Hunting and Fishing News

Minnesota Deer, Pheasants Thrive Thanks to Warmer Winter

Posted On February 10, 2016 at 7:54 am by / No Comments

If you have been living in the middle or eastern parts of the United States for any amount of time, it doesn’t take a degree in meteorology to know that this winter has thus far been very much unseasonably warm. There have been fewer sub-zero temperature days this year than in a normal year, and for this reason state wildlife officials are saying that deer and pheasant populations in Minnesota are thriving.

According to Adam Murkowski of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, “So far this year, winter has been very conducive to whitetail deer survival. Deer are in a position to do well.”

Even with a good year to reflect on thus far, there are experts who are coming to terms with the fact that things can get bad in the blink of an eye. If an influx of snow occurs over the course of February and March, the deer population may move elsewhere or simply die off depending on how severe the conditions are. On the other side of the coin, too much rain in the spring months may throw off normal nesting patterns for pheasants.
Experts point back to February of 2013 when extremely snow weather in Minnesota laid claim to a large quantity of young deer, bucks, and doe who could not survive the conditions. Snow itself is not that much of an issue for deer. It is when the snow becomes so high that the animals are unable to move freely and effortlessly. When they become bogged down by treacherous, snowy conditions, the deer are subjected to freezing to death, starving to death, or becoming perfect prey for a much larger predator.

At this point, the survival of deer in Minnesota is much more a game of chance than it is anything else. If the weathers stays along the same course we have witnessed throughout much of this winter, deer populations will thrive. However, if things begin to take a turn for the worst, and snow begins falling in abundance, the deer may be threatened. The same cannot be said for pheasants, because wildlife experts and biologists have no reason to believe that the pheasant nesting season will face any big hurdles. That much, of course, remains to be seen.