Deer are adaptable creatures, though, and Johansen said they simply change eating habits when they can't find food under the snow.
"They just browse on twigs and stems," he explained. "They don't get a lot of nutrition that way, but they can get enough to survive for a while."
Turkeys tend to have problems when thaw-and-freeze cycles create a hard, thick crust on top of deep snow.
"When it gets like that, turkeys can't scratch through to get to food," Johansen said. "If you get a protracted period with conditions like that, birds will stay up off the forest floor and roost in trees. If they stay there long enough, they can become emaciated and die."
Bears don't often suffer winter mortality because they hibernate. Last year's acorn failure sent many of them into hibernation earlier than usual, and without the fat reserves they burn off during hibernation.
Without those reserves, pregnant female bears sometimes reabsorb fetuses they otherwise would have borne in early February.
"That's the usual impact we see when conditions are like they are now. We might see sows with fewer cubs this year," Johansen said. "The same is true for deer. Instead of having two fawns, a doe might have just one."
The lack of acorns will almost certainly cause squirrels to bear fewer young.
"Squirrel reproduction is directly tied to acorns and other hard-mast items," Johansen said. "When mast is abundant, squirrels usually have two litters of young. When it is scarce, as it was last year, they have only one. I don't think we're going to see a second squirrel brood this year."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.