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Deep snow is making life difficult for Minnesota’s deer herd

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The big snow we saw in November is making headlines yet again.

This time regarding the health of Minnesota's deer herd.

The D-N-R has a method to judge how dangerous the winter is for deer.

It's a points based system called the winter severity index.

It adds a point for each day that is hard on the deer.

If there is more than 15 inches of snow on the ground and if the temperature is less than zero degrees than a point will be added.

The higher the score, the worse it is for the deer.

Right now that score is near 1-hundred, which is high for this time of year.

You'll remember, much of the Northland got covered in nearly 2 feet of snow towards the beginning of December.

Ever since, a good portion of the region has had a snow cover of more than 15 inches.

According to Balzer, the deep snow is harder on the deer than the cold temps.

"A lot of us managers have been chatting about it and we think the deep snow is more of a concern than the temperature. We will keep the index the same for now, but the deep snow in having some effect." Said Balzer.

Balzer added, if there isn't a large melting event in the next few weeks.

It's likely the D-N-R will be giving out less antler-less tags for the upcoming hunting season.

He added, that the deep snow has pushed deer to walk along snowmobile trails and roads, so to use caution when driving in deer dense areas.

Meteorologist Alex Libby

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