The Decline of Deer Populations
The total U.S.deer population in 2014 was about 32.2 million; 28.6 million whitetails and 3.6 million mule deer, blacktails, and other. That's down from 33.5 million in 2013; 29.9 million white tails and 3.6 million mule deer, blacktails, and other.   Recent peak U.S. deer population is estimated to have occurred around the year 2000 at 38.1 million, 33.5 million whitetails and 4.6 mule, blacktails, and other.  The estimate is based on population information from state agencies and other groups collected on this website, discussed on each state page that can be accessed by clicking on the drop down menus above.  The estimate also relies on harvest data for each state, available using the links at the top of the column at right.  As illustrated in the figure below, the U.S. deer harvest has fallen by 18.8 percent since 2000, a few state numbers are unavailable and estimated.  
There are many issues complicating the collection process for this data.  Actual harvest numbers are probably higher than reported.  States use different methods to estimate harvest.  The decline does not appear to be the result of a decline in hunters.  Although hunting participation has generally declined in the U.S. since 1983,  hunting participation increased by 9 percent from 2006 to 2011 according to the latest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s national five-year survey .  Also see page 30 of this report for a history.  About 11.6 million deer hunters licensed in 2013.
     Although research in the 2014 Journal of Wildlife Research mistakenly reports that "In both North America and Europe, deer populations are increasing ...", research published in 2014  and 2016 [PDF] using data from this site identified the change in the population trend, turning down around the year 2000.

 Historic U.S. Deer Population

Below is a graph of the total deer population, the whitetail population, and the combined mule, deer, and other deer populations estimated using harvest data and academic research on historical trends [click on graph to enlarge].  Information about historic U.S. deer population trends and the significant decline of mule deer and black-tail deer populations appears farther down this column. 

     Although there are often comments in the media about the over abundant deer population, the historical analysis summarized in the figure above shows the population of white-tailed deer returned to about pre-European settlement numbers by the year 2000.  Data for the trend in the white-tailed deer population from 2000 and earlier is based on Kert VerCauteren in The Deer Boom and the Wildlife Management Institute's 1984 book "Whitetail Deer Ecology and Management", updated using current harvest data and state population estimates.  A summary of historic mule and black-tail population estimates.  Read a peer reviewed research article demonstrating how public management decisions in California have contributed to the long term decine of the deer population.
     A Wall Street Journal article recently reports that “The U.S. now has 30 million deer, a hundred times more than a century ago" failing to point out that the deer population was almost hunted to extinction 100 years ago and that the white-tail population has approximately returned to its historic population size. As the harvest data above suggests, it appears the total deer population started to turn down again in about the year 2000.  In some states in the west with mule and blacktail deer, the decline has been going on for decades. The map below illustrates the 2013 harvest as a percent of peak harvest. The deepest declines, in red, appear in western states.

     In response to declining deer populations in much of the U.S., most states are currently trying to raise the deer populations.  Population strategies vary within states.  For example, New York is trying to raise populations in part of the state. Many states are conducting studies to understand the cause of the decline and their recovery has been the focus of groups such as the Mule Deer Foundation.  Habitat loss and fragmentation are known to play a role in the decline. Deer populations in the western United States and some other regions are in significant decline. 
     Searching the internet, this site has tracked many of the proposed causes for the declining deer population reported in the column at right and including:
-  Maine and New England:   Changes that have occurred on commercially managed forest lands – based on a new Forest Study
-  Connecticut:  First decline since early 1900’s, increased predation  (Bobcat, Coywolf)
-  Western North Carolina:  Mature Forests, Cherokee Indians are restocking deer herds
-  West Virginia:  Aging forests in high mountains
-  Georgia:  Coyotes
-  Minnesota:  Severe Winters
-  Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota:  Overharvest, drought, EHD
-  Colorado:  Food supply, predation, energy development
-  North Dakota:  Drought, EHD (severe decline), habitat loss
-  Montana:  Loss of habitat, severe winter, predation
-  Oregon:  Reduction in logging related to timber sales

Elk populations, once exceeding 10 million in the continental United States, number about 1 million.

