PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is asking the public to report dead deer. GFP has documented deer mortalities across the state believed to be caused by the severe winter.
Although most deer are conditioned to survive short periods of harsh winter weather, extended periods of cold temperatures and deep snow can have an effect on deer survival. Deer can also continue to succumb to poor condition into early spring.
The majority of deer mortalities have been documented in northeast South Dakota where very cold January and February temperatures coupled with deep snow through much of March have affected deer condition. Very poor body condition and little to no remaining fat reserves in a several deer have been confirmed in South Dakota through testing at the SDSU Diagnostic Lab in Brookings.
As the snow melts, GFP asks anyone who finds dead deer to contact their local conservation officer or GFP office. This information is valuable to wildlife managers in monitoring and managing deer populations. License numbers may need to be adjusted in areas that experience higher than normal winter deer mortality.