My Perspective on EHD - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-28-2017, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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My Perspective on EHD

These are the Deer Harvest numbers from the last two years in WMU 2A: 7,000 (6,500) antlered, 9,200 (10,500) antlerless; and WMU 2B: 5,800 (5,200) antlered, 14,000 (15,000) antlerless;

So if EHD kills 10,000 or 15,000 deer this year how does that decimate the deer herd for years to come? If hunters stay on pace from the last two years then I would say there are way to many deer in SWPA. If the kill number is lower then no big deal right? it should rebound just fine next year.

I think hunters get so obsessed with wanting to kill deer they lose sight of what our responsibility as hunters really is and that we are just a tool to keep nature at a healthy balance and not be entitled to see a bunch of deer and get to kill one whenever we want.

It's funny how we kill over 36,000 deer in SWPA in a season and that's fine, but when nature takes a few thousand everyone panics and complains that the PGC for not doing their duty to hunters.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkhunter View Post

So if EHD kills 10,000 or 15,000 deer this year how does that decimate the deer herd for years to come? If hunters stay on pace from the last two years then I would say there are way to many deer in SWPA. If the kill number is lower then no big deal right? it should rebound just fine next year.
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I think what some have said, myself included, is that EHD can have a devastating effect in localized areas. I have witnessed this personally. The unit of 2A itself will be fine.

What many that experience repeated EHD outbreaks report is that the deer numbers have never rebounded to pre EHD levels. I suspect it is a combination of sporadic outbreaks in between the major ones, high allocations for the unit, and predation which has a bigger affect when deer numbers are reduced.

I feel the pain for the areas that keep getting hit over and over. Some of those that don't experience major outbreaks, and its affects long term, don't understand how bad it can be.

I support all hunters, regardless of weapon or technique!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkhunter View Post
These are the Deer Harvest numbers from the last two years in WMU 2A: 7,000 (6,500) antlered, 9,200 (10,500) antlerless; and WMU 2B: 5,800 (5,200) antlered, 14,000 (15,000) antlerless;

So if EHD kills 10,000 or 15,000 deer this year how does that decimate the deer herd for years to come? If hunters stay on pace from the last two years then I would say there are way to many deer in SWPA. If the kill number is lower then no big deal right? it should rebound just fine next year.

I think hunters get so obsessed with wanting to kill deer they lose sight of what our responsibility as hunters really is and that we are just a tool to keep nature at a healthy balance and not be entitled to see a bunch of deer and get to kill one whenever we want.

It's funny how we kill over 36,000 deer in SWPA in a season and that's fine, but when nature takes a few thousand everyone panics and complains that the PGC for not doing their duty to hunters.
So your conclusion is that "if" we pretty much stay pace with annual harvest counts than we just had to many deer to begin with? Either way say it does track similarly that would basically equate to doubling the annual harvest as it is a compounding effect...I think most people would say if someone said "oh we are going to double the harvest of a WMU this year" they would most likely get a negative repsonse.

As DPMS suggested it is a localized issue not a WMU as a whole that is why the WMU philosphy is skewed in the first place you can't look at population on that large of a scale. When the only deer left on a farm is a spike, a six point, and 2 fawns, and we will throw in a fluff of a doe or two that is not a healthy population whether as a hunter or for conservation purposes. Will more move in...idk but I do not expect it as local deer populations are usually based on those deer that are resident to the area. So the rebuilding process is going to take quite some time. You talk about a healthy balance I am not sure what I see is a healthy balance unless your goal is to have almost no deer I can't quite fixate that this would be a "natural" thing.


Also I have questioned the accuracy off in the first place because there are plenty of people who do not report there harvest out there so I am not sure I would high these numbers with the greatest level of confidence.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, but from what I'm told EHD is very localized so one farm can be devastated and the farm down the road not touched. If that is true then the deer will eventually fill in the gaps.

I think if EHD kills 10,000 deer and hunters still kill 36,000 then yes the deer population in that area is probably to high. That's not a written in stone fact just an my opinion. I should add that I don't think there is anyway this would happen, just using it as an example.

Last edited by jkhunter; 09-29-2017 at 11:48 AM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 02:24 PM
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The way I see it EHD is that though it might have a significant impact on hunter success rates in some areas in all probability it will NOT have a very insignificant effect on future deer numbers.

The reason I say that is because EHD reduces the deer population prior to the hunting season instead of post season. Since the deer numbers are reduced prior to the season it is going to be harder for hunters to find and harvest deer. That will, in all probability, reduce the deer harvest if EHD did in fact significantly reduce the preseason population. But, since there were fewer deer and that resulted in hunters harvested fewer it is very likely the over winter deer population will be about the same as it has been in the past.

If the harvest stays as high as it has been in the past then either EHD wasn’t much of a deer population limiting problem or there were simply way too many deer in the unit to begin with.

Dick Bodenhorn
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-29-2017, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by R. S. B. View Post
The way I see it EHD is that though it might have a significant impact on hunter success rates in some areas in all probability it will NOT have a very insignificant effect on future deer numbers.

The reason I say that is because EHD reduces the deer population prior to the hunting season instead of post season. Since the deer numbers are reduced prior to the season it is going to be harder for hunters to find and harvest deer. That will, in all probability, reduce the deer harvest if EHD did in fact significantly reduce the preseason population. But, since there were fewer deer and that resulted in hunters harvested fewer it is very likely the over winter deer population will be about the same as it has been in the past.

If the harvest stays as high as it has been in the past then either EHD wasn’t much of a deer population limiting problem or there were simply way too many deer in the unit to begin with.

Dick Bodenhorn
That is exactly what I was trying to say, I may not been as clear though. Thank You
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-30-2017, 08:54 PM
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I would like to see a deer harvest map by County. 2A is a big area and EHD has affected Beaver County and northern Washington the most. I know ten plus years ago we had far more deer and bigger bucks, the hay day for Beaver County seemed to be from the early 2000's to 2007.

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