NEW ULM (TEC News) -- Humans aren't the only thing more active because of the mild winter.
Wild animals in south Minnesota are also enjoying the warmer than normal temperatures and lack of snow cover.
Ken Varland is the Department of Natural Resources' Regional Wildlife Manager in New Ulm.
"The mild winter has made life much easier for wildlife," says Varland. "Not so good for ice fishermen, but good for wildlife."
And animals that typically lay low are out and about.
"Some wildlife that may be hold up in the winter may be coming out," says Varland.
Possum or raccoons are among the animals who are normally holed up that are out from their typical winter cover.
And the lack of snow has made it less challenging to find food.
"The last two winters they (deer) cause quite a bit of damage to trees and shrubs in yards and to stored grain and forage," says Varland. "We're not hearing that this year."
"With the milder temperatures they do not have to use as much energy to maintain body heat, for example," said Varland.
The lack of snow is making it safer for birds like pheasants who are less vulnerable to predators.
And deer, according to Varland, are much more widely dispersed this winter.
"They usually bunch up," says Varland.
However, much like we shouldn't get to comfortable with the lack of a need for really warm coats and snow blowers, neither should the animals.
"Once winter sets in, which I assume it will, animal behavior will change."