Monthly Archives: August 2012

Sick and Dead Deer Reported in Eastern Kansas

Public asked to notify KDWPT of deer that act ill or are found dead

July through early October is a time when people occasionally see sick and dead deer and wonder what is happening. The disease most often associated with these losses is called hemorrhagic disease (HD). It is caused by a virus, and it is transmitted to deer and other ruminant animals by biting midges. People and their pets are not affected by this virus, and the disease stops in the fall after cold weather kills the midges.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is asking anyone who sees a sick or dead deer to phone local KDWPT staff and report where and how many deer are involved. To help identify the extent of the disease, an online survey is also available for people to report fresh or decomposing carcasses. The public survey can be found at

So far this year, KDWPT has received reports of dead or sick deer from at least 24 counties in northcentral and eastern Kansas. These counties include Jewell, Cloud, Cherokee, ShawneeClayWashingtonWilson, Doniphan, JacksonMiamiFranklin, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Douglas, Osage, Wabaunsee, Pottawatomie, Lyon, Riley, Anderson, Bourbon, Dickinson, and Marion. Most of these reports have involved a single sick or dead deer, with occasional reports of multiple mortalities.

Test samples can be taken from deer if the carcass is found soon after death. Samples are submitted to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) at the University of Georgia to determine cause of death and occurrence at the county level. Recent results from a case in Wilson County confirmed the epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus, serotype 2 (EHDV-2), a variation within a subspecies of the virus.There are two related classes of viruses that may cause hemorrhagic disease — epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) and bluetongue virus (BTV). The virus and serotype most often associated with death of deer in Kansas is EHDV-2.

Both BTV and EHDV infect cattle, but in North America, clinical disease in infected cattle is rare and generally mild when it does occur. Sheep are not affected by EHDV, but severe disease can be caused by BTV. Midges can carry both viruses and feed on many species of ruminants, and the viruses may produce a variety of symptoms in deer.

When HD occurs, people normally find sick and dead deer along streams or near ponds. Midges reproduce in nutrient-rich substrate near stagnant water, and deer are often found near those sites in the late summer. Deer with HD frequently have a high temperature and may seek cool water. They also often allow people to get very close. Sick deer may be standing or lying down, many times right in water, and they occasionally have an open mouth with their tongue hanging out and swollen.

The clinical signs of HD in deer can be highly variable. The virus can damage the deer’s blood vessel lining, which can result in leaking blood vessels and an accumulation of blood and fluid in tissues. This hemorrhagic appearance gave rise to the name for this disease.

This year many deer are responding severely to the disease. These animals will sometimes die within a couple days after they are first infected by the midges. That does not mean that all deer infected with the virus will die. Some deer will not show any symptoms, and their immune system will produce antibodies for this virus. Those antibodies can give the deer some protection from the disease in future years. Other deer will survive the initial infection, only to develop complications from tissue damage during the early stages of infection, a form known as chronic HD.

The chronic signs of HD typically observed by hunters in the winter or by people who encounter a sick deer in the spring include fever rings on the hooves (cracked or sloughed hooves on three or four feet) and emaciation. Thin deer are generally the result of the disease’s effects on the lining of the rumen (a digestive organ similar to a stomach in other animals). Those animals have a decreased ability to effectively digest food. Chronic HD can further lower the immune response of deer and leave them vulnerable to bacterial diseases such pneumonia. The virus itself is not a threat to people, but deer with bacterial infections are unfit for consumption.

What can be done about HD? There are no effective treatments or vaccines for HD. Even if there were, it would be nearly impossible to treat enough wild deer to have any effect on the annual outcomes of this disease. Some individual deer have high levels of immunity to the disease. Deer in western Kansas generally have antibodies for various serotypes of EHDV and BTV, and a significant die-off in the western two-thirds of the state is rare. Deer in eastern Kansas generally do not have antibodies for the disease, and when events like the one this year occur, there can be high numbers of sick and dead deer.

