Unfortunately, they can only live on body reserves for so long. Winters that start early or break late can wreak havoc with a whitetail herd. The first to go are typically the fawns; especially those that were born late and entered winter abnormally small. They simply don't have the reserves to pull through a long difficult winter. Next are the old or injured. While last year's abnormally mild winter allowed some of these deer to live another year, this year, Mother Nature will likely call the note in the days to come. Does absorb developing fetuses and bucks will spend next spring replacing body mass not growing antlers.