Deer deaths from harsh winter could impact hunting
South Dakota’s Game, Fish and Parks wants people to report dead deer, an attempt to document how devastating the winter was on the animal.
GFP believes deer deaths across the state were caused by the severe weather.
Deer can survive short periods of harsh winter weather but the extended cold temperatures and deep snow may have an effect on their survival, GFP stated in a release. Deer could still die through early spring.
GFP says that most of the deaths have been in northeast South Dakota. Very poor body condition and little to no remaining fat reserves in a several deer have been confirmed in South Dakota through testing at the SDSU Diagnostic Lab in Brookings.
As the snow melts, GFP asks anyone who finds dead deer to contact their local conservation officer or GFP office. This information is valuable to wildlife managers in monitoring and managing deer populations. License numbers may need to be adjusted in areas that experience higher than normal winter deer mortality.