Why all the dead deer on the side of the road?Posted by on 04/11/2018 to Land Management Whitetail Deer Management
The annual ‘spring shuffle’ for whitetails has officially begun. The number of dead deer you see right now can resemble November roadsides. What is the spring shuffle? In my observation, there are three main factors that contribute to the dead deer you see on the side of roads. Food sources cause deer to move distances, the re-locating of bucks to their summer range cause many collisions, and does are also establishing their fawning range.
First, green up is beginning to occur. Yes, after this horrible April weather it WILL eventually green up! Deer are very daylight active during the month of April. It is not un-common to see 30-40 deer in the first field that greens up come springtime. South facing fields such as clover plots or alfalfa fields are some of the first areas to green up. The first shoots of forage are very high in valuable nutrients. This springtime search for food often results in lots of deer-car collisions.
Secondly, does establishing fawning ranges within their larger home range results in many does to be hit by cars. Does are desperate to feed on the best and most available green browse this time of year to catch last minute nutrition before dropping fawns in May and early June. Does typically do not have varying home ranges, so they are very active this time of year, within their year-round area, causing many of them to be hit by cars.
Lastly, bucks are beginning to make their way back to the summer range they will inhabit until velvet peel. Again, not all bucks have different ranges, but many bucks do re-locate during summer, fall and sometimes even winter, especially in less agriculturally dense regions. Bucks are daylight active during April as well. They are searching for high value forage for antler growth and this results in many dead bucks on the side of the road. Many folks wonder where that monster went from last fall, well, hate to say it, but he could be on a roadside this April. Ani-Logics Ani-Mineral Block and Mineral Dirt 180 are the best options for this time of year. The rack they will sport this fall is largely dependent on the nutrition they receive right now!
–Paul Annear, Ani-Logics Pro-Staff