High number of mule deer fawns couldn't survive Valley County's winter

High number of mule deer fawns couldn't survive Valley County's winter

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by Dee Sarton

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KTVB.COM

Posted on January 30, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 30 at 3:07 PM

McCALL -- Everybody who looks at the mountains of Valley County sees something different.

For some, it is just beautiful. For others, it screams record-breaking ski days, and if you are a farmer, then all that white says a lot about your growing season.

But if you are a hunter or wildlife lover, there is a story in those deep snows that is quite sad. Mule deer fawns have been nearly wiped out this winter.

McCall has its own resident herd of deer.

While people might complain about their appetite for shrubs and flowers, they seem to come along with the territory.

Little do the deer KTVB saw grazing in a backyard know how fortunate they are. Their less tame counterparts in the snowy mountains of central Idaho have not survived the winter nearly as well. In fact, 90 percent of this year's fawns did not make it.

While you might think the deep snow is to blame for the near kill-off of this year's fawn population, there is more to it than that.

"What made it worse was not the total depth but how long it was there. They just couldn't find the forage they needed to survive the winter," said Jeff Rohlman with Idaho Fish and Game.

So the big question is: Will they bounce back? Jeff says, "Absolutely."

The latest estimate on the number of mule deer in the mountains surrounding McCall is 35,000.

 

 

 

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