Should we feed deer during the cold weather months?

Should we feed deer during the cold weather months?

Are we helping or hurting the deer during winter?

Should we feed the deer during the colder months?

White-tailed deer spotted by Samuel Hartman


White-Tailed DeerDid you know white-tailed deer grow a thicker coat of fur that changes from reddish-brown to a greyish color in preparation for winter? This thick coat provides insulation and camouflage. Fall and winter can seem like times of scarcity for deer and other wildlife, but in reality local deer are well-adapted to the climate and capable of surviving without our help. In fact, feeding deer can be harmful to them by enticing them to cross roads, which can increase risk of collisions with vehicles. Feeding also allows unnaturally large populations of deer to survive in a single area, which makes them more vulnerable to disease and predators. Instead of feeding the deer where you live, allow them to make use of natural habitat. Native grasses, shrubs and trees provide high-quality browse foods like buds, twigs and seeds. Evergreens provide shelter from wind, rain, snow and other adverse weather conditions. Have you spotted white-tailed deer near you or other wildlife where you live? How are they preparing for winter? Take a photo and upload it to the Eyes on Central PA Mission on Project Noah. Your photo may be featured on this blog or in Chief Meteorologist Joe Murgo’s next on-air broadcast!

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