Disease takes a toll on 2013 deer harvest - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Disease takes a toll on 2013 deer harvest

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Deer hunters who may think they were just unlucky this season when came home empty-handed might find comfort knowing they weren't alone, as this season's deer harvest posted significant lows in harvest.

The Nebraska Games and Parks Commission has released the deer harvest numbers for this year's nine-day firearm season, and only about 37,000 deer were harvested this year.

That's a 21% percent decline from 2012.

The Commission estimated a reduction in harvest due to the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD outbreak in 2012.

Bruce Roll, owner of Western Trail Sports in Scottsbluff, says last year the disease seemed to take out a lot of white tail deer, and this season, it took a toll on mule deer. 

"And consequently, I think there was less harvest," Roll said. "We're getting reports from some deer hunters of them finding lots of carcasses and dead deer from the fever, most of them in water, or ponds or irrigation areas."

Total harvest for 2013 is expected to reach approximately 50,000 deer.

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