Mule Deer and Black-tail Deer Populations Have Been in Decline for Many Years

WAFWA mule and blacktail population analysis puts the 2015 U.S. total at about 3.5 million.

The graph below shows the estimated California deer population, made up of blacktails and mule deer, for the 1912 to 2012 period. [click on graph to enlarge]  See the California page for an explanation of how over hunting in California has contributed to the decline of the deer herd. 


The Deer Debate, decline of black tail deer May 1, 2014 Oregon, Jefferson Public Radio
... , the black-tailed deer has been in decline across its range since the late 1970s. A state-wide survey in 1979 estimated the total population at 452,000; the 2004 estimate pegged it at only 320,000. ODFW cites a number of reasons for the decline, loss of habitat and disease chief among them...

Disappearing Mule Deer A New Reality Throughout Western US January 4, 2013 NPR, Audio Discussion
Scientists throughout the West are trying to figure out the mystery of the disappearing mule deer. Since the 1970s, biologists in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah have seen deer populations drop by 50 percent.  The potential causes vary. Oil and gas development and the growth in coyote populations top the list.

Unlocking the needs and habits of our mule deer March 28, 2014 Washington, The Wenatchee World
... As has happened in the Wenatchee area over the past 50 years, traditional mule deer wintering grounds have been converted to human settlement. Mule deer populations have decreased since 1940 throughout the western U.S...

Discover the Mule Deer, Issues Contributing to the Decline of Population, Wyoming


Where have all the Oregon deer gone? November 15, 2012 Portland Tribune
... Deer populations are struggling across the state, says Don Whittaker, an ODFW game biologist. That’s true for black-tailed deer and mule deer, both native to Oregon.  
Black-tailed deer numbers are hard to track because of their reclusive nature and thick forested habitats... The problem may partly stem from the series of four large forest fires, starting in the 1930s, known as the Tillamook Burn, which consumed 550 square miles of timber in Northwest Oregon... Reforestation of the burned land .... And as charred lands came back to life, trees began to shade out the deers’ favorite shrubs...

The California Deer Decline and Possibilities for Restoration Cal-Nevada Wildlife Transactions, 1976 

Seasonal neighbors: residential development encroaches on mule deer winter range in central Oregon March 27, 2012 Oregon, U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Marie Oliver
Mule deer populations in central Oregon are in decline, largely because of habitat loss. Several factors are likely contributors. Encroaching juniper and invasive cheatgrass are replacing deer forage with high nutritional value, such as bitterbrush and sagebrush. Fire suppression and reduced timber harvests mean fewer acres of early successional forest, which also offer forage opportunities. Human development, including homes and roads, is another factor. It is this one that scientists with the Pacific Northwest Research Station and their collaborators investigated in a recent study. ..

The Mule Deer Wars December 17, 2012 Colorado, Huffington Post
... It began in the 1990s, when state wildlife managers started reporting lower mule deer populations and decreased fawn-to-doe ratios throughout the West....  in 1999 the Colorado and Idaho wildlife departments launched long-term investigations into the true causes of the perceived mule deer decline. Both studies soon enough reported, in line with previous research throughout the West, that coyotes and other predators indeed are capable of keeping isolated and already critically low deer populations from recovering via a rare phenomenon known as a "predator pit." 

...  for the past 15 years show a consistent drop in estimated populations in the region ... Brad Weinmeister, a terrestrial biologist ... the downward trend is likely a combination of the extended drought, less nutritious range, and increasing development and populations... In the urban areas they are doing OK ... Predation of deer by coyotes and mountain lions does not appear to be causing the overall mule deer decline either ...

