- By Brandon Wikman
The bone-chilling Canadian air has settled across the Upper Midwest. Temperatures have plummeted into the negative degree marks and snow frosts landscapes as far as the eye can see. It is safe to say that winter is upon us.
Earlier this week Wisconsin was blanketed with a heap of snow. A blizzard from Canada broke over the border and annihilated the northern part of the United States. The storm blasted throughout the entire night and into the next day. We received over two feet of sloppy snow. In fact, nearly the entire state’s school systems closed their doors, including universities all across Wisconsin.
It’s amazing to attempt grasping how animals cope with paralyzing weather, such as deer for instance. I complain walking out the door every morning and having to start my vehicle so it can warm up. It takes a whole 30-seconds to accomplish this miserable feat, but I absolutely hate every second of it! Deer, along with every other animal that finds themselves hunkered into the woods, water, and fields, don’t bare it, they live it.
Deer walk on the tips of their toes, which are hooves. Hooves are equivalent to our toenails. They basically have no sense of feeling. If I were to walk barefoot in a foot of icy snow, my feet would turn purple! Deer don’t have feel extremely cold ground surfaces thanks to their hooves.
Whitetail will generally not move during extremely frigid temperatures. They will sit tight and conserve as much energy as they can. They will find food, bed near it, and lie low. This gives them an opportunity to survive during sub-arctic temperatures that we find common across the upper portions of the U.S. The hide that wraps their body is like a sleeping bag. Their fur is dense, which boosts their ability to stay warm.
Lastly, one of the most important points to note is that a whitetail’s blood-flow varies according to different situations and circumstances. In freezing climates, such as Minnesota and Upper Michigan, a whitetail’s blood flows to the brain and critical organs, such as the heart. The blood flow avoids the animals’ extremities because those are the least important parts of the body that will help them survive.
If a deer’s blood flowed to it’s legs, they’d lose heat and much colder blood would flow back into the deer’s body. This would make the animals much chillier and begin shutting down systems from hypothermia. The legs turn into a state of senselessness. This amazing capability of adaptation stirs my interest.
As humans drag out their winter jackets, snow-pants, and gloves, deer grow their own jacket and let there body systems take control. This is just another incredible attribute to the amazing whitetail world.