Is native grass good cover during periods of deep snow?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
Dr. Grant,

Does your theory behind the best bedding cover take into account snowfall? I live and hunt in Syracuse NY and once we get significant snowfall (usually in early December) the native grass areas are all knocked down. I rarely see deer using these areas to bed outside of the summer months, instead they prefer stands of mature pine/cedars when the snow really starts to fly.


I also have seen deer seek cover from deep snow in closed canopy evergreen forest. If the stand of evergreens is large enough deer can also find shelter from the wind deep within the stand.  However, there’s rarely any food within a closed canopy forest and certainly deer don’t receive any benefit from the sun’s radiation when under a closed canopy forest.  

Even where such evergreen stands exist deer seem to use the thermal qualities of a good stand of native grasses especially if they are available on a southwest facing slope.

Enjoy creation,


February 11, 2016