Finding dead deer - mortality rates & reasons

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by Sligh1, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    I found about 7-8 that looked like this. Hooves deformed. I suspect this was ehd “survival” that caused deformed & cracked hooves & got infections & died. Maybe it’s hoof rot too. I find too many like this every year. It’s not injury as most have 2-4 hooves like this. Look close. Almost all the messed up hooves I found (probably 6-8 this year) were on shed bucks. Here’s one shed buck hoof & then random young buck in middle of timber. Guessing maybe killed by another buck. No clue.
    I am kinda estimating 5-10% “natural” occurring deaths on bucks in wild- what u all think? We also find a few I’m sure were shot or poached. Every year we find a certain % dead. Noticing these hooves has changed how I look at dead deer though. U all find a bunch or what’s your thoughts in general on natural mortality rate? [​IMG]
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  3. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    I should look closer at the hooves...we definitely found more dead deer this spring than normal while shed hunting. I would say it is normal for us to find 2-4 dead per year, with usually one of them being a "nice" buck. ("Nice" would be 120"ish to 140"ish.)

    This year we probably found 10 dead ones, with 3 of those being in the aforementioned category of "nice". Drats! At least one other was a shed buck, but small pedicels, so probably an 18 month old. I will check the hooves on those dead beasts and see if there is any sign of EHD Good tip.
     
  4. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Well-Known Member

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    Fortunately we didn't find many dead deer in Iowa, maybe one doe. I think the winter issues--as we have found some dead ones in MN. You are probably right on the EHD, hoove issue.
     
  5. Wi transplant

    Wi transplant PMA Member

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    This is not product endorsement! Just something im trying on my place take a look and try if you like!! I figure it cant hurt!! Im using real world mineral with ehd! Expect heathly deer. Technology!!! Look it up says they have had awsome results in preventing ehd with this stuff !!! Worth a look !!! Its real world products. Maximizer mineral .. Take a look !!

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  6. Wi transplant

    Wi transplant PMA Member

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    Sorry canot figure out how to post a link!

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  7. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Moderator

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    I found a dead doe in an open building/barn this spring. She looked old and one rear ankle was swollen as one of Skip’s pics showed. I assumed it was the -25F weather with ice covering the ground that drove her to seek shelter in the building. Same property, found a dead yearling doe I figured starved to death. It’s a high deer density area. Lots of snow and ice.


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  8. Muskrat24

    Muskrat24 Active Member

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    I've found a few over the years that looked exactly like that: joint swollen with abscess hole. I figured infection from broken foot or foot rot but I wouldn't have guessed EHD. Bios I have talked to said cracked or broken hooves or long hooves are likely EHD survivors with the hoof issues from fever from EHD.
     
  9. Tim Hull

    Tim Hull PMA Member

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    It takes a Miracle to get a buck to 5 or 6 yrs of age if you think about all that can happen to a deer in that time frame.
     
  10. muddy

    muddy Administrator

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    I found over a dozen this spring on 4 adjoining properties, but they all looked like they were fawns, and I suspected they all starved to death
     
  11. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Found way too many this spring. Some dandy's too. one was about a 170" 4 year old that died pretty late. Unfortunate, but part of the deal.

    Also found several dead shed bucks. I had never seen that before. I have to suspect the LONG and hard winter had something to do with it.
     
  12. Rous14

    Rous14 New Member

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    Interesting that you bring this up Skip, on my farm in IL I sent some trail camera video to my hunting partners of 3-4 different deer that were limping all of the sudden. Seemed like it was mid December timeframe. I can’t say for certain that any of them ended up dead but my guess is they did as we found 4-5 dead deer this spring. I could see the one yearling buck in one of the videos had something going on on his hoof just like what you show. Not sure why it seemed to be an end of the year problem vs randomly throughout the fall?
     
  13. Rous14

    Rous14 New Member

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    This is so true. We killed two 7.5 yr olds off our IL farm this fall and being a MI resident especially we couldn’t feel more fortunate/blessed! Just so difficult for a deer to reach maturity.
     
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  14. bwese

    bwese Active Member

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    I've had a few that had hooves like you posted Skip. All but one ended up never to be seen again. I showed a close up pic very much like yours to my buddy who is a vet and he was betting it was hoof rot. He said its getting more frequent now with the genetics built into beans to keep them standing that they puncture the skin on their feet and then step in deer shit that is laden with bacteria that cause the rot. Very few survive hoof rot in his and my opinion.
     
  15. Wi transplant

    Wi transplant PMA Member

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    Wow thats some info !! Wonder if its ehd or foot rot ?? Very interesting stuff. Great info !

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  16. Misskiwi67

    Misskiwi67 Member

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    I wonder how many had injuries from the ice. Watching deer in town was like watching kids on an ice rink. I saw many more fall injuries in dogs this year from the ice so I can only imagine what the wildlife endured.

    We found our usual dead cripples at the end of pheasant season. The dogs make sure we don’t miss anything. We found one really nice (160s 5 year old) buck early February, so right after the really hard weather. On a field edge with blood on the snow so we assume he died of natural causes and wasn’t shot.
     
  17. Wi transplant

    Wi transplant PMA Member

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    Just my 2 cents but coming from wi and the u.p. of mich i doubt if the winter was severe enough in iowa for any great losses from starvation . the snow depths up there are way worse and for a much longer time than in ia. I believe other factors at play here!

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  18. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    In last 7-10 years I’ve found way more ehd deer than 20 years ago. Maybe it’s coincidence & I’m looking for it now. I’ve found years of messed up hooves when I find dead deer. I started looking at hooves 5-7 years ago and I’ve found 30-50 bucks with messed up hooves dead. I found a buck a week ago with 2” nubs grown. He had 3 messed up cracked hooves.

    I’ve seen limping deer in winter - some years it’s horrid. AFTER THOSE WINTERS is when I find tons of these.... I personally Think it’s all ehd related. Ehd deaths otherwise split hooves - then limping deer- then find em dead like this, countless pictures like this.....
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  19. turkeyriver

    turkeyriver PMA Member

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    Six dead fawns and one dead buck this spring. Clayton county. Talked to DNR biologist and he expected high fawn mortality from starvation. From Feb. 3rd till middle of March, I don't know how a deer would've found anything but twigs to chew on. Was a good shed year tho., but don't know how many of those bucks survived. No sign of EHD hooves.
     
  20. 2.5YR8

    2.5YR8 Member

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    We found 1 dead fawn that was probably clipped by a car, and a doe that was hung up in a fence. She had a messed up hoof/lower leg like the pics above. I'm guessing that effected her ability to get over the fence.
     
  21. MN Hunter

    MN Hunter Active Member

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    I found 15 dead deer on approximately 550 acres. This is in the cwd zone, southern mn. Have no idea what killed them. 4 were antlered bucks, 3 were shed bucks. The rest does and fawns. I’m hoping I don’t find anymore, and hopefully cwd didn’t kill them. The 2018 season ended here March 29th so I’m assuming some died due to the amount of hunting pressure and stress of the winter.
     
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