Weather was a major factor in the deer tally for Marquette County this weekend.
Warm temperatures, turbulent winds, and heavy doses of rain brought the three-day total in Marquette to 21; slightly below the ten-year average.
“Fifty degrees is rather warm for deer, so they’re not going to be out moving,” noted Brian Roell, Wildlife Biologist for the Michigan’s DNR. “You’ve got to remember that these animals have their winter fur on. With that winter coat, they’re not going to want to move around when it’s actually warm. The other thing is they don’t need to going looking for food to maintain that body temperature because they are in a comfortable range. This is a good weather change to – cold to snow. That’s going to get those deer up and moving again to start looking for food. The does are going to be looking for food. The bucks, in turn, are going to be looking and moving after the does.”
The onset of snow is also expected to bring up the tally, making it easier for hunters to monitor tracks. But, if conditions become too cold, it could create problems for future hunts.
“We’re seeing far more two and a half year old deer than year and a half old deer. It kind of relates back to what we had this winter. A lot of those fawns that went into the winter just didn’t make it through the harsh winter, particularly in Marquette and especially along the snow-belt of Lake Superior. The same hunters are also saying we’re not seeing a lot of fawns, and that’s kind of what we predicted. I suspect next year we’re probably not going to have the best deer season because we did lose that age class of deer,” Roell added.
You can keep track of what’s going on in the field each day, by logging on to http://deer.fw.msu.edu.