Nebraska's continuing drought is being blamed for a big jump in the number of deer killed by a disease.
Almost 6,000 carcasses of deer believed killed by epizootic hemorrhagic disease were reported to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission so far this year. Last year's reports numbered 10 or fewer.
Officials say that 2012 toll represents the most severe outbreak of the disease since the 1970s.
Scott Taylor is wildlife division manager with Game and Parks. He says habitat conditions created by the drought present opportunities for tiny insects called midges to bite deer.
The fall freezes have killed most of the insects