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Environment & Climate Change

Prolonged winter weather raises concerns about Michigan deer

A male deer
Michigan DNR
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http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Wildlife biologists are worried about how prolonged wintry weather will affect deer in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

State Department of Natural Resources supervisor Terry Minzey says things looked good for the U.P. deer herd a month ago, but the situation has deteriorated as winter has held on.

Deer fitted with radio collars for DNR studies have suffered a 13.5 percent mortality rate so far this winter, with 11 percent of adult female deer dying.

Some parts of the peninsula still had 2 feet of snow on the ground even before this weekend's storm hit. That creates shortages of green vegetation for deer to eat.

The DNR says deer in the northern and western U.P. are looking stressed. In other parts of the peninsula, they're skinny but don't appear in serious trouble.

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