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Harsh Winter Likely Means High Deer Kill


  It seems like almost everyone has been complaining about our long, cold winter. A DNR wildlife biologist says this one likely will take a toll on the animals in the wild.
Jeremy Holtz says they calculate how hard the combination of snow depth and chill will be on animals like deer and come up with a severity index....

"....this winter we've had a combination of cold and snow that sets it apart from most in recent memory...."

The Winter Severity Index is determined by the snow and cold from December through the end of April. They have a scoring system to measure cold and snow's impact on deer. Winters are considered mild when the W.S.I. is less than 50 points, moderate between 50 and 80, moderately severe if between 80 and 100. The thirty year average in the Northwoods is 67. The higher the index, the more likely it is to have deer mortality due to the conditions...

".....right now we are past 100 in most WSI measurements. Winter is slow in relenting. Our deer population was well below our established over-winter goal before deer season, so you can expect very few, if any, antlerless deer tags to be issued(in the Northwoods) next fall...."

Holtz says fawns are often the victims of the cold.

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