State feeding hungry deer in Eastern Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department generally discourages the public from feeding wildlife, but the agency is temporarily feeding Okanogan County mule deer to keep them out of orchards in the Pateros area.

The feed draws deer away and protects fruit trees.

The department says widespread feeding will not likely be needed this winter because of below-average snow cover so far and good forage growing on the area burned in last summer's Carlton Complex wildfire.

In a typical year, about half the fawns don't survive the winter in Okanogan County, but a deer with fat reserves can survive two to three months with minimal forage.