MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The 2022-2023 season of winter is closely nearing the classification of a “severe winter”. If cold temperatures and heavy snowfall continue into the spring, it could cause alarm for wildlife populations like deer. Springtime marks a popular time for deer to give birth, giving fawns enough time to put on their winter coat.
“Deer are very adaptable and evolved to live in this harsh landscape so they can lose tremendous amounts of body fat as their come down through the winter but the longer those days the more days with when we reach over 100 days of 12 inches or more of snow on the ground that’s when we move into that severe winter category,” said Wildlife Biologist, Brian Roell.
Roell says the thickness of the top layer of snow also has a major factor in the safety of the deer population. The hard snow on the top is difficult for the deer to travel through but easy for predators to track through. Officials also note that people should not be feeding corn to deer. During the winter months, a deer’s digestive tract adapts to eating low amounts of protein and is not equipped to process the high protein amount in corn which the DNR says in most cases can cause death.