2017-06-15 / Outdoors

Deer, birds enjoying easy spring

For the most part, Mother Nature has provided relatively comfortable nesting seasons for grouse, turkeys and woodcock this spring.

“It’s been fairly dry, which is terrible for gardens and sweet corn, but is good for some of these ground-nesting birds like turkeys and grouse,” said Steve Griffith, wildlife biologist with the DNR Traverse City field office. “It’s been dry and pretty warm.

“It should be a pretty productive spring as far as animals are concerned.”

Damp weather makes life difficult for small animals but, until this week, rain hadn’t presented much of a threat.

Ed Martin of Lake Leelanau, a certified woodcock bander, said he recently helped band four woodcock babies with radio transmitters in Grand Traverse and Wexford counties. As of last week, the four chicks were still alive.

“It looks like woodcock are average to a little lower as far as the number of nests we found,” Martin said. “They had a late snow there; that might have moved some birds, but the grouse were a little above average. We ran across a lot of grouse, more than normal.”

Spring has been easy on fawns, too.

“It’s been pretty good,” Griffith said. “I’ve seen a handful of fawns. I talked to a guy at church who met his quota, a handful of fawns he likes to see every year. ... So far, nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve been talking to people that have been seeing a decent fawn crop.”

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