The snow totals are certianly yarding the deer up nicely. From what I have observed snowshoeing around, the deer are all but forced to stay on well worn trails to and from their yarding/feeding areas. A few items to note:
a) Although the snow depths are high, the snow remains un"crusted", a feature that has likely saved many younger deer from the hungry mouths of coyotes (the dogs dont yet have the "on-top-of snow advantage")
b)With the exception of the brutally frigid week in january, temperatures have been tolerable. The absolute worst conditions for deer are when snow depths are high and crusty AND the temperatures plummet. These conditions require the maximum expenditure of calories and present the most opportunities for predation. The lack of the combination of these conditions has probably helped the deer herd regardless of the overall snow levels state-wide.
c) Although I havent found any yet, all signs seem to point to antlers being on the ground. I have seen quite a few large "doe" while walking through the woods, but none long enough to identify as bone-less bucks. Anyone found any fresh sheds/seen any bucks lacking their headgear?
Just under 8 months until bow season...