Signs of EHD in Maryland

A few weeks ago, my husband and I began suspecting there were health issues affecting deer in an area we hunt.  All summer long we saw a healthy herd traveling throughout the area.  Bachelor groups of bucks, does and fawns were found posing for our cameras on a regular basis. Then, seemingly overnight, we experienced a severe drop off in the amount of pictures on our cameras.  Walking the area, we found one doe floating in a pond, another doe dead in the woods.  EHD or Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease was suspected.  Since then, three more dead deer consisting of a fawn, a 5 pointer and a 7 pointer have been found.  We’ve captured one deer on camera in a state of severe emaciation.  Severe emaciation may be observed in animals recovering and I am hoping this is the case.  Additional signs of EHD are lethargy and the deer often salivate excessively.  Hemorrhaging from the mouth and tongue is also a common symptom.

During this time, we contacted the DNR representative for the area. He confirmed reports of suspected EHD occuring not far from where we seeing the dead deer.

According to the Maryland DNR website, EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) cases typically occur between mid-August and October and is caused by a virus that is transmitted through the bite of tiny flying midges. The onset of freezing weather typically brings an end to a given outbreak as it kills the midges.

It is my understanding that this virus does not transmit to humans but to be honest I would really hesitate to eat any meat from animals suspected or having or recovering from EHD.

Popular consensus is that EHD typically occurs during droughts. So why this year? There is no drought that I know of on the Eastern Shore of MD.  My thinking is that there was so much rain, puddles formed in the fields.  Those puddles then heated up making ideal breeding conditions for the midge flies. The deer, living in the corn and bean fields, discovered an easy water source in those puddles. When the deer went to drink, the midges bit and transmitted the virus.

Maryland DNR is asking people to report any sick or dead deer to the regional offices.  For your convenience, here is a link to Maryland Regional offices:  MD Regional offices

Link to the Maryland DNR news release regarding the tracking of recent deer deaths:

http://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2017/09/13/wildlife-experts-tracking-reports-of-recent-deer-deaths/

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Possible EHD? Notice the back hooves. Could this be some type of injury or EHD affecting the hooves as it sometimes does? Photo credit JoAnn Herbert

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Same deer exhibiting signs of lethargy. I can’t say I have ever seen a deer lay down in the middle of the day out in the open.  Photo credit: JoAnn Herbert

Hunting-it’s not just aim and shoot.

It’s ALOT of walking, setting up, and preparation. It’s alot of sweaty clothes and hot Saturdays dedicated to making the hunt go your way. It’s pruning trees, it’s getting poison ivy all over you, it’s dirty fingernails and muddy boots. For pete’s sake, why do it?  It’s also the quiet you can only find in the stand. It’s a bird landing on your backpack, it’s the outline of a spiderweb. It’s the bleat of a fawn, the grunt of a deer, the gobble of a turkey. It’s a Momma turkey with her 5 babies walking past you. Hunting-it’s the clean smell of the morning. It’s the world turning all around you and the creatures in it while none of them know you are there.

Spider

Marbled Orbweaver spider found on the Eastern shore of MD    Photo credit: JoAnn Herbert

Flower

Another pretty flower on the way to check cameras.  Photo credit: JoAnn Herbert

 

 

Pink flower

I have no idea what kind of flower or weed this is but had to stop and take a picture. It reminds me of the flower the elephant held in the movie, “Horton Hears a Who.” Photo credit: JoAnn Herbert

 

Update to the MD DNR Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop schedule

Beyond BOW Deer Clinic & Hunt at Blossom Point Military Base, 11/3/2017 – 11/4/2017

This particular workshop is for new/beginner hunters.  What a great way to get started!  Friday, 11/3/2017 will be spent going over deer hunting, safety hunting skills, and time at the range.  Saturday, 11/4/2017  you will be in a tree stand.  Apparently staff will be on hand to assist throughout the day!

Please note that the workshop is for doe only.  Cost is $60. Full details on what is included with the fees is listed on the application.

Valid MD hunting License required.  Lastly, all participants must pass shooter qualification on the range, Friday 11/3/2017.  Don’t let that stop you ladies!  You got this!

For more information call 301-791-4736, ext 103 OR email letha.grimes@maryland.gov.

Link to the registration page

 

Using the Maryland-DNR check in app!

The MD Department of Natural Resources is providing free app for Andriods or Iphone users. I have an Iphone and found the app by going into my App Store, searching for Maryland Access DNR and then downloading the app.

A link to more information regarding the on the MD DNR’s website can be found here:

http://dnr.maryland.gov/Pages/dnrapp.aspx

Image of i-Phone display

Photo credit: Maryland DNR

If you are unsure of how to use OR if you even want to use this app, please view this brief video that the MD DNR has put together:

 

There is more to this app then just checking in a harvest.  There are state park directories, the ability to make park reservations (Let’s go RVing!), fishing locations, trout stocking, etc.  You can also purchase your fishing or hunting license directly from this app.  To be honest, I haven’t purchased from the app as there is something to be said to just getting your license in person, at the store.

Have a great season!

Product Review-Pretty Hunter Round Rebel Necklace

Editor’s Note:  This article originally published February 28, 2017 on the Ladies In Camo website

 

While attending the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA, I noticed the Pretty Hunter booth. When I say noticed, I just stopped walking because the necklaces and bracelets immediately caught my eye.  I don’t wear much jewelry but I was intrigued at what they had to offer.  Tricia at Pretty Hunter took the time to explain about all of their products.  She was knowledgeable, helpful and patient as I am sure she could tell I could not decide between the necklaces, bracelets or rings!  Finally, I decided on a Round Rebel necklace. Each necklace has a brass base that is coated and, more importantly, nickel free.  The crystals are genuine Swarovski Crystals with each piece of jewelry featuring genuine spent rounds.  Attention to detail shows as each piece that makes up the jewelry is hand set.

Gun Metal with Diamond Swarovski Crystals. Photo credit: Jo Ann Herbert

I have worn this necklace to several places and every time have received multiple compliments. The necklace is fashionable and contemporary.  I also found this necklace to be versatile as I’ve worn with both jeans and business attire.  There’s enough sparkle for a night out on the town as well. Each necklace feels smooth in my hand and on my neck because of the coating.

This particular necklace that I have, has a Gunmetal base with Black Diamond Swarovski Crystals and is approximately 18″.  However there are many longer necklaces as well as earrings that Pretty Hunter has to offer that pair up nicely.

The Round Rebel necklaces have an MSRP of $35. To purchase visit: http://prettyhunter.com-necklaces.

If you want to view all their various necklaces, belt buckles, rings, earrings, etc, go to prettyhunter.com to shop by category or by catalog.  Proudly MADE IN THE USA!

Be sure to find out about OPERATION BACK THE BLUE for the female police officer in your life!

Four options to choose from! Photo credit: Pretty Hunter

 

Endorsement disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

Pretty Hunter name and logo is the sole property of its rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.

 

 

 

Some practical advice for the men who wished their wives hunt….

For many years I didn’t hunt. Between kids, work, and my family needing to eat and have clean clothes, there just wasn’t time to hunt.  And at the end of the day, I was tired!  It didn’t help my disposition when I would hear things like the woods are so relaxing, etc. Yeah, buddy I’m sure the woods are relaxing – I wouldn’t know!

So now that I am fully ensconced in the hunting world and will NOT ever stop, I have the advantage of some hind sight. You know that whole-if I only knew THEN what I know NOW.  Hopefully, this can help some of my brothers in the hunting world who would like to have a hunting partner in their wife/significant other.  Some of these suggestions may seem obvious and might appear that I am suggesting you “baby” your baby.  Well guess what?  Every once in a while, we woman do liked to be pampered.  So here goes:

1 – Start in warmer weather. Spring turkey hunting is a great time of year.  Or shed hunting in March. Don’t expect your wife/girlfriend to get excited about hunting in the dead of winter.

2 – Take it slow.  Make arrangements for the kids to get picked up from school.  Both of you can take off work early, get some lunch, go sit in the woods.  No rush.  Just sit and watch. And let’s face it; that is really what most hunting consists of, a lot of sitting and waiting. If you can arrange a quiet afternoon it will earn you some brownie points.

3 – Don’t expect to be sitting 20 feet up in a stand.  I was deathly afraid of sitting in a stand for many years. And quite frankly it wasn’t worth my time to worry about getting over that fear.  But when hunting really took off for me I knew I had to.  But I first started sitting in a blind – in a chair – with a cushion.

4 – Make sure everyone is comfortable.  Make sure your wife/girlfriend is warm enough. Remember sitting in a blind or stand for multiple hours outside is not like taking a walk through the woods on a nice day.  And most people who aren’t used to hunting just don’t realize how cold you can get while sitting.  So even if it seems like overkill, make sure she has extra layers and gloves.  A seat cushion is much appreciated as well!

5 – Take snacks and a drink. Make a picnic out of it.  Seriously a little romance in a blind goes a long way, men.

Of course, hunting is not all about cushions, staying warm and enjoying the day. Some hunts are tough – they need to be tough to get at the big game.  Some hunts demand a lot of walking and sweating despite the fact that it’s 32 degrees and the sleet is hitting you in the face. But you had to go out OF COURSE because the wind was right. I get it-I’ve been there. It took me a while and now I fight with my husband over stands.  But she just isn’t there yet and that’s a good thing-there’s time to work on that.  I think that with time you’ll discover different views and approaches to your hunting just by including your partner.

CarboMask-Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo

CarboMask header

Scent control, or lack of, can be a main concern for many hunters & huntresses. Months of preparation involving hanging stands, clearing shooting lanes or just raking a path to your stand can all be for nothing if the deer pick up on a smell that is not normally found in their woods and your busted sitting in the stand. So with that in mind, I am always on the lookout for products that will give me an edge in the scent control department.

CarboMask graciously sent me a bottle of their Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo; a scent free, odor absorbing product. I have been impressed by their face paint and was looking forward to trying out the shampoo. Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo contains activated charcoal, an item widely used in household products designed to eliminate odors. The first time I used the Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo was after a full day at the office. Earlier that morning, I shampooed using my regular scented shampoo followed by scented conditioner. After drying my hair, I then used a scented hairspray. Sometimes it takes a bit more shampoo to work those products out of my hair. However, the Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo lathered quickly and only a small amount was needed for my head of shoulder length hair. Some scent free shampoos have tangled my hair and left the strands feeling hard or damaged. I was pleasantly surprised after shampooing with the Ultimate Hunter’s shampoo to be able to quickly run a brush through my hair without producing tangles or knots. My hair dried well and felt smooth. And most importantly-no smell! The hairspray and scents from my other shampoo were totally gone, wiped out by the activated charcoal.

Carbomask shampoo

CarboSoap-Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo  Photo Credit: Carbomask

MRSP for the Ultimate Hunter’s Shampoo is $7.75 for an 8 oz. bottle. This product as well as CarboMask’s many other scent control products can be purchased at http://www.carbomask.com.

Proudly made in the USA! CarboMask also offers a 100% money back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied.

 

 

 

Endorsement disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the products reviewed in these product reviews is an endorsement and the writer may have been compensated by “in-kind” payment to review the product.

CarboMask name and logo is the sole property of its rightful owner and used within this writing solely for the promotion of products herein as requested by the product’s manufacturer.

So what do I do with a deer I’ve shot?

This was a question recently asked to me by a person who never hunted.  Her question was sincere but was quickly followed up by, “Do you just leave them in the field?”  That question was immediately followed by a look on her face similar to a person that just smelled bad milk.

I was a a bit surprised by the two questions and more than a little peeved. After all, to insinuate that I would shoot a deer and then just leave it lay there was insulting. What – I hunt therefore I’m a jerk? As I tried to prepare my answer (all the while I’m fairly certain I was sucking the air from the room with my attempts to calm down), I looked at this person and realized -she really doesn’t know, well anything, about where FOOD comes from.  I told her that no, to leave the animal there would go against everything I believed in. I take the deer to the butcher and they process the deer for me.

“The butcher? “she asks.  Dear Lord – give me patience.   Yes, you know, the butcher. I then asked her, “Have you ever seen the meat aisle at the grocery store? Where the pork chops and steaks are lined up and neatly packaged? Well a butcher did that. So I take my deer to a butcher and he processes the deer and I pick up the packages a few days later.”

