LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A disease that began killing deer last summer has now wiped out more than 8,000 whitetails in Michigan.
Officials believe the number is certain to climb as farmers harvest corn and discover more carcasses. Brian Bouwkamp, who hunts near Muskegon, said he can smell dead deer on his family's 60 acres.
The disease is not a threat to humans. It is transmitted by a biting fly and causes internal bleeding, high fever, loss of appetite and weakness.
The Department of Natural Resources says summer drought and high temperatures are contributing to the high number of cases.
The dead deer are in the lower half of the Lower Peninsula. Some hunters might hold their fire in November to allow the deer population to recover.