From Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
-- 2007 was a strange year for Tennessee deer hunters as the state faced probably the biggest EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) outbreak on record. The good news is 2008 should see the state's herd rebounding nicely from last year.
That is the assessment offered by Daryl Ratajcak, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Big Game Program coordinator. The fall deer archery season opened Sept. 27 along with the archery seasons for turkey and bear.
Tens of thousands of deer fell victim to EHD, a naturally occurring deer disease that was reported in a record 83 Tennessee counties. Besides the disease, hard mast failure and the drought made 2007 an extremely tough year on deer.
"While the deer are rebounding this year, there will however be pockets within the state that suffered heavy losses, so it may take a few years for those areas to recover," Ratajcak said. "Hunters should not be surprised to find less than normal deer sightings in those areas in 2008."
TWRA biologists expect the 2008 harvest to be similar or just slightly below the harvest of last year. This, however, would result in a top 10 all-time harvest in the state, so Tennessee hunters have a lot to look forward to this season.
For more information, visit the TWRA Web site at www.tnwildlife.org or contact any of the TWRA four regional offices.