Driving across Atwater and then Bay City-Forestville Road today, I saw hundreds of whitetail deer. Snow is disappearing from the fields and the deer are scrounging for food among the cornstalks, wheat sprouts and sugar beet leftovers.
From a distance these animals appear to be in good shape after a very rough winter, but when I enlarged some of the photos, their ragged coats tell a story of how difficult the cold months must have been for some of them. Then, too, there are deer carcasses along almost every road in the Thumb. Now that the snowbanks are melting, those dead deer are appearing and will be a welcome food source for the returning turkey vultures and the ever present pairs of crows.
My guess is that I could have counted 300-400 deer in the herds that I saw today. There were scads of them in area near the intersection of Bad Axe Road and Atwater Road. I would pull to the shoulder, lower the driver side window, lift my camera and shoot. In that small amount of time, the deer come to attention and take off. Some stay to graze anyway, lifting their heads now and then, as if checking to see if the vehicle will be any threat to their supper plans.