Department of Natural Resources ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says most reports of stressed or dead deer have come in the past few weeks. Wallenfang says the longer winter conditions persist, the greater impact on the herd. He says deer have burned through their fat reserves and are in critical need of food.
State biologists consider winter's effect on survival when developing 2013 harvest quotas, which will be released in early May. Wallenfang says already conservative quotas may be reduced even further in far northern areas.
The DNR says staff have been in the field investigating reports of noticeably stressed or dead deer, and monitoring habitat conditions.