of the disease will not affect this year’s hunting seasons. Archery …read more