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I took a 6 mile hike in a large area of public land not too far from where I live here in NE Iowa this morning, and found 8 to 1

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  • I took a 6 mile hike in a large area of public land not too far from where I live here in NE Iowa this morning, and found 8 to 1

    I took a 6 mile hike in a large area of public land not too far from where I live here in NE Iowa this morning, and found 8 to 10 different deer carcasses. All but one of them were in close proximity to a stream, which would indicate EHD, but they were too recent for that, all looked to have died 3 weeks to 2 months ago, way after the EHD season, and well after our late hunting seasons too. All were either young does or fawns, judging by the skulls and hooves. The only thing I can think of that might have done them in is winter-kill, but our winter really wasn't that severe here, and most were a mile or less from some large standing-corn food plots. Anybody have any ideas what could've killed them?

  • #2
    i saw a dead 6 point before gun season with no holes..

    im guessing those deer got sick from something. possibly from eating. maybe the corn they all ate was bad or maybe a illness was transferred by one another by nose or feces while eating..its too fishy that 8 to 10 deer died ALL NEXT to each other. the only logical thing since food,water and prey is ruled out is sickness..
    Just my guess tho

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    • #3
      Deer can survive EHD, they may have been weak from the illness still and the snow from the past couple months may have done them in.

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      • #4
        According to biologists the standing corn could have contributed to their demise. Supposedly during the winter they eat it but they can't digest it and it gives them a false sense of being full slowly starving them. There has been a couple articles about this lately on here. Not sure if it's true or not. I'm guessing their demise is from something else though otherwise this would be a common widespread problem.

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        • #5
          I think savageshot has a point. Deer that survive EHD come into winter in such a weakened state that they are susceptible to pretty much anything that they could normally fight off. I would say the corn had absolutely nothing to do with it, since grain makes up a large part of an Iowa deer’s diet. It’s not as if it’s a foreign food that has recently been introduced to them. I don’t know about anywhere else, but if eating corn killed deer in Iowa, there would be none left here.

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          • #6
            Hard to say what killed them. My guess is more along the lines of MWK_MN thinking.
            Deer's digestive bacteria change from season to season. In the winter Jan-March the bacteria has changed to maximize the digestion of woody browse. This was discovered during the severe northern MN winters of the 60s. Well meaning deer hunter groups hauled alfalfa hay into the northern deer yards. 3 weeks later they found entire herds of dead deer with stomachs full of hay.
            U of M researchers discovered the digestive bacteria change.
            Fast forward 40 years; we have modern day deer hunters and managers who have never heard of or have forgotten this research.
            later,
            charlie

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            • #7
              Good thoughts guys. I am kind of leaning toward savageshot's idea, because like I said, the winter wasn't THAT severe around here, and there was plenty of woody browse and marsh grass in the areas where I found the carcasses, so they shouldn't have starved to death, unless they were under some sort of preexisting stress.

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