Proceedings of the 9th Western States and Provinces Deer & Elk Workshop, 2011 (Describes a number of recent studies related to decline of deer populations)
Effect Of Enhanced Nutrition On Mule Deer Population Rate Of
Change:  We found strong evidence that enhanced nutrition of deer reduced coyote and mountain lion predation rates of less than 6 month old fawns and adult females.  Winter range habitat quality was a limiting factor ... we recommend evaluating habitat treatments for deer that are designed to set-back succession and increase productivity of late-seral pinyon-juniper habitats that presently dominate the winter range....
Utilizing Antler Point Restrictions For Mule Deer To Maximize 
Hunter Opportunity In Southern British Columbia:  We provide explanations as to why our results appear to counter some findings from other studies and suggest that utilizing a combination of 4-point and any-buck seasons for mule deer for 92 days can maintain maximum hunter opportunity while retaining a sustainable harvest.

From Wildlife.Utah.Gov: "Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has served as a leader promoting management and protection of fish and wildlife in the western United States and Canada. An organization represented by 17 states and four Canadian provinces, WAFWA has faced the difficult challenge of sifting through the ever-changing societal, economic, political and scientific issues that define natural resource management in a West that has undergone many changes. WAFWA is particularly concerned about mule deer, a species that lives in every North American habitat except for the tropics, arctic and extreme deserts. Mule deer numbers and distribution have been declining throughout the West since the latter third of the 20th century. To address this concern, the Mule Deer Working Group was established at the midwinter meeting of WAFWA in 1998. The group was charged with finding “solutions to our common mule deer management problems,” expanding “cooperative research and management in the Western states and provinces,” and sharing information with agency directors and administrators on mule deer issues."

Study of the Reasons for the Decline of Nevada's Deer Population: MULE DEER INITIATIVE Commission Briefing - February 20, 2009, (Oregon). Issue: Researchers and wildlife managers generally concede mule deer achieved maximum abundance during the 1950s and ‘60s. Since then, mule deer have declined across the West, including Oregon. The most recent decline appened during the early 1990s and, though not fully understood, it is believed to be primarily due to the combined effects of drought and severe winters. Historically, deer populations rebounded quickly after such climatic extremes. However, in recent years, production and survival of fawns have remained at depressed levels. Low recruitment, severe winters, dry summers, changing predator/prey relationships, and increased habitat loss have pushed mule deer populations lower than the department and public desire.

[PDF] THE CALIFORNIA DEER DECLINE AND POSSIBILITIES FOR RESTORATION by WM Longhurst - -This paper dealing with the possible factors responsible for the decline of deer populations in California is a progress report and a more detailed and ...

North American Mule Deer Conservation Plan - MULE DEER ... From Alaska, down the Pacific Coast of California to southern Baja Mexico and from the extreme ..... decline of mule deer populations over large portions ..

SCIENTISTS, MANAGERS OUTLINE BLACK-TAILED DEER DECLINE - Black-tailed deer, once numerous throughout the woods of western Oregon, are suffering a populationdecline, scientists reported ...

UF Research:  Total Historic Deer Population  November 28, 2000 Science Daily
... experts believe the population of [white-tail] deer in the United States is about equal to what it was before Europeans arrived, with somewhere between 24 million and 34 million nationwide. That's up from just 350,000 in 1900, when the population crashed largely because of unregulated hunting... 

Statistical Abstract, 1957:  454,000 deer killed by hunters

...According to QDMA, 21 of the 33 states produce a “total harvest” estimate, while the other 12 report a “minimum harvest” estimate. Illinois joins Wisconsin and Nebraska as the only Midwestern states that use a total harvest estimate in conjunction with a mandatory reporting requirement for hunters. That combination is considered to be the most accurate method...

Deer farmers raise unusual livestock March 25, 2018 South Dakota, Farm Forum
... According to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service, there were 231,431 head of deer on 4,042 operations in the country during its 2012 census, with 89 captive deer in South Dakota on just five operations...




Reports of 
Deer Populations in Decline

... It is a disease that threatens the health of Colorado wildlife populations already hammered by rapid human population growth and a development boom that devours open habitat... a beloved herd of 500 deer in foothills by Boulder  ... dwindled to about 300. Testing on the herd showed 40 percent of the males had CWD...

Local mountain caribou herds down to seven, survey shows May 10, 2018 Idaho, Coeur d'Alene Press
... The minute populations of Idaho’s mountain caribou took another blow as pregnancy test results of three cows that biologists hoped would reproduce came back negative ... Last year, biologists counted 11 caribou in the local Selkirk population and 16 on the Purcell side...

