Stressful Time for Deer
Posted at: 04/01/2013 9:01 AM
| Updated at: 04/01/2013 9:04 AM
The days are getting warmer, and the snow may be melting, but it can be a vulnerable time of year for wildlife, especially deer.
We followed wildlife enthusiast, Dick Bronson, out to one of his trail cameras in Hartley Park. Bronson has been capturing animal pictures here for the past two years.
"I thought it might be fun to see what's out here,” says Bronson. “It has certainly paid off."
He has caught some spectacular images. Animals you normally wouldn’t expect to find like coyotes, bears, even porcupines.
"I find that there's something about these cameras that catches their attention,” recalls Bronson. “And even spook a few animals away."
Large deer show up in his pictures quite often. But, the snow here can be 2-3 feet deep, and there was one set of images Bronson did not want to see.
"Some of the first pictures I've had on it were deer that ran right past here, closely followed by a big black dog,” says Bronson. "They get enough stress from the coyotes and being pushed around by people. They really don't need a dog chasing them too."
The snow is still quite deep and is difficult just to navigate through, let alone to run through while being chased. Cloquet DNR Officer, Chris Balzer, says it’s a hostile environment for a deer.
"The dogs can run on top of the snow, and the deer with their sharp hoofs break through,” explains Balzer. “That gives the dogs an advantage, and it's really not a fair thing."
Balzer says the sheer exhaustion from being chased through deep snow can even cause death.
"I know we're trying to reduce the herd size in Duluth, but that's a miserable death for a deer,” says Bronson.
Duluth is known for being dog friendly, but the city does have a leash ordinance. Dogs must be leashed when on public property. This is most important when deer are at this fragile state.
"They're at the toughest part of year for them, and then their struggling through the snow,” says Balzer. “So it's just good for people to keep their dogs tied up."
The fine for violating a leash law is $50 for the first offense, but can be more for repeat offenders.