Well, the weather has been great for the skiers, snowmobiles, snowshoes, skaters, snowboarders, plow drivers and the ever-grumpy snow shovel operators.

The snowy weather on the other hand could be disastrous for our deer herd.

Can you imagine foraging through four feet of snow trying to find something to eat? Or trying to move fast enough to get away from the coyotes that are probably hungrier than the deer? It’s tough on them. That’s why every winter when the snow gets too deep, deer congregate together or “yard up”.

The reason why deer yard up is it makes it easier for them to travel to whatever food source they can find, which is usually a thick patch of hemlock nearby that they browse on as a last resort.

“Deer yards” if you should happen to find one would resemble a beaten down path and big patches have trampled down snow, thus, making it easier for them to move around.

The state of Maine says, “Don’t feed the deer,” stating that it is not natural. It has been explained to me that deer naturally store enough nutrients to get through a normal winter and the only time that starvation happens is when big storms keep coming in late March and April as their naturally reserved nutrients in their bodies are used up.

Guess what? This has not been a normal year. First of all, it was a terrible year for acorns and beechnuts last fall, taking away from nutrients that they normally have stored.

A lot of people feed deer, and in a harsh year like this, I say it’s a great thing to do. Out in the Midwest and the South, people feed deer year round; they call them “food plots” just for the deer and also place other food supplements in certain areas.

That’s why when you turn on the outdoor channel on your TV that you see massive amounts of deer with massive antlers to match. In other parts of the country, the winters are not so severe as ours are here and the deer have a smorgasbord of food year-round.

In closing this week, I say feed the deer, there is no law against it and if the state doesn’t like it-oh well!

Until next time, have fun and be safe!


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