The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources did a report on how climate change will impact wildlife. As temperatures warm and winters moderate, the report says there will be “winners and losers” among the state’s mammals, reptiles and birds.
How will Wisconsin’s state animal, the whitetail deer, be affected?
Good news: Warmer winters will mean less winter kill and higher reproductive rates for deer in following springs, so herds will build back up and be stable. More deer would mean more tags for hunters.
Not so good news: Climate change is predicted to result in warmer summers, longer dry spells, and more intense rain events: the perfect environment for the midge that transmits epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). The theory is that as this disease moves north, it will not wipe out deer populations, but it will introduce more variability and unpredictability into the herds from year to year in Wisconsin and other northern states. In years of severe outbreaks, the number of deer tags available to hunters would probably be cut.
Also, temperatures 6-8 degrees higher than normal would lead to more ticks, the number one parasite that infests deer in North America. Will parasite load on deer increase with climate change? How might this affect tick-borne diseases in humans?
These are things that bear monitoring because there is no doubt winters have become warmer across North America the last 40 years. But the irony here is that as this report was coming out in 2013, I hunted in Wisconsin and experienced one of my coldest hunts in recent memory. In fact, several straight brutal winters had led to significant deer mortality in many regions of the state.
With all these “yo-yo” falls and winters from year to year (warm then cold, warm then cold…) there is a lot of volatility and room for argument in the climate change debate.
Some of the most educated scientists agree and its factual, the earth is spinning on an elongated sphere which causes earth to get closer to the sun every gazillion years (whatever).. As Cary stated, in our existence it has continued to get warmer, and it will until earth crashes into the sun….
Deer are an amazing adaptable animal that will continue to survive in warmer temps, (they’ll just get smaller). Hopefully scientist & technology with find a way to eradicate EHD & ticks
I think they are calling it “climate change” now instead of “global warming” to cover their butt’s. The sad thing is that climate change has been going on since time began (the earth was once covered with water, ice once covered most of north America, etc.) but now it is being politicized by the liberals to get control of the people and enact regulations that are part of their agenda. Obama claims that the biggest threat to the USA is climate change, that’s hard to believe with all the other things that are going on in this crazy world. I think liberals are the biggest threat to this country and just to keep it on point a little, there is no doubt that they are the biggest threat to us hunters that enjoy the outdoor life. They are anti-gun, anti-hunting, anti-trapping, etc. I don’t think Mike wants to turn his blog into a political forum but at some point we hunters need to understand who is on our side and who isn’t. That must also be kept in mind when you vote.
Here’s my argument. Climate change/Global Warming, whatever you want to call it is BULL$HIT! In the 70’s they were predicting/preaching we were headed into another Ice Age, world famine and sure death of the human race. Now we are going to boil and the oceans are rising. The “scientists” are just political hacks. NOAA adjusted the average temps up. Why? Politics! When it’s snowing in May/June don’t preach that the Ice cap is melting. I think liberals should be in the same category coyotes & hogs, if you get my drift!