Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Oh deer

We've seen in the news and heard from neighbors that people have been seeing a lot of dead deer.  It's thought that they're dying of hemorrhagic disease, or bluetongue.

It's a virus transmitted through midge fly bites.  (Didn't know what a midge fly is?  Me neither.  This site says they're known as no-see-ums, or gnats, which is what I call them.)  Scientists think that there are outbreaks during drought years because deer and midge flies hang out in the few available watering spots.  Not all deer die from it, but many do.

Cattle can also get the virus, but it's not as common.

Last week, Kris saw one dead deer in a field he was chopping.  Today I saw one in the creek.  I wonder if we're going to start seeing them all over, now.  The articles say that the first frost will kill off the flies and then they'll quit spreading it around. 

We also saw two live deer today.  We rode in the chopper - yes, all five of us again - and we scared out two young deer from the corn.  Kris was finishing up the chopping, so they had to run across the very open field to the woods.  Stay away from flies!

I know that the deer population is large, I know that they eat our crops, and I know they can spread tuberculosis to cattle.  Despite that, I love seeing deer around.  There just aren't that many large wild animals that you get to see.

Large tame animals, sure.  We see the cows all the time.  Stay away from the flies!

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