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More than 9,000 hunters may be getting a refund after a recent outbreak of disease affecting whitetail deer in western North Dakota.

The state Game and Fish Department has announced that deer have died because of epizootic hemorrhagic disease which is also known as EHD.

The department has gotten more than 100 reports of deer deaths from local landowners.

The agency is offering refunds to hunters with whitetail licenses for approximately 12 hunting units in the southwest and west central part of the state, citing moderate to significant losses in those area.

The viral disease, which is passed by gnats, affects whitetail deer more than mule deer.

However, agency officials have said as the weather turns cold, the outbreak may end.

The Game and Fish Department started with more than 69,000 licenses being issued for whitetail and mule deer for the deer hunting season (gun) which starts Nov. 5.

To get a refund, hunters need to send the tag along with a note asking for a refund because of the disease to the Game and Fish Department offices in Bismarck. It must arrive before Nov. 5 or be postmarked to be accepted.

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