“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.