The best advice for people concerned about HD on their land is to make sure deer are not concentrated at feeders and that deer are not being fed high levels of corn, which may lower their ability to mount an immune response if they become infected. KDWPT will continue to monitor the spread and extent of HD this year.

“HD probably occurs to some extent every year in Kansas,” explains Lloyd Fox, big game program coordinator for KDWPT. “Occasionally, there are years when the disease causes high mortality. The department adjusts future management, such as antlerless-only seasons and numbers of permits, as a result of those events.”

Fox explains that HD is a traditional disease of deer, and while there may be high numbers of dead deer in a particular area, the deer herd will generally repopulate the area within a few years.

Managed Fields Excellent for Sept. 1 Dove Opener

KDWPT-managed areas are magnets for elusive mourning doves

Many hunters view Sept. 1 as the opening of hunting season, with dove season beginning on that day. It’s been a blistering hot, dry summer, but mourning doves seem to thrive in hot, dry weather, and Kansas hunters should have no problem finding this acrobat game bird when the season opens. Hitting them may be another matter, so target practice prior to season is important.

Although the mourning dove is the primary quarry, Kansas hunters enjoy pursuing four species of doves in split fall and winter seasons. The season for all doves runs Sept. 1-Oct. 31 and Nov. 3-11. During these segments, two native species (mourning and white-winged doves) as well as two exotic species (Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves) may be taken. In addition, an exotic species season runs Nov. 20-Feb. 28, 2013. During this time, only Eurasian collared and ringed turtle doves may be taken.

To enhance public hunting opportunities, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) manages fields specifically to attract doves. Dove fields may include standing or mowed sunflowers, unharvested strips of wheat and burned crop stubble, mowed wheat, mixed plantings, or any combination of techniques.

Some areas have restricted hunting dates or times, and others may be restricted to youth, novice, and/or disabled hunters. Some may also require hunters using managed dove fields to obtain and complete a daily hunt permit or obtain access through a drawing. Other areas are open to the general public. Fields within waterfowl management areas require non-toxic shot only. Daily hunt permits are free and located in “iron rangers” (similar to mailboxes) at the field near you.

Use the KDWPT website,, to find details on areas specially managed for doves. Click “Hunting/Migratory Birds/Doves/Managed Hunting Areas” for details on a managed dove area.

Hunters are reminded that there are no bag and possession limits for Eurasian collared doves and ringed turtle doves. However, during the regular dove season — Sept. 1 through Oct. 31 and Nov. 3-11 — if the take of exotic doves exceeds a hunter’s daily bag of 15 mourning and white-winged doves (single species or in combination), the exotic doves must be transported with a fully-feathered wing attached. The possession limit for mourning and white-winged doves is 30.

Doves are excellent table fare. Whether wrapped in bacon and grilled, baked in a pie, or skewered for shish-ka-bobs, this game bird is a favorite of many. But don’t wait until Sept. 1 to get ready. Hunters should be scouting areas and obtaining permission on private ground or planning for a public land hunt now. Shooting clay targets for a couple of weeks will save shells once the season opens, but stock up on shells anyway; this is one of the most difficult game birds to hit. These things done, all that remains is knowing the law and cleaning the grill.

All dates and regulations needed for hunting doves may be found online at the KDWPT website, On Aug. 23, the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission will approve final regulations for ducks and geese at theWetland Education Center

592 NE K156 Highway

, near Great Bend. Once that action is complete, KDWPT can post the 2012 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, on the agency’s website, where hunters can go to learn more about identifying dove species. At that time, click “Hunting/Hunting Regulations” to view or download this booklet.

Printed copies of the 2012 Kansas Hunting and Furharvesting Regulations Summary, as well as the Kansas Hunting Atlas, will be available where licenses are sold the first week in September.