Are mule deer in decline in Southeast Idaho? April 24, 2018 Idaho State Journal
...we have had some harsh winters where fawn survival was around 25 percent, which could be a possible reason we didn’t see as many deer while hunting in 2017.  The winter of 2016 was devastating for fawns. Only 30 percent of mule deer fawns survived... quaking aspen forests are decreasing in the state ...  provide high-quality forage for mule deer, as well as hiding deer and providing a thermal cover ..,

East Tehama Deer Herd, Northern California Regional Land Trust April 23
Action News Now
... One specific species now more fully protected from development, is the largest migratory deer herd in California; the East Tehama Deer Herd. The animals roam the acreage and conservationists say development could threaten their health and future...

... Hunters harvested 26,537 deer, when counting special and general permits. A total of 106,977 Washingtonians received deer licenses.  The state’s 54,638 licensed elk hunters harvested a total of 5,465 elk..,

Where are the deer going? April 20, 2018 British Columbia, Castanet
... "In the Southern Interior they've been declining for quite some time so we've been trying to put a project together to look at what makes mule deer grow and what's holding them back," ... For more information or how to donate visit the project's website...

300 attend annual deer association dinner in McCloud April 19, 2018 California, Siskiyou Daily News
... “We got into this because the deer herds in California are having a hard time and we want to help,” said Trenton Willis, one of the organizers and chapter co-chairmen of the CDA... “Our goal is to raise as much money as we can to bring back our deer population into Siskiyou County,” ...

... For quite some time now, hunters can’t help but acknowledge the game to be substantially smaller than a decade ago. It was also noticed that fewer bucks were allowed to gain maturity as more and more tags were made available...  an online petition which was circulated in 2016 ... Nearly 4,000 hunters supported the idea of shortening deer seasons for the Clearwater Region...

... Minnesota moose are in trouble. The iconic animals have disappeared from the northwest and have declined significantly in the northeast, numbering there most recently about 3,000, down from nearly 9,000 in 2006.  No one knows exactly why..,

After Mule Deer Decline, Human Collaboration Could Bring Herd Back March 30, 2018 Wyoming, Wyoming Public Media
... For the last 20 years, the Wyoming Range mule deer herd has been in decline, and nobody has been quite sure why... The Wyoming Mule Deer Project captures the deer they study twice a year ... habitat is what drives the trajectory of mule deer populations ...


After difficult years, 'conservative' deer hunts March 27, 2018 Wyoming, Powell Tribune
... Very difficult winter conditions during 2016-17 and poor fawn ratios for the past four years have resulted in herd units west of Powell being below objective ...

... With the focus of mule deer recovery throughout the state, Arizona Mule Deer Org conducted its first official board of directors meeting March 1 in Deer Valley...

The data on moose and fire March 14, 2018 Minnesota, Tower Timberjay News
...  the decline of moose in northeastern Minnesota... Biologists have known for some time that moose like areas regenerating after fire, but Schrage’s data shows just how strong that affinity really is. “If you like moose, fire should be your friend,” ... moose stick to regenerating forest burns almost like Velcro...

IDFG takes 10 wolves in Lolo Elk Zone control action March 14, 2018 Idaho, Idaho County Free Press
... to improve elk survival ... The Lolo elk population declined drastically over the last 25 years, from 16,000 elk to fewer than 1,000 elk in recent years. IDFG biologists estimated 2,000 elk in the zone when it was surveyed last winter...

Deep snow stalls caribou maternal pen project March 9, 2018 British Columbia, The Spokesman-Review
... A bounty of snow has snuffed out this year’s maternal pen project in British Columbia to preserve a critically endangered remnant group of mountain caribou that ranges into the United States in the Selkirk Mountains...

