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Montana deer winter kill
Hearing some reports of serious winter kill. Near me a farmer left a lot of spring wheat uncut and that may be keeping them alive. Near Grass Range (east of Lewistown) a friend says there are a lot of dead deer and we have more cold and snow in the long-range forecast.
Anyone else know much?
Check out HuntTalk, as there is a very informative thread on there about how bad the weather has been and continues to be, especially in the eastern half of the state where it looks like there won't be many antelope left and the deer are taking a big hit too.
It is all true... :-( ____ AND IT'S SNOWING RIGHT NOW AGAIN
Okay, I went to Hunttalk and spent about an hour reading. That is depressing. When I was a NR here in MT I turned in a tag for the 80% refund one time. If my plans were for eastern MT this year I would do it again.
I have done some spring hiking on the West side, and things look tough, and do not appear to be looking better.
That said I have not seen a high number of winter kill yet, seeing a couple here and there and the number of road kill is on the upswing as it usually is this time of year, but as of yet not seeing tons of winter kill. oz
How far south is getting impacted?
It is statewide although, we are not hearing as much in weather forecasts about South Western state. Hearing lots about NW, because I'm there, hearing lots about eastern front, because it is miserable, Hearing some about farther east because it is also miserable. so there is hope that southwestern region is not as bad just because we are not hearing as much about it.
Whole state at this point. Some places harder hit than others.
As ELKMAN mentioned in his post, the se part is now getting another bad storm from west of Billings that is to dump up to another 6" from there to ND as it goes through during the day today. That part of the state will be lucky to have any antelope survive and the deer loss will probably be huge too.
If you want to get a better idea, follow Topgun '06's advice and read the Hunttalk. 12 pages worth of entries and you don't have to join to read.
Montana snow pack article....
hiked a quick 5 miles yesterday and found only one fawn winter killed, and the antlers of a nice 4x4 buck. First antlers I've found in 20 ish miles of hiking this year due to deep snow.
I just drove the whole state. Missoula to Alzada. We have more snow than I have ever seen this time Of year. The whole state still has snow on the ground and still snowing in some places. Not good.
I just got back in touch with a lady in the Region 7 office that answered the phone. IAW her.....due to the late winter, they are at least 3 weeks behind in their post-winter surveys. Later on....they will then do the aerial surveys (total of 2 surveys) in July after the fawns drop (antelope and deer?) then set the quotas....that is the norm. They do not have any official reports to make until they do the post-winter surveys and assess the situation. However....by word of mouth from landowners, locals and a few visuals they have made it is "not looking encouraging". She stated the Miles City folks are saying they haven't seen this much snow since the 70's. The new snow has been mushy and will melt quickly but there in not much green showing, if any....too much lingering snow. Once the post-winter survey reports are back in they will likely have something official to put out. Until then....nothing official to report on the winter kill.
Now......I wonder if the local ranchers and co-ops will be putting out anything for the animals to try and get them thru?
I can assure you that most of the ranchers have been having all they can do to feed and calve their animals. Rancher friend said a friend of his has lost 60 out of about 300 calves. That kind of number can ruin a rancher. Sometimes the deer and elk get in on some of the feeding.
I'm sure the ranchers are trying to take care of their own livestock. I'm wondering if they were able to do anything for the wildlife.
JL, its hard to imagine how bad it has been. I don't know what part of Michigan you are from, but most of our ranchers live in wide open country. It's snowed a great deal and then we have had extended periods of high winds. Travel has been very difficult at times and even getting around on their lands has required daily plowing to feed, etc.
County roads have been closed frequently. At my place I've been snowed in (county rd closed) for 3, 4, and 5 day periods. I'm retired and don't have to get out so I don't complain. Others are trying to work, school etc. Some ranchers have to plow the county just to get out. There is only so much the county can do when your tracks are gone within an hour of you driving thru a drift.
Now it's melting and I fought mud for nearly 3 miles to get home today.
Most ranchers I know care about the wildlife but they have been overwhelmed. In some areas losses have been terrible.