After a few minutes of silence, she asks, “So there are people that do this? Butcher the meat?”  “Yes I say, where do you think it all comes from? If you eat ground meat from the store you are eating a cow that was processed by a butcher. If you eat pork chops, you are eating a pig that was processed by a butcher.”

This conversation ended at that point but it stayed with me.  I really wanted to yell at this person to wake up, grow up, expand your world. Is this what people think? Meat grows in white plastic trays.  When they grow big enough they are encased in Saran Wrap and slapped with a price tag? Perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic. But perhaps we’ve done a disservice to future generations-we’ve made it too easy. You want a burger? Just run down to the local fast food store. If people actually had to practice shooting a bow, zeroing in a gun, hunt, track, field dress, process their own food, actually work for it, they might understand and respect why hunting is not about killing.  It’s about life.

I am headed to the Great American Outdoor Show!

I can’t think of a better way to start my week then to ditch the office, get in the truck and head off to talk hunting, guns and archery.  Hopefully by the end of the day I will have lots to report back on along with a sore back and an aching feet.  On the other hand, every time I’ve went to this show I have met some really nice people.  If you are there, look me up- stop and say hi!  I’ll be the one in the black Ladies In Camo shirt pulling a cColor-JoAnn-w-2015 deeramo wheeled backpack with one squeaky wheel!

Tree stands and me-not a match made in Heaven

I am terrified of heights. And while I know alot of people will sympathize and give me helpful hints, really I’m not listening. I can’t. Their advice will make sense, I’ll try it and then there I am again, stuck on the fourth rung of a ladder stand – sweaty palms clutching on with a death grip. People mean well but knowing myself,the only thing that would work for me is to suck it up, put on my big girl pants and just do it. Only I’ve said that multiple times as well.

Oh and to make this cosmic fear/joke even better, why should I just stop at being afraid of heights from a stand? Let me go whole hog on the whole height/fear issue. Walk up grandstands? Better just head on up and get comfortable in your seats; I will get there sooner or later-usually later. Drive through the mountains? You better knock me out or tie me up because I’m crying the whole way through.(Thank you IBO Worlds and Snowshoe Mountain for that enlightening experience.)

What’s your point JoAnn? Well since I bet alot of hunters or huntresses out there are like me, here is how I am SLOWLY working on getting over this fear. Or at least not letting it control my life anymore. Notice I said working on this because I’m not sure I will ever be totally over it.

1 – I am lucky enough to own a few acres and have a ladder stand installed on a tree in my backyard. Attached to the stand are two ropes; one used to hoist up my bow, the second is a lifeline rope with another smaller loop of rope with a prusik knot.

2 – I practice putting on and taking off my harness in my living room so I can do this as quietly as possible without getting everything tangled up.

3 – I then go outside to the stand. In regular clothes, I practice attaching onto the lifeline, climbing the ladder stand, getting to the top and hooking up the umbilical line to the strap which is located behind the seat. At that point I am double hooked-to the strap and to the lifeline. I do this step multiple times-it’s overkill, I know but it helps.

4 – After I feel semi-comfortable with the whole climbing and settling in procedure, I then repeat but this time I am dressed in my camo clothes along with any extras like a backpack. It’s kind of like dress rehearsal. I go to the stand, attach my bow to my hoist line. I then attach the umbilical cord of my harness to the lifeline. I climb up, anchor in and pull my bow up.I practice this multiple times to try to get as quiet as possible. I can play around with the option of hoisting up my back pack or climbing up wearing it.

5 – Lastly, after I am settled in and my legs don’t feel like I need to jump up and down with energy, I practice shooting from my stand. I think everyone should do this whether or not they have a fear of heights but for me, practice is even more crucial. It’s hard to concentrate on the shot when your entire body has adrenaline pumping through it and the deer isn’t in front of you yet.

For someone like me, I didn’t get through any of these steps the first time. I basically stood on the ladder rungs and sweated. Tried another step and there were tears involved. My husband’s hand on my ass while saying “Just go, You’re okay”, honestly didn’t help either. I did tell him what he could do with his hand and it wasn’t pleasant. At that point he left me alone. Although looking back he did hang multiple stands for me so I guess I should go apologize now.

I’m still really afraid of heights and that will never go away. But by chiseling away at that fear by little steps at least I can now function in a tree stand.

I wish you well this season!