The wife and I checked the winter and deer conditions along the Clarion River in Elk County yesterday. We saw 134 deer in the drive along the river between Ridgway and the Forest County line. The deer are just now starting to pull down into the wintering grounds with many still staying up on the south facing slopes. They have not hurt the wintering grounds browse yet so all should be good if things progress over the next couple weeks as expected. The deer we saw all looked pretty good.
Here are a couple pictures. Don’t mind the date and time. I just got a new camera and haven’t got the date and time settings correctly mastered yet.
A bunch of us went up to camp this weekend "Sigel PA". From there we went to the chainsaw rendezvous in ridgway. On the trip up and back along the clarion we counted at least 80 deer.
Yep a lot of them are down in the wintering grounds feeding on the hemlock and rhododendron along the river now. But the good news is they haven’t been there long enough to have significantly limited the food supply in the wintering grounds and that it appears the weather is about to open up so they don’t get locked into the wintering grounds for an extended period of time.
I am sure this winter has hurt the spring fawn survival rates a bit but probably not enough to result in a noticeable population decline next year.