Even though it's part of nature, watching deer struggle through deep snow — trying to find something to eat — can be tough to watch.
Don't feed deer in the winter. Feeding deer can actually harm the animals.
Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
As snow starts to fall in Utah, however, Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are issuing a plea: Don't feed the deer.
In some cases, feeding deer can actually hurt the deer a lot more than it helps them. Biologists give the following reasons why feeding deer is a bad idea:
Biologists are watching
As they do every winter, DWR biologists are monitoring deer closely. In addition to keeping any eye on the condition the deer are in, biologists are monitoring four things:
If three or more of the five factors reach a critical point, biologists will consider feeding deer specially designed pellets. The pellets are formulated to fit the complex digestive system mule deer have and to give them extra energy, which is something deer that are struggling to find food can really use.
DWR biologists will monitor the conditions and the deer herds through the winter. If the deer need to be fed, biologists will make sure the feeding is done in the right way, at the right time and with food that is best for the deer.
More information about why deer shouldn't be fed is available online.
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