... test for their presence in hunt management plans created by 62 U.S. state and Canadian provincial and territorial agencies across 667 management systems (species-jurisdictions). We found that most (60%) systems contained fewer than half of the indicator criteria assessed, with more criteria detected in systems that were peer-reviewed, that pertained to “big game,” and in jurisdictions at increasing latitudes. These results raise doubt about the purported scientific basis of hunt management across the United States and Canada...

...  in the Cache unit — and we have seen this across Utah — we used to have 100 fawns per 100 does on average, and sometimes in the 80s,” said DWR biologist Kent Hersey. “This past few years, we’ve only been in the 60s. Some of that is certainly weather related, but overall there has been a declining trend.” ...

... elk herd between roughly Vail Pass and Wolcott have declined from about 3,500 animals in 2002 to fewer than 1,200 animals in 2016... there are plenty of evidence-backed theories. Most of those theories track straight back to human interference...

... Maryland’s deer population ... swelled to more than 300,000 deer 15 years ago ... has been cut by a third ... there are an estimated 200,000 to 225,000 deer in Maryland... It has been hard, however, to measure if Maryland’s declining deer populations has correlated with a decrease in Lyme disease infections ..,

Organizations trying to reduce car-animal crashes February 20, 2018 Wyoming, Wyoming Business Report
... House Bill 39 would authorize the new plates and direct the one-time $100 application fee to the Wildlife Conservation Account within the Highway Fund ... “It’s been estimated that mule deer populations have declined nearly 38 percent in the west in the past two decades,” Coursey said. “Any and all efforts to limit this loss should be of utmost priority.” ...

Massive decrease in deer numbers February 14, 2018 Idaho, Clearwater Tribune
... An overwhelmingly large number of whitetail deer hunters have noticed a massive decrease in deer numbers and age class across North Idaho.  The IDFG has been using out of date informational surveys, and weak data to manage our deer... extreme loss of security cover and canopy protection due to timber harvest on Idaho State, and private timber company lands ...

Hillbilly Wildlife Survey February 11, 2018 Washington, Hunting Washington
... deer herds are down across northeast Washington ...this winter was not bad , but winter 2016 was really bad ... have made numerous trips over Sherman and Boulder pass. It is amazing the absolute lack of any deer what so ever on the southwest slopes. It is also void of any game trials in the snow ..,

Research to focus on deer in northwest Kansas February 12, 2018 Kansas, Hays Post
...  Kansas State University and Kansas Wildlife ... Especially concerning are recent observation indices of mule deer, suggesting that the range of this iconic Kansas plains species is contracting westward and the population could be declining..,

Northern Idaho Whitetails Forever February 7, 2018 Idaho, Clearwater Tribune
...  An overwhelmingly large number of whitetail deer hunters have noticed a massive decrease in deer numbers and age class across North Idaho. The IDFG has been using out of date information, and weak data to manage our deer. ...

More about moose February 5, 2018 North Dakota, KFGO 
... In the last 12 years, moose numbers have declined in the Pembina Hills area... “The primary reason for the decline in moose populations on the eastern side of the state is brain worm,”  [Jason Smith, Game and Fish big game management biologist] ..,

Are deer numbers declining? January 30, 2018 Kansas, The Sabetha Herald Inc.
... For a while now, I have noticed the deer population in my area is declining  ... It is time for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to stand up and take note of what is happening. The disease from a couple of years ago coupled with the liberal limits during hunting seasons have taken their toll...

Thousands of deer already dead, county hunt not needed January 19, 2018 New Jersey, NJ.com
... N.J. Department of Environmental Protection estimated the deer population last year at 100,000, down from 204,000 in 1995... Essex County is holding a deer hunt in two, county-owned nature preserves ... Sue Russell, director of wildlife policy for the Animal Protection League of N.J., countered that the annual hunts in Essex County are unneeded..,

Navajo Deer Population in Decline January 18, 2018 lakepowelllife
...   about 8,000 deer on the Navajo Nation 20 years ago ... in 2017. The number dropped to an estimated 5,000 last year, ... Why? We are not sure,” ...

