North Dakota wildlife in the cold

Pheasant(Courtesy: ND Game and Fish)
Published: Jan. 1, 2023 at 5:45 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakotans were able to survive late-December’s bitterly cold temperatures by staying inside warm buildings or adding multiple layers to venture out. North Dakota wildlife has fewer options when it comes to braving the cold. To survive in the extreme conditions, animals will often lie down in tree rows or other protected areas to stay warm and rely on stored energy to keep them warm in below zero temps.

“In most cases this early, animals have enough fat reserves, especially when you’re talking about deer, things like that, they have enough fat reserves that it’s usually just pure exposure to those extreme colds,” said Wildlife Specialist Casey Anderson with the North Dakota Game and Fish.

Anderson adds a late spring blizzard, like the one we saw last April, would be more detrimental to wildlife because they could have used up fat reserves and would be too stressed to make it through another blizzard.