Winter wearing on Wisconsin wildlife - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Winter wearing on Wisconsin wildlife

The harsh winter is taking a toll on wildlife, and some landowners say they're seeing that firsthand.

The Department of Natural Resources is monitoring how this winter is affecting wildlife by measuring both temperature and snow depth. Biologists there say the numbers this year could affect wildlife populations in the months to come.

Lincoln County hunter Tony Dallman has already noticed something different on his hunting land this year.

"Normally I see quite a few turkeys and a few deer tracks. There's usually some that hang around as long as they can scratch down in the fields and get some food to eat. But this year the snow got too deep too fast and they just seem to move out early," said Dallman.

DNR biologist Cortney Schaefer says the winter is really impacting the Northwoods.

"It looks like the further north you go in the state, the more severe this winter is going to be just because of the deeper snowfall that they've had as well as the cooler temperatures," said Schaefer.

She says that could affect deer herds.

"The severity of the winter is something that every winter is going to take a few deer and turkey out of out population so it is part of the natural cycle however, this is a little more severe than most," said Schaefer.

Biologists say other species are in danger too.

"We've seen a lot of reports of migrating water foul that have come up from the south and they're already perishing because there's not food here," said Schaefer.

But Dallman and other hunters are optimistic the deer, at least, will bounce back.

"I'm sure they'll be around. They're built to withstand weather like this. They've done it for thousands of years," said Dallman.

The Department of Natural Resources continues to monitor this winter's impact, hoping to understand the full effects in the next few months.

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