Deer have been spotted closer farms and settlement’s than usual this year, and according the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, it’s because they’re at risk of starving.

With such heavy snowfalls this winter, deer have been cut off from much of their food supplies. They’ve been forced to feed on trees, which are soon stripped. With the trees gone, deer have been left without a lot of options for food.

“People are seeing large numbers of deer around farmers’ grain bins and hay stacks. That’s an indication that these deer are starving and looking for alternative food sources, and are really desperate,” David Pezderic, president of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation said.

Deer have a hard time moving through high snow banks, which makes them easy targets for coyotes. The wildlife federation said if deer counts are low in the spring they’d like to see the Ministry of Environment takes steps to protect their population.

A representative from the Ministry of Environment said the ministry is also concerned with winter’s effect on the deep population, but could not comment on whether they are planning on reducing the number of hunting licenses.