To Feed or Not to Feed: Deer Survival in the Winter of 2015

Topsham Deer

Deer share a pine branch (Feb. 2015, Topsham, ME)

With all the deep snow and harsh temperatures, biologists expect a further decline in Maine’s deer population this winter. After last winter, the state’s deer herd stood somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 animals, down from more than 275,000 a decade ago. And while last winter was cold, it didn’t produce the deep snow covering much of New England now. The good news is that deer are built to survive these conditions. The not-so-good-news is that well-meaning humans may be killing deer with kindness by providing extra food.

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