Ohio’s 2012-13 deer season opened yesterday, and bowhunters should be braced to see some unusual-acting targets
Tonkovich was alluding to peculiar deer rather than to any acts by deer hunters perched in their tree stands.
Widespread outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, have been confirmed among whitetails in 11 Ohio counties. Another dozen or so counties are either awaiting confirmation of the lethal virus’s presence or suspect the same, based on preliminary reports.
“We’re seeing deer behave abnormally before they die,” Tonkovich said.
Case in point: A squirrel hunter in Lawrence County recently was compelled to kill a menacingly approaching deer with his .22 rifle after efforts to shoo away the deer by throwing objects at it repeatedly failed.
Deer infected with EHD often lose their fear of humans, and they frequently stumble around erratically, tongues hanging out, before dying. The common disease, which most often occurs during droughts that bring together at watering holes deer and a biting fly or midge that carries the virus, doesn’t affect humans.