A deer herd's declining population in the province of New Brunswick, Canada has biologists worried.
Not since 1973 has this particular province shown such a steep decline in deer. New Brunswick's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released its preliminary numbers from the recent hunting season and it's not good-- the herd has suffered a nearly 40 percent drop in the harvest as compared to last season.
Although the numbers aren't complete yet, the province is showing around 4,000 deer taken which is almost 7,000 less than the same time period in 2014.
Wildlife biologist Rod Cumberland is already concerned about the coming data of the year's harvest and is saying that if the numbers are lower than in 1973 it could be "catastrophic"
The biologist has agreed that everyone is dreading the final count, which will be available after this Christmas. Losses of habitat and food sources are taking most of the blame, but Cumberland has also said that all provinces are seeing lower deer numbers.
Usually when the numbers crunch like this, it's the deer hunting community that takes the hit with a lower amount of tags offered and even shortened future seasons.
It remains to be seen, but the fraternity of hunters, who spend more time in the deer woods than anyone, will likely be seen and heard from, possibly putting pressure on the DNR but helping researchers to make the best call for the future of the herd.