The outbreaks probably will not affect the overall harvest, however. Taylor said even at its worst, EHD kills only 10 percent of a deer population.
"All of them that get it don't die. I wouldn't even say countywide. There may be pockets where there are fewer deer," he said.
This year's mast report also predicts a good year for bear kills.
As long as the state avoids a major snowstorm, the high number of acorns in some areas will keep bears out of their dens in December, researchers predict.
Varied oak production throughout the state means bow hunters will have to work harder to find bears, researchers wrote, but they recommend looking for bruins in black cherry patches that have produced a strong crop this year.
Researchers predict the state's wild boar and fall turkey seasons will be similar to last year.
Though mast conditions were below average last year, the mild winter balanced that out because fewer animals died in the cold.
Spotty mast conditions could lead to plenteous squirrel populations in some areas, while other regions will see fewer squirrels this year, according to the report.
All hard mast-producing trees except walnut and beech trees increased production since last year. Chestnut oak increased 360 percent since 2011, white oak increased 206 percent and hickory increased 18 percent
Beech production dropped 60 percent from last year's levels. Walnut production decreased 37 percent.
Soft mass production also is varied. Apple production also is down 28 percent since last year, while cherry production increased 378 percent. Sassafras increased 69 percent over 2011, while greenbrier production remained almost the same.
Overall, the 2012 mast index is 5 percent higher than the state's 42-year average.
"You have good years and you have bad years and you have average years. This year we're above average," Taylor said. "When you look at it on a graph, it's just up and down, up and down. There's no consistency to it because you can't rely on the weather."
Volunteers from varying specialties - including wildlife managers, foresters, biologists and conservation officers - compile the annual mast report, collecting data from 309 sites around the state.
Find the DNR's complete 2012 West Virginia Mast Survey on www.dailymail.com.
Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or zack.har...@dailymail.com.