December 23, 2014

Harsh winter will impact deer herd

deer08This harsh winter will have an impact on the state’s deer herd. They’re “having a tough time of it,” according to Kevin Wallenfang, big game ecologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He notes this winter has not only been very cold, it also began early in parts of Wisconsin.

“We’ve pretty much had winter in some areas of the state since November. That’s going to make it difficult for them to make it through to spring in some cases,” Wallenfang said.

The severe winter weather will impact the deer herd in two ways – increased mortality during the winter, and decreased fawn production in the spring. Both will in turn likely have an impact on deer hunting.

“We would certainly expect that a winter like this, especially following a winter like we had last year that just kept going and going into springtime, is going to have an impact on the deer hunt this fall,” he said. Wallenfang asks people who see deer mortality in their area to contact their local DNR wildlife manager, to help the agency keep tabs on the deer herd this winter.