Feeding U.P. deer will help herd rebound

It’s been a tough couple of winters for the white tailed deer herd in the Upper Peninsula. Between the late snows in 2012-13 that disrupted does’ birthing season and the early start to the winter in 2013-14 that is already making things tough on deer, we’re glad the state has allowed certain U.P. counties to feed deer.

Those with permits in Delta, Dickinson, Iron, Mackinac, Menominee and Schoolcraft counties – as well as those in parts of Chippewa and Marquette counties – can begin supplemental feeding Wednesday. A permit is required through the DNR Wildlife Division and those feeding can do so on private land as well as non-state public land with landowner permission.

This supplemental feeding should help our deer herd get through a tough time in the winter when natural food sources have become difficult for the deer to find. Feeding areas must be at least a quarter mile from the nearest paved public road and at least a mile from domestic farm animals and other agricultural lands.

Only grains, second-cut alfalfa and clover or pelletized plant materials can be used as feed. The food must be scattered on the ground in amounts of no more than three inches in height.

The DNR also asks that those who receive permits report back to the DNR by May 30 on when, where and what was fed to the deer.

The combinatinon of 2013’s spring and 2014’s severe winter, feeding the deer herd should help get the population back up in the U.P. This is a good thing for hunters and local businesses that rely on hunting season and the deer herd for business.

We’re all for people getting out and helping out the herd.