Was my deer an EHD survivor?

Jody Hadachek's avatar

By Jody Hadachek on

Posted under: Habitat, Whitetails

I didn't notice it until I'd already drug the heavy thing a couple hundred yards.  After dragging my 200 pound buck through the weeds, I sat down for a much-needed breather.  That's when I saw them .... split hooves!!  Now, I've never personally killed a buck with split hooves such as this; why did he have them??  After posting the buck's picture online, a wildlife biologist friend of mine said most likely my deer's hooves were split from surviving EHD!

Now as many of you know, EHD has had quite the effect on the midwest deer herd.  I've been lucky in my areas, for I feel much of the local herds around here got by relatively unscathed from the disease.  Did my buck have EHD?  That was the question I wanted to find out an answer to...... I began to Google "Split hooves whitetail deer EHD" and other similar search strings, and almost all searches came up with the same startling result .... split hooves are very common to deer that have been affected by EHD.  My deer seemed VERY healthy when I shot him.  No obvious signs of a disease or anything like that.  I've already ground up and processed the venison ... and from what I've read, EHD is not contagious to humans.  That means there's a very large, juicy deer burger in my near future.  Have any of you blog readers out there ever shot a deer that has survived hemorrhagic disease?  I'd love to hear your experiences!!!

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