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Iowa Deer Thrive. Here's Why.

Jenn Smith

Posted on August 19 2019

Intelligent, adaptable and unbelievably resilient; the white-tailed deer is one amazing creature. The white-tail’s resilience – its ability to survive under extreme circumstances -- has never been more evident than it has this spring and summer. Everywhere I go, I see does with fawns.

So, what makes this worth noting? To put things into proper perspective, we need to look back to last winter where, even by Northern Iowa standards, the season was regarded as exceptionally severe. Winter temperatures camped out in the vicinity of negative double digits; snow accumulations kept building. Delayed travel and school closings became the norm. Seemingly unable to escape winter’s icy grip, the North Iowa landscape remained covered by as much as 20 inches of snow as late as mid-March.

By mid-February, deer enthusiasts had already become concerned over the plight of wintering white-tails. With continuing polar temperatures and snowbound landscapes, it became obvious that deer – especially pregnant does -- were having a tough time finding forage. And as the winter dragged well into March, it seemed inevitable that many deer – especially yearling does -- would lose their fawns.

Somehow, it never happened. Not only did does manage to keep their fawns, but most are being accompanied by healthy twins. Yesterday, I even observed a doe with triplets. Considering the past winter, it doesn’t seem like such a thing could be possible. Like I said, the white-tailed deer is one amazing creature.

Story re-posted from Globe Gazette. Written by Lowell Washburn