Long Ridge Deer camp has wrapped up this years census. If you recall, last year we came up with roughly 19 deer per square mile (that square mile has camp right in the center of it). This year it appears to be substantially lower at 12. Twelve is what F&G biologists estimate, but we have always had more than their numbers prior to this winter. Frankly I do not think there are fewer deer than years past. We have had very light winters for three years now, and winter kill is negligible. Coyotes are scarce here. Food sources are continually exposed, and we have yet to get snow deep enough to trouble deer movement. I believe because of light snow pack, and warm temps the deer simply never yarded up and are free to cruise and browse as they choose. I am also aware that there is heavy feeding of deer by a neighbor hood about a mile from here. In any case you can see that there IS no shortage.
Health appears to be no issue with these two below. These are the same two that make daily visits to our bird feeder twenty feet from the kitchen window.
Raccoons out of hibernation to enjoy a few crumbs left...
This little guy appears to like the company of a Gray.
Deer in the headlights look? This Stealth Cam takes embarrassingly poor night time pictures.
And our favorite flying friends who watch me lug corn to the station from high in the maples and swoop before I am hardly gone. Check the kernal in one's mouth as he flies off!
Below is a picture that illustrates scattered whole corn. I have learned over the years - don't make piles or the deer will squabble. Use whole corn (it does not soften and rot like cracked corn) and the deer can find it under 4 inches of snow.
March has come a full month early this year.
This group comes from the West...
Any questions/comments to conducting a deer census, let me know!