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.  The estimate is based on information from state agencies and other groups collected on this website, discussed on the right side of each state page that can be accessed by clicking on the drop down menus above.  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 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 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.  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...


Reports of Deer Populations in Decline

CWD cuts whitetails in Converse study September 7, 2016 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... A long-running study near Glenrock foretells a dire future for whitetail deer populations that have been carrying chronic wasting disease for decades. Research headed by Dave Edmunds during his University of Wyoming ... suggests that the diseased whitetail east of Casper are declining 10 percent a year, and face extinction within half a century...

KE Pigeon, M Anderson, D MacNearney, J Cranston… - Environmental Management, 2016
... Populations of boreal and southern mountain caribou in Alberta, Canada, are declining, and the ultimate cause of their decline is believed to be anthropogenic disturbance ... Management actions aimed at promoting natural regeneration and reduce ease-of-travel on legacy seismic lines within caribou ranges can be beneficial to caribou recovery in Alberta, Canada, and we therefore recommend restrictions of off-highway vehicles use on low vegetation, dry seismic lines in caribou ranges...

... Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations have periodically declined throughout the western United States, with notable declines during the late 1960s, early 1970s, and 1990s (Unsworth et al. 1999) to present. Declining population levels can be attributed to low fawn survival and subsequently low population recruitment (Unsworth et al. 1999, Pojar and Bowden 2004) caused by declining habitat availability and quality (Gill 2001, Lutz et al. 2003, Watkins et al. 2007, Bergman et al. 2015). Although, general public perception is that declining deer numbers are attributed exclusively to predation ...

Plos
... CWD-positive deer were 4.5 times more likely to die annually than CWD-negative deer while bucks were 1.7 times more likely to die than does. Population λ was 0.896 (0.859–0.980), which indicated a 10.4% annual decline. We show that a chronic disease that becomes endemic in wildlife populations has the potential to be population-limiting and the strong population-level effects of CWD suggest affected populations are not sustainable at high disease prevalence under current harvest levels....

There is a growing problem in North America affecting moose, the largest species of the deer family. Moose populations are declining at an alarming rate. September 1, 2016


CPW sees opportunity in latest mule deer study August 25, 2016 Colorado, High Plains Journal
... A negative relationship between residential development, oil and gas development and certain weather conditions and early winter recruitment of mule deer fawns (annual December doe:fawn ratios) was reported. As residential development increased, the association of decreasing early winter recruitment of young mule deer was about twice that of other factors like energy development or weather factors...

... "In the bottomland hardwoods, most of the deer breeding occurs in December and January. In that area, we typically see lactation rates in the 60s. For that to drop into the 40s, that's eye-opening." ... Certainly predation is a consideration, but when you see a 30-point drop from one year to the next, that doesn't indicate predation ... disease could be the chief culprit ...

Predator pushback August 21, 2016 Colorado, The Daily Sentinel
... “Our deer population has really, really crashed,” ... The latest estimate of Colorado’s mule deer population is just under 450,000 ... The agency says the most significant decline has been in northwest Colorado’s Piceance Basin, home to the state’s largest migratory deer herd... deer populations remain at about a third of what they were before populations plummeted in the 1990s ...

Big challenges ahead as new big game management plans are created August 18, 2016 Maine, Bangor Daily News
... Our failure to protect critical deer wintering habitat played a big role in the loss of our deer herd in the north woods. In fact, in the history of deer management, DIF&W reported that in Wildlife Management Districts 1 – 11, to meet their long term populations goals for deer, about 780,000 acres of deer wintering habitat would be needed. Currently there is only 258,000 acres of deer wintering habitat ...

... across the U.S. coyotes are the No. 1 predator on whitetail deer. Some studies have shown that high coyote populations are to blame for dismal fawn survival rates, and in some areas they take up to 80 percent of the fawns each year. Coyote populations have expanded greatly across the eastern U.S... a fawn recruitment rate of 1.0-1.2 is ideal to have a healthy deer herd. Yet fawn recruitment rates are below 1.0 in most states ...

Increases in residential and energy development are associated with reductions in recruitment for a large ungulate HE Johnson, JR Sushinsky, A Holland, EJ Bergman… - Global Change Biology, 2016 Colorado
... Using linear mixed models, we found that increasing residential and energy development within deer habitat were correlated with declining recruitment rates, particularly within seasonal winter ranges. Residential housing had two times the magnitude of effect of any other factor we investigated, and energy development had an effect size similar to key weather variables known to be important to ungulate dynamics. This analysis is the first to correlate a demographic response in mule deer with residential and energy development at large spatial extents ... western Colorado ...

...  in Michigan's Upper Peninsula ... Wildlife biologists say nearly every single fawn died after the harsh winters of 2012 and 2013, further hurting a struggling herd. In fact, the population has been on the decline since 1995...  the lack of high-quality deer wintering complexes seems to be the main factor in plummeting deer populations...

Biologists monitoring mule deer July 20, 2016 British Columbia, BC Local News
... a significant decline in mule deer populations ... probably related to quality of habitat ... project includes a pilot translocation study that moved 20 deer out of four East Kootenay communities, including Cranbrook, into more remote wintering ranges... 

ODFW Mule Deer Initiative July 12, 2016 Oregon, WordPress.com
... Mule deer populations numbers across the west and in Oregon have declined sharply since the 1990s and are down significantly from peak population levels during 1950s and 60s. Many researchers and managers believe habitat loss is a major limiting factor in the recovery of mule deer populations throughout the species’ range...

Why are mule deer at risk?  July 11, 2016 Oregon, Protect Animal Migration 
     Mule deer, that iconic species of the west, are losing their place here and in other western states.  Their habitat has become increasingly fragmented, and the wildlife corridors that connect their habitat patches are shrinking, choking them off from migration to their seasonal ranges... people who come to Central Oregon to play and live assume that deer will always be part of the landscape. But we are leaving no room for them...

Real reason deer numbers are down July 5, 2016 Virginia, Roanoke Times
... Following the harsh winter of 2013-2014, deer numbers plummeted... I’d seen that deer were starving by the end of winter in 2014... In addition to the dearth of fawns that summer, there was also a dearth of adult deer. It was apparent that many must have succumbed to one of the harshest winters I can recall living through in Virginia...

LA Pérez-Solano, S Gallina-Tessaro, G Sánchez-Rojas - Journal of Mammalogy, 2016
... Historically, mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) had a distribution area as large as the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, but in recent years, its populations have decreased and distribution areas have become isolated... Based on the deer location data, home range and habitat use were estimated for each deer. The mean (± SD) home range size for females was 14.70 km2 (± 5.89), the home range of the male was 18.05 km2...

Aerial survey helps with managing mule deer June 19, 2016 Nebraska, Lincoln Journal Star
... Declining mule deer populations throughout the western United States have been a concern for many state wildlife agencies since the 1990s... In Nebraska, after reaching a record harvest in 2008, mule deer populations have declined..., causes for the mule deer decline are less clear but likely due to a combination of parasites, predation, drