This summer’s extreme heat and humidity have not only taken a toll on our electric bills; they’ve no doubt extracted a toll on white tailed deer throughout the country.
This 2-1/2-year-old doe is a prime example. If you look closely, you’ll see that she is doing her best to ward off a swarm of black flies. The insects are more than a nuisance when deer feed in the summer months. Deer flies, horse flies, black flies, ticks, mosquitoes, no-seeums and maggots can weaken some deer to the point where the whitetail will not make it to autumn.
Fortunately for this deer, the insects appear to be nothing more than a nuisance. I do know from other trail camera photos that she is raising two very healthy fawns.
There’s not much we can do, short term, to alleviate the effects of a brutal summer on the deer herd. However, we can — through embracing quality deer management principles — make sure our deer densities are low enough to prevent the multiplying effects of herd social stress. This means making concerted efforts to shoot enough does from all ages classes during the hunting season.
How are deer doing in your part of the country?