Daily deer crossings

Jan Tomhave looked out her window at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation office to watch a half-dozen deer cross the frozen Grand River.
Becky Vargo
Feb 19, 2014

“It’s pretty much a daily occurrence,” she said. “They go across every day around 4-4:30 p.m.”

Nick Kalejs, a wildlife biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, said deer go to protective areas for the winter and don’t move around much in the conditions we’ve been experiencing this winter. They conserve their energy.

“At times, there’s a lot of deer in Kitchel Lindquist (Dune Preserve),” Kalejs said. “The pines and thicket there give them more of a windbreak.”

Nonetheless, deer will sometimes leave their protected area to search for food, he said.

Tomhave watched a handful of deer dot Dewey Hill on Friday afternoon, foraging for food, while six made their way down to the frozen river. Two turned back, but four others continued across, walking past the open water near the power plant and toward the Municipal Marina.

“They head over by the Farmers Market,” Tomhave said. “They go over by the park.”

Some motorists on Harbor Drive pulled into parking areas to get a look at the animals Friday afternoon.

The consistent snow coverage and cold are more stressful on wildlife, but there’s still plenty of food out there for the deer, Kalejs said.

“There’s a lot of standing corn that never got harvested,” he said. “They also have woody browse — shrubs, cedars. Plus, there are people that are feeding deer.”

Kalejs noted that it is legal in Michigan to feed wildlife for viewing purposes, although the DNR doesn’t recommend it.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

Lakota05

Slow news day trib?? Deer have been crossing the channel for longer than any of us or our ancestors..... have been alive.

EINSTEIN

Nice article...I will watch for them....saw seven on Dewey Hill the other day. Where are all the eagles this year? Not enough open water I guess!

ohwell

There are some eagles out by Pottawatomie.

Tri-cities realist

And smiths bayou in ferrysburg

cantthinkofaname

I always like seeing pictures of the beautiful wildlife we have in our area. The deer have been crossing for years, but Lakota, can you picture a parent showing those deer to their kids? Come on, it's a pretty cool thing!

Lakota05

True cantthinkofaname!

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