March 10, 2015 – Winter Severity Index points to a mild winter for 2015
I spent three days last week clearing deadfall off cut lines to get back into more secluded areas for several more deer stand locations. Heavily used deer runs were evident and snow was around the 8 inch mark throughout the spruce and tamarack trees. John always wants updates on wolf sign when I am out in these new areas and I was glad to report no wolf presence. I really believe our trappers have thinned out their numbers.
A few weeks back I wrote about the Winter Severity Index ( WSI ). A simple system of temperature and snow accumulation that allows biologists to label the potential winter kill numbers amongst deer as mild, moderate, severe and very severe. I called our local biologist this week to talk about the winter and he agreed its been great for the deer, but he told me the WSI numbers I had previously used were based on a study done in Wisconsin and that our larger bodied deer in Saskatchewan were much hardier. Applying the new guidelines of 24 inches of snow and any day the high temperature did not get above 0 degrees Fahrenheit ( – 18 Celsius ) caused our total for this winter to be 17 and that falls in the mild category for the winter of 2014-2015, which is great news!!! More good news for our deer herd is the fact that spring has come real early, temperatures are very mild and Canada geese are already filtering back. Things are shaping up for an exciting fall. I took all the temperature highs and lows for the winter of 2014-15, starting in November to present ( they are in Celsius ), these temperature readings come from Environment Canada for Meadow Lake and you can see how mild our winter has been. Click the following link for details. Daily Temperature Report for Winter of 2014.