... hunters killed a total of 143,945 deer during the 2017-2018 hunting season. That's about a nine percent decline from the previous season and a 12 percent decline from the 10-year average of Tennessee deer harvests...  unusually warm weather during muzzleloader season ... also had a huge EHD outbreak in the eastern half of the state." ..,

Mule Deer meetings scheduled by Game & Fish January 13, 2018 Wyoming, Buckrail
... The Wyoming Mule Deer Initiative is a statewide framework designed to address declining mule deer populations, particularly over the last two decades. These declines are not unique to Wyoming, but have been seen throughout the West...

For a strong deer herd, factor in the winter habitat December 24, 2017 Maine,  PressHerald
... The dwindling deer herd needs places to successfully get through winters... In Maine, the principal limiting factor for deer is suitable winter habitat... 571,000 acres of another 600,000 acres managed by the Bureau of Parks and Lands, is not being managed for winter deer habitat ...

Wolves and logging both cut into Prince of Wales deer December 18, 2017 Alaska, Alaska Public Radio Network
...  deer season has been the worst in recent memory for a lot of hunters on Prince of Wales Island... Large swaths of trees have been logged here since the 1960s. It’s left poor habitat for deer and the other wildlife. Without a canopy of old growth, snow can easily fall to the ground — obscuring important feeding spots...

Wildlife, nature under attack December 17,2017 December Nebraska, Lincoln Journal Star
... Nebraska Game & Parks’ glowing propaganda wants you to believe all is fine, but they have done very little since 2012 to stop the critical decline of deer...

... Despite a significant reduction in moose hunting permits issued by the state, the population continues to decline, or stay stagnant at best. Mortality rates are high and birth rates are low. Scientists are pointing to climate change as the cause...

Mule Deer Impacted by Development on Public Lands December 13, 2017 New Mexico, New Mexico Wildlife Federation
... energy development has caused a decrease in muleys across the West. The main reason for this decline is severe habitat fragmentation and a general loss of habitat quality...

...In a last-ditch effort to keep the dozen or so South Selkirks mountain caribou from extinction, the Kalispel Tribe is joining several other groups, agencies and tribes to capture pregnant cows next spring and let them calve in the security of a 19-acre enclosure...

... “Water and space is not a limiting factor in Pennsylvania, but food is a limiting factor,” ... the key to bringing back the impressive deer herds of yesteryear is to resurrect the early succession habitat that used to dominate the landscape through select timber harvest practices...

... We're not going to get back to levels people would like," Williams said of deer and license numbers. "Is this what we're going to have to get used to? At this point in time, yes. I get it, we're not meeting the public's expectations."...

Hunting harvest off to one of the slowest starts ever November 27, 2017 Wyoming, Buckrail 
... After a harsh winter last year took a severe toll on mule deer populations ...  the 2017 big game hunt seasons have resulted in the fewest number of mule deer and elk checked during any one hunting season over the last 25 years [South Jackson] ..,

Deer hunting limited in Western U.S. states after tough winter November 24, 2017 Spokesman.com
... unusually cold weather and heavy snowfall that blanketed much of the Western U.S. last winter killed off many young deer...

National forests not the wasteland many hunters believe November 21, 2017 Virginia, Roanoke Times
... Since the mid-1990s, DGIF has documented a 60-percent decline in the number of deer killed on public land west of the Blue Ridge ... The migration of deer and deer hunting away from the national forest is blamed on a number of factors. Foremost is the lack of timber harvesting to provide quality deer habitat ...

The Return of Earn-a-Buck? November 22, 2017 Wisconsin, Door County Pulse
... a lot of hunters don’t care to shoot antlerless deer ...Some are of the opinion there aren’t enough deer or you can increase the deer numbers. Unfortunately, the habitat is such that it can’t support as many deer as we have on an ongoing basis. Now with different agricultural practices, with more fields tilled in the fall so the residue of crops are not available, wooded areas are getting hit harder.” ...

North Dakota deer hunting season getting underway November 10, 2017 North Dakota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
...  a record 149,400 licenses were issued just nine years ago. But the days when deer hunting licenses in North Dakota exceeded 100,000 are gone due to a steady loss of habitat, and even reaching a 2015-set goal of 75,000 annual licenses is "probably a little bit on the lofty side ...

