Posted December 12, 2013, 3:31 pm
Winter is the toughest time of the year for Utah's mule deer
Snow and cold temperatures have blanketed the places mule deer live in Utah. And that's brought Division of Wildlife Resources biologists out in force.
Feeding deer can actually hurt the animals more than it helps them.
Photo by Bill Bates, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
As they do every winter, biologists will monitor the state's deer herds closely until winter ends. If conditions get too severe, the biologists are ready to feed deer specially designed pellets that will help them get through the winter.
To help the deer, biologists encourage you not to feed deer on your own.
Justin Shannon, big game coordinator for the DWR, says feeding deer can actually hurt the animals more than it helps them. "If winter conditions get too severe, though," Shannon says, "feeding deer can be worth the potential risks."
More information about the challenges feeding poses to deer is available online.
Monitoring five things
Shannon says biologists are monitoring five 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.
Don't feed deer on your own
Shannon strongly advises you not to feed deer on your own. If feeding isn't done the right way, he says the following can happen:
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