- Associated Press - Saturday, February 4, 2017

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The winter has been hard on wildlife in North Dakota, but a relatively balmy January has given them a break.

Early winter reports of dead and dying deer and pheasants have noticeably declined, the Minot Daily News (https://bit.ly/2jbSW5U) reported. With wind blowing hilltops free of snow and warmer temperatures that have helped expose ground, wildlife are coping better with winter.

“Thank goodness for January. We didn’t need another December,” said Jeb Williams, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife division chief. “The warmer weather definitely helped out. Wildlife was really struggling out there.”

The survival of wildlife is dependent on weather conditions. In 2016, wildlife couldn’t reach their usual food supplies due to the amount of snow covering the landscape.

Williams said a recently conducted survey by the department shows a good number of white-tailed deer in some parts of the state.

“It’s been a tough winter with a lot of snow, but it’s been good conditions to survey deer,” he said. “There’s a couple good indicators going on right now.”

He said it still remains to be seen how many deer and pheasants have been lost.

“A lot of it we really won’t know until we do some spring surveys,” Williams said.

He said Games and Fish is still concerned for wildlife, because there are several weeks of winter left. He said it is likely Games and Fish will conduct another survey in March to compare results to this month.


Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com

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