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Long Winter Impact On Wildlife

| April 3, 2014

WildlifeWeatherImpact from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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It certainly has been a very long winter, and a very cold one in fact.  The month of March was the coldest in years.  It’s not only us, the animals are feeling it too.

It’s spring but the extended winter conditions are posing challenges for some wildlife critters this year.  The two biggest factors being the extreme cold and snow depth.

Regional Wildlife Biologist Richard Hoppe says, special shelters they need to be going into in the winter since the end of December.”

Hoppe says deer eat a lot in the fall to pack up on fat which keeps them warm and energized for the winter.  That’s critical for their survival.  But the above normal snow totals this winter have regional biologist Richard Hoppe projecting above normal mortality rates for deer.

Hoppe, “what we’re seeing with this long extended winter, is that most of their fat reserves has been depleted, and with this there’s going to be starvation, and because they’ve utilized their fat reserves, which used as energy, we’re going to see the young of the year, and the 9 month olds born in June, first to go.”

The mortality among deer due to this long winter raises another concern, and that’s it’s impact on deer hunting season.

Hoppe, “obviously we’re going to have a deer hunting season, but recommendations right now for the north wildlife management districts 1 through 6, and these are strictly recommendations, will probably be no any deer permits.”

Hoppe says this winter is also challenging for many birds, wild turkey and moose.

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