WILDLIFE

DWR providing emergency feed to deer in northern Utah

Jan 23, 2023, 6:30 PM

The Utah Division of WIldlife Resources has begun to provide emergency feed 
 to deer in Rich and S...

The Utah Division of WIldlife Resources has begun to provide emergency feed to deer in Rich and Summit counties. Photo credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resoures.

OGDEN, Utah — The deep snowpacks in the mountains of northern Utah are starting to have an impact on wildlife and their ability to find food. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced Monday a two-pronged approach to provide emergency feed for deer in Summit and Rich counties. 

The DWR says biologists have begun to implement emergency feeding for deer. They have distributed specifically designed pellets that are consistent with the digestive system and nutritional needs of deer.

In an effort to reduce the stress on deer, conservation officers are conducting extra patrols in the areas. This is meant to help limit human presence in the feeding areas. 

The DWR began the emergency feeding for deer on Jan. 20 at 11 locations in Rich County. Additionally, food will also be provided for deer at one location in Summit County. 

The DWR has been keeping a close eye on the winter temperatures and the condition of deer since early December. 

“In the areas where we’re feeding, the vegetation that deer eat in the winter is completely covered by snow,” said Jim Christensen, DWR Northern Region wildlife manager.

Only pellets will be used in emergency feed

During the emergency feed, pellets are the only food source the DWR will be providing to the wildlife.

“Deer will eat hay, but if that is their only source of feed during the winter, they can have a very difficult time digesting it,” Christensen said. “We often find dead deer with stomachs filled with hay. We appreciate people wanting to help the deer. But we strongly discourage people from feeding hay or other things to deer.”

The DWR says it will continue to monitor the winter conditions. And it will provide emergency feed in other areas as the need arises. 

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DWR providing emergency feed to deer in northern Utah