Our deep snow is making life really difficult for deer. Humans have snowshoes to enable us to walk through deep snow without sinking too much, but not deer. The snow is so soft that whenever they try to walk anywhere their skinny legs sink through the snow and its their bellies that keep them from sinking any deeper. They often hop and leap to travel, but even that must be difficult. The photo shows a deer path through our yard.
Of course the deep snow also limits their supply of food. They can no longer paw through the snow to reach grass underneath, so they can now only eat things above the snow, twigs and brush that they can reach.
At our place they make daily trips to our compost pile and feed on what we throw out, and they also visit our bird feeder and eat the left over sunflower seeds. Another danger for them and other ungulates is being hit by vehicles. The plowed roads are a lot easier for them to travel on than the bush and being out on the road means more of them are hit by traffic.
Exhaustion, starvation, and traffic all take their toll on the deer population during winter.
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