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Harsh Winter May Affect Deer Herd
Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 -- 9:41 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

State wildlife officials are keeping a close eye on how the harsh winter is affecting the state's deer herd and they are asking the public to report any observations of deer deaths.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resourses big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang said on Friday that state wildlife managers are not yet recording any deer die-offs, but they are seeing deer struggling to find food.

Wallenfang said the snow and cold each present their own challenges for deer. He said if it's very cold but little snow, they'll probably be okay, but it's warm with 3 feet of snow on the ground, then the deer can't get to the ground, or reach the trees for food and that's a problem.

Crusted snow also creates a problem as deer will break through the crust while predators such as coyotes, wolves and bobcats can stay on top of it.

Wallenfang also said the harsh winter this year comes on the heels of the winter of last year which didn't start out with a lot of snow, but had significant snows and cold weather that lasted well into May and he said this is not what they were hoping for.

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