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Outdoors blog

Sat., April 30, 2011, 10:51 a.m.

Hard winters bring out the best in wildlife

Deer in deep snow. (Courtesy photo)
Deer in deep snow. (Courtesy photo)

CRITTERS -- While winter -- and winter-like spring weather -- is an inconvenience to many people, it's the ultimate test for wildlife.

Deer can deal with a tough winter. However, too many tough winters in a row and put a local deer population into a decline that may require years to reverse.

But the occasional brutal winter allows only the hardiest to survive and pass along those survivability genes, leading to a hardier species in the long run.

Humans need to be wary  of weilding a heavy hand on wintering wildlife. Nature didn't prescribe trains and trucks to slaughter game forced onto railways and roads by deep snow. 

On the other hand, nature might frown just as much on humans feeding and rescuing critters that are not passing the test of natural hardships.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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