Hard Winter Strikes Northern Minnesota Whitetail

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An above average year for snowfall is having a hard impact on northern Minnesota's deer, with the potential for more deaths over the next month. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reporting more dead whitetail found in the woods with counts expected to rise over the next few weeks. The Republic has a write on the situation.

This winter is already above average and could become classified as severe if there's no significant snowmelt by April, the DNR said. A study of northern Minnesota fawn mortality that took place between 1991 and 2005 showed the rate more than doubled in an above average winter when compared with an average winter.


hunter25's picture

Getting reports like this all

Getting reports like this all over the country. It's sad to see so many deer go this way but that is the reality of the weather cycles.

It's interesting to see some areas hit so hard and others not bad at all. My mom lives in the northern U.P. of Michigan and says it was a mild winter, and these areas are not that far apart. There are reports in Wyoming of similar severe winter but the part of Colorado where I live I would say we had a mild winter compared to most.

I guess a couple more months will tell the whole story around the country.

jaybe's picture

Well, these things happen

Well, these things happen when your state is as far north as Minnesota, eh? One of my daughters has in-laws who live in upper Minnesota and they have been seeing this to be a very hard winter, too.

The article said that 1996 was a very bad year, and it was followed by a deer season where hunters could only take a buck. The early speculation is that it may happen again this season because of the heavy winter kill.

I noticed that they said that supplemental feeding isn't the answer either, because it is ineffective. I have heard that more and more lately. It seems that the deer need nutrients other than what bales of hay can provide to make it through the winter.

One of the things that the article also said was that predators are a major factor during these hard winters. That will continue to be increasingly the case as the wolf population expands unchecked in states like Minnesota.