MARQUETTE, MI-- The Michigan DNR says heavy, late-winter snow will challenge the U.P.’s deer population.
Officials say although early-winter snow was light compared with other years, late-season precipitation has resulted in above-average snow depths well into spring.
The DNR says mild winters such as the region experienced from 2010 to 2012 provide favorable conditions for survival and allow pregnant does to produce healthy fawns. Deep snow restricts deer movement and drains energy reserves, leading to higher whitetail mortality rates.
DNR biologists say U.P. deer are looking thin and lethargic and some deer deaths have been reported. They say it’s too early to tell how much the herd will be impacted, although they expect the population to grow slowly this year.