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Northwestern Wisconsin winter ‘not catastrophic’ for deer

Winter for deer in Northwestern Wisconsin came in a little harder than the 37-year average, said Greg Kessler, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife manager in Brule, thanks to the rapid demise of cold and snow in March.

The winter severity index average across Douglas County hit 75. That compares to the average of 70 and the severe 170 WSI winter of 2014.

“We expect a potential decrease in fawn production and some over-winter losses, but certainly not catastrophic assuming we do not have a late winter storm that lingers,’’ Kessler said.

DNR staff are finding very few dead deer in the woods and “I have only had a couple calls from the public reporting sick, dead or dying deer.”

“Based on the number of deer people are reporting seeing out feeding in fields, it appears the deer may have weathered the winter better than expected in some areas,’’ Kessler added.