Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Scott Eggeman
Blackfoot Area Wildlife Biologist - Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks 

The Challenges of a Long Winter


Photo provided

A white-tailed deer standing next to Douglas fir trees, known as a lifeline winter food source for deer in winters with cold temperatures and deep snow.

As the seemingly endless winter snows begin to turn to rain and our valley snowmelt begins to fill our streams and wetlands, it finally appears that spring is here. A winter like this one is an uncommon event, maybe occurring once every 10 to 20 years. For some of the wildlife in the Blackfoot watershed these events can be life giving times of plenty. For others, it can be a struggle to survive with many losing the battle.

The winners tend to be those species with adaptations for deep snows and cold temperatures. Species like the snowshoe hare with their disproportionately large feet that...

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