Local Groups Partner to Help Feed Deer

Local Groups Partner to Help Feed Deer
The severe winter of 2018-19 has put local deer herds at risk of significant late-season mortality from starvation.
Local Groups Partner to Help Feed Deer
photo by Kevin Coombs

The onset of snow in early November, plus record cold temperatures, record deep snow, and ice storms have forced the deer to use up their fat reserves and consume all available food in their winter deer yards. The deep snow and delayed spring are preventing deer from leaving the yards and accessing other food sources to make it through the last few weeks of winter.

The St. Joseph Island Hunters and Anglers and Algoma Fish and Game Club are working together under a special arrangement with Rack Stacker Inc. They've purchased supplemental feed, which is now being delivered via an emergency feeding program on St. Joseph Island and along the North Shore.

Each club took delivery of 6 pallets of feed delivered to the Desbarats arena on Wednesday.

It is now being distributed in the local deer yards where deer are experiencing hardships due to the extreme snow depths and length of winter.  Each pallet contains is 2200 lbs of specially formulated deer food, intended to provide the nutrition they are unable to access right now.

Shout out to Desbarats Farmer Paul O'Kari who volunteered with unloading & moving pallets.
Shout out to Desbarats Farmer Paul O'Kari who volunteered with unloading & moving pallets.
photo by Kevin Coombs

The next few weeks will be critical for the deer. In addition to supplemental feed, landowners can help by cutting down cedar trees for browse where deer are concentrated, which is much healthier than feeding straight corn or hay. The feed will be put out slowly, in small amounts over time, this way the deer can adjust to feeding and digesting the new food without negative side effects.

If you know of areas needing feed or individuals who need help to continue feeding, please call John Paterson, 705-246-3352, President, St. Joseph Island Hunters and Anglers.

Please contact John as well if you would like to donate to help offset the cost of the emergency deer feeding program.

The Algoma Fish and Game Club ran a GoFundMe campaign to cover their cost of this feed purchase. " The response exceeded our original expectations and is now CLOSED, and we thank everyone who has supported us and the deer."

Example of how feed is being set out in small portions for deer.
Example of how feed is being set out in small portions for deer.
photo by John Paterson