Youth Shooting Camp

Geary County Fish and Game Association is putting together a Youth Shooting Camp on Saturday, September 8 at the GCFGA headquarters at 3922 K-244 Spur atJunction City (near Milford Reservoir). The camp will run from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. Events include: shotgun, rifle, muzzleloader, archery and issues on conservation. Lunch will be provided. The camp is limited to 25 youth, ages 12-16, who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Pre-registration is required no later than August 30th. Call Dan Hammond at 913-240-3512.

Cedar Bluff Reservoir Largemouth Bass Tips

Largemouth Bass Tips at Cedar Bluff for Current Conditions from FISHINGNOTES.COM:
Largemouth bass fishing is going to be pretty slow at 84 degree water temperature. Bass will start moving much slower and feeding less aggressively until the water temperature starts to get back down to comfortable levels. When the water temperature is up this high, it’s time to get out fishing early and late in the day when the sun is not on the water. When you can get out for the entire day, it’s a great time to fish some deeper water. Many large bass are taken this time of year since bass fishermen typically gets out deeper and fish slower with larger baits. Like any other time of year, the slower you fish with bigger baits on the deep drops and river channels, the better chance you have at a lunker. This is a great time to catch a trophy. Good luck out there today!

2012 NWTF Kansas State JAKES Camp

The National Wild Turkey Federation will hold their 2012 Kansas State JAKES CampSeptember 15th & 16th at CampAlexander, near Emporia.  The cost of the event is $20 for JAKES members, $30 for non-JAKES members, and $20 for adults.  Youth 17 years of age and younger get to select from 15 activities to participate which includes fishing, first aid in the field, air rifle, small game animals, arts & crafts, nature hikes & birding, firearms handling & safety, shotgun live fire, turkey calling, archery, “World of Sporting Dogs,” GPS, JAKES Take Aim range, and “Calls of the Wild.” 

Ralph Duren, two-time Grand National turkey calling champion will present “Calls of the Wild” and will entertain campers later around the campfire Saturday night.  Youth attending can participate in the 3rd AnnualNWTFKansasState youth turkey calling contest Saturday evening.  Attendees may choose to tent campSaturday night or elect to commute both days.  Top-notch meals will be provided both days.  Last year’s Kansas State JAKES Camp was awarded the NWTF “Best State JAKES Event” at this year’s NWTF National Convention in Nashville, TN.

For more information or a registration form, contact Gib Rhodes at 620-437-2012.

House Leadership Pulls Extension of Current Farm Bill Vote


New Bill Being Prepared

Late Tuesday night, July 31, House leadership pulled a vote on extending the current Farm Bill for one year, in favor of working a disaster assistance bill to help farmers and ranchers hard hit by the nation’s drought. 

“My priority remains to get a five-year farm bill on the books and put those policies in place,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). “But the most pressing business before us is to provide disaster assistance to those producers impacted by the drought conditions who are currently exposed. The House is expected to consider a disaster assistance package on Thursday.”

While the path of the new Farm Bill is less clear,  it appears that  Congress was increasingly uncomfortable heading home for the August recess without in some way addressing aide to drought stricken livestock and crop producers in their states. But now the door is left open for a House-Senate compromise bill to be worked before the current bill expires September 30.

Article provided by Kansas Rural Center

Westar Energy Youth Dove Hunt Sept. 1-3


Labor Day weekend event for youth 16 and younger; registration deadline Aug. 23

The Westar Energy Green Team will host a youth dove hunt at JeffreyEnergyCenter, north of St. Marys, on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-3. Hunts will be on wheat stubble or sunflowers, guided by volunteers in the early morning or late afternoon. Area staff report that the fields are in excellent condition and should provide excellent hunting.

These hunts are a great way for kids 16 and younger to learn dove hunting basics with plenty of birds flying at close range. Youth must bring their own shotguns, be accompanied by a non-hunting adult, and have a license and HIP stamp if age 16. Nontoxic shells will be provided.

Interested hunters or mentors should phone Barb Cornelius at 785-575-8125. Hunters will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and hunts will be scheduled as requests dictate and hunting groups can be formed. The registration deadline is Friday, Aug. 23.