On this week’s episode of the Pennsylvania Woodsman, Mitch has a conversation with Kip Adams. Kip is a biologist and the Chief Conservation Officer for the National Deer Association (NDA). Prior to Kip’s engagement with the Quality Deer Management Association and NDA, he was the deer project leader for New Hampshire Fish & Game Department. New Hampshire, as well as many other states in the northern portion of the whitetail deer’s home range, is not immune to severe winter weather having an impact on the local herd. Kip was involved in numerous surveys in New Hampshire monitoring winter areas as well as mortality.
In addition to the wealth of knowledge regarding whitetail biology, Kip is a Pennsylvania native who finds himself hunting property he manages in northern Pennsylvania. He can relate to the weather patterns in the Keystone state and how they may impact winter survival. Kip explains that providing winter food for deer is not a reactionary process – it takes planning ahead to manage plant communities accessible to the deer herd this time of year. However, as many landowners begin to hit the panic button during these harsh conditions, they will find themselves making the mistake of piling food. Commonly, corn piles and hay bales get places near wintering yards, and while this is intended to be a positive deed, it can result in disease, predation, and higher rates of mortality. Take notes, as this episode will have us back in the biology classroom!