The state DNR says a rare, fatal deer disease has run its course. Officials said an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, is now over - because heavy frosts have killed the bugs that spread the illness.
The DNR said up to 350 deer may have died from EHD. Many were in Columbia and Dane counties. Confirmed cases were also reported in Iowa, Sauk, Marquette, Jefferson, and Rock counties. Wildlife specialist Eric Lobner says his agency still wants to hear from people if they see groups of dead deer in the country.
Officials say they'll keep studying the impact of the disease, and adjust deer management procedures accordingly. This year's outbreak took place in much of the Midwest. Wisconsin's last outbreak of EHD was in 2002, when 14 deer in Iowa County were killed from it.
As projected, it's looking like this year's deer harvest is going to be down from last year. The DNR's Lou Cornicelli says last year around 192,000 deer were taken. This year, it's expected around 180,000 deer will be harvested. He says it's lower then what we have seen in the last decade, but still above the average over the last 30 or 40 years. He says last weekend the buck harvest was up eight-and-a-half-percent over last year and the doe harvest was down 20-percent.