He said landowners in the Green River Wildlife Region have reported more than 700 dead deer, but that's only a fraction of the total. He has had more than 180 reports of dead deer in Casey County.
While some hunters may be concerned about safety, he said the virus is not infectious to humans and cannot be spread from the carcass of a deer.
The meat also appears to be healthy even though a deer is infected. If the carcass is found soon after the deer dies, the meat is safe to eat, Weddle said.
Joe Curtsinger hears his customers at Curtsinger's Sunrise Outfitters on Stanford Road talk about finding deer that have died near water.
"Just about everyone who lives on a farm has found dead deer along the creeks and ponds," said Curtsinger.
"It's not an uncommon thing now. ... Some have been found in the city limits on Gose Pike where people have ponds."
One hunter found 11 dead deer on a farm in McKinney, according to Curtsinger, who talks with hunters on a regular basis.
Curtsinger, who also is a deer hunter, said the ones he's seen looked healthy.
Deer numbers are down
The number of deer harvested by hunters is down so far this year. Rodney Nokes of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said last weekend's kill was down 2,000 or 40 percent lower than in the past two or three years.
"It could have been because of the virus, the dry weather or the UK football game," Nokes said. "It's not low enough to worry about.
"We had the second best kill that we've ever had in September."
About 35 percent of hunters kill a deer, and Nokes does not think the virus will affect the success of this year's season.
The virus occurs about every three of four years, Nokes said, but it is worse this year because it has affected deer statewide. He attributes it to the dry weather and deer gathering around water. Also, stress from the drought and poor food source makes deer less able to fight off disease.
If a hunter is unsure about a deer's condition, he should not consume meat from animals that appear emaciated or weak prior to harvest, due to the risk of secondary infections, state wildlife officials said.
Hemorrhagic disease can cause large abscesses to form in the body cavity, muscle tissue or under the skin. These abscesses render the meat inedible.
"You can tell if a deer is sick. It acts funny and is not running off like normal," said Weddle, noting that nature may soon solve the disease problem.
"If we get a good frost, that will take care of the gnats," he said.
Deer hunter Glenn Wren of Danville isn't worried about eating the meat.
"If I thought (a deer) was not in good shape, I wouldn't shoot it," he said. However, "the deer I've seen on the farm (in Forkland) where I've hunted for years look in excellent shape."