Winter Range Conditions

All Wildlife Habitat will have a limiting factor to a populations survival.  For much of the Rocky Mountain West that limiting factor is the winter range.  Since returning from the Archery Trade Show, I have been looking at the winter range conditions here at the ranch and getting reports on how the elk and deer are fairing in some of my other favorite hunting areas.  Please note, if you are planning on checking out the winter range conditions in your area, give the wildlife enough space that they don’t feel pressured.  The elk and deer are basically slowing starving in the winter and any unneeded energy expenditure can drastically decrease their chance for survival.

As I am getting ready to apply for limited draw licenses in many of the western states and planning my hunting calendar for the 2010 season, I like to have an idea of what the quality of the areas I am planning on hunting will most likely be.  As I am building preference points up in several states I don’t want to use them up if the area I am slating to hunt has suffered a high winter mortality.  In addition to seeing and hearing what the snow and cold are doing to the game, I like to go one step further and see what the forage base is like and what the general body condition of the elk and deer are while wintering.

For now the 2009 – 2010 winter has been very mild for the areas I am planning to hunt in this fall, conditions can change but now is the time to get the calendar set.  Please look for posts on winter range and how this can help your scouting for the up coming season.

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