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Tough Winter On Deer

Old 02-03-2011, 12:23 PM
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Question Tough Winter On Deer

As everyone knows we have been having some very harsh weather this year,what impact do you think it is having on your areas herds? Will the young ones survive these deep snows and cold temps?
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by doetrain View Post
As everyone knows we have been having some very harsh weather this year,what impact do you think it is having on your areas herds? Will the young ones survive these deep snows and cold temps?
I think the deer herd in Western Illinois will be just fine. We had one of the largest acorn harvest in a long time not to mention all the food left over in the farm fields.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:31 PM
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it was harsh, but i don't think as hard as it was last year for us having 2 and a half feet of snow. but defiantly hard hunting this winter
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:31 PM
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I think harsh winters are over-rated in most areas. Deer handle snow and cold mostly just fine - its when they are overpopluated when problems occur.

We get over 130" of snow every year and the deer herd comes through in decent shape. The snowpack does allow coyotes to take some deer - and they do here. The wounded and the sick generally don't make it. But still I think 40 deer per square mile is about where we are at most years.

I shed hunt an area nearby that hunting isn't allowed - and I'll bet there is 60-80 deer per square mile - and these deer are always over the land's carrying capacity - but even in the worst winters (160"+ snow) most of them make it.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:51 AM
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It always amazes me when you think about deer in Canada. They have like 5' of snow on the ground and the deer seem to make it through just fine up there. I know they have larger bodies and are better equipped because of it, but it is still amazing.

As far as deer in my area of SE PA, I start to worry when we get a partial thaw and then the snow refreezes creating a very hard crust that the deer have a hard time breaking through with their hooves.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:22 AM
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I think you guys are right as regards the ability of these animals to endure even the worst weather. On the way home yesterday I saw 6 deer in two different spots and they looked pretty fat and healthy. The nut crops here have been very good this year as well, and I know they are getting after them because we went shedd hunting last weekend and could see the ground and leaves worked over. They were out early yesterday evening due to another front comming through.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:21 PM
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The deer will stay in yards under hemlock or other evergreen growth. The key to survival is energy conservation. The snow is only half as deep in these yards as in a nearby hardwood forest. We have several that are adjacent to oak groves. We had a large acorn mast this year in the northeast, the deer should be good if the predators don't locate them.
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Old 02-04-2011, 04:33 PM
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Around here the deer are hanging out on the roads in large groups, Im guessing to get off of the 3 feet of frozen snow, which is very hard for them to walk in cause only the top is frozen and they fall in when they walk on it. Then they cant off the road because of the 6 ft ice drifts on either side. I ran several groups for almost a mile today, they were exhausted and the ones that tried to jump back onto the snow got stuck, I think 1 mighta broke a leg. Sad situation.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:23 AM
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Here in Missouri we've been seeing the Deers group up also,we had freezing rain and now we got about 4-5 inches of snow on top of that...now that make for a tough winter and for the Deer to get any food!I've been putting out some corn for the deer and getting some nice trail camera pictures,most of the Bucks are still carrying their antlers and a few have lots theirs or just 1 side so far.We've also been doing some serious Predator/Coyote Hunting so that helps in taking away some of the pressure from the Wildlife!
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:15 AM
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Good job GTO keep the preds of the backstraps we need to eat them not the yotes. Sounds like some area's are going to be hard on them for sure,I've been thinking of putting some corn out if it gets tougher around here but so far they seem to be holding their own.
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