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Arriving at the outdoor classroom you may see deer tracks running down the trail beyond the shelter and curving off into the red pine stand. What are the deer eating in the winter? Looking at the trees and shrubs along the trail may help to answer this question.

Many of the shrubs and small trees show evidence of freshly clipped twigs and branches. This is deer "browse". In the winter the deer's summer diet of grasses and other fresh green plants is not available. Instead the deer must eat large quantities of low nutrient quality browse to satisfy their basic energy needs. The amount of natural browse can be quite limited. Deer may go into someone's yard or farm (or our college campus!) to find food.

Pavillion on nature trail in winter

Drawing of deer tracks Drawing of deer tracks

Drawing of deer tracks Drawing of deer tracks

Drawing of deer tracks Drawing of deer tracks


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