Photo © Jim Thompson

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD)

EHD is a disease that mainly affects white-tailed deer in the United States. This disease is caused by a virus that is spread by a biting midge. The disease usually affects deer herds in South Dakota in the late summer or early fall. Most refer to this disease as bluetongue and although they are very similar, they are slightly different viruses.

EHD can affect mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk and pronghorn in South Dakota, but it primarily impacts white-tailed deer. EHD is the most common occurring viral disease of white-tailed deer in the United States. The southeastern portion of the United States has EHD outbreaks every year with relatively few losses of animals. In the northern plains, we usually see minor disease losses, but some years, losses can be significant.

If you find evidence of EHD, please contact your local Conservation Officer.

Map of Reported EHD 
DISCLAIMER - This map represents the number of dead deer reported from concerned landowners, sportsmen, and GFP personnel. Each mapped area may represent more than one reported dead deer. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) virus has presumably caused all of these deer losses, and EHD has been confirmed by laboratory analysis in most areas with high numbers of reports. This information should be considered a minimum coverage of deer losses because detection and reporting rates of dead deer vary by geographical area and are less than 100%. Variations of EHD prevalence exist at the county level and hunters are encouraged to contact local landowners to determine if deer losses have occurred in areas they hunt.