... Michigan's deer harvest has been on a generally downward trend since the 1990s... Michigan has about 1.75 million... anticipating a 2017 harvest equal to or "slightly" exceeding last year's numbers ... Michigan's deer harvest surged in in the late 1980s as a series of mild winters and feeding of deer by the public grew the state's deer population to 2 million ..,

Louisiana's deer habitat in decline October 11, 2017 Louisiana Sportsman
... In the 90s, timber companies and foresters on private land began a new forestry program that involved the chemical treatment of hardwood species to remove them from the pine forest. This intense management work has resulted in a dramatic decline of available browse. Pine timber stands became void of the hardwood species that provide browse for deer...

Deer numbers on the decline September 12, 2017 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman
...One of the goals of either-sex hunting is to keep the herd in balance with available habitat providing nutrition necessary for good body growth and antler development. Of course the real problem was that most herds consisted of high numbers of 1 ½-year-old bucks with few being adults... about this same time changes in the landscape began to take their toll on the deer habitat...

2016 Mississippi deer harvest lowest in 31 years September 8, 2017 Jackson Clarion Ledger
... hunters complained more loudly about low numbers of deer in the 2016 season than in any year ... The latest hunter survey estimates mirror what hunters are claiming with an estimate of 244,795 deer taken. That is roughly 10,000 fewer deer than the 2015 estimate ...

Hunters face memory-making hunts, new regulations for 2017 deer ... August 30, 2017 South Carolina, Charleston Post Courier
... In 2003, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources recognized that in many parts of our state the deer herd was declining ... "The study, now in its fourth year, indicates that annual fawn mortality through all causes is about 70 percent, which is much higher than expected, and that coyotes are responsible for approximately 80 percent of these mortalities." ...

... next spring dozens of deer will be wearing high-tech tracking collars ...  We want to know how many are dying from what causes. .. As recently as 30 years ago, mule deer were common over most of central and western Kansas...  Now, they’re rare in those same areas. Nationally, nearly all states with mule deer have experienced population declines...

Hunting, fishing numbers stay soild August 9, 2017 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... The relative stagnancy of hunting tag sales, he said, came as the overall number of licenses available fell off, partly because of declines in mule deer populations...

California, Zone A deer season opens Saturday August 8, 2017 California, Record Bee
... The county’s deer herd reached its peak in the late 1950s. For example, in 1955 the estimated deer kill in Lake County alone exceeded 2,000 bucks. Compare that to the past few years when only about 250 bucks were taken annually...

Mule Deer Management Guidelines Data Analysis Unit D-3 July, 2017 (released in August), N Region, Colorado, J Yost 
...   North Central Colorado ... comprises all of Jackson County,... The reasons for this decline in deer likely can be attributed to many factors. The severe winters of 1983-84, of 1992-93 and 1995-96, 2007-08 and 2010-11 killed many fawns and adult deer. After each killer winter the herd never fully recovered. On top of winter kill elk numbers were increasing during this time period, pronghorn numbers increased substantially and moose were introduced to North Park reducing the available winter range for mule deer. Over hunting “local” deer up through the early 1970’s may have also contributed to a long term decline in deer wintering in North Park. ...

Scientists Regroup After Winterkill Wipes Out Mule Deer Herd Fawns August 4, 2017 Wyoming, Wyoming Public Media
... the Wyoming Range mule deer herd in western Wyoming ... Of the 67 fawn radio collared, all of them died. When their moms couldn’t dig down through the snow that piled up to 175 percent of normal, many succumbed to malnutrition ..,

Chronic wasting disease continues to spread July 26, 2017 Wyoming, American Veterinary Medical Association
...  in southeastern Wyoming from 2010-14  [CWD, chronic wasting disease] had caused significant declines in the herd studied...  Dr. DeVivo and her co-authors found that the mule deer herd could be extinct within 41 years, although selection for a known genetic resilience to CWD could preserve a population about one-tenth the size of the original—several hundred deer—through the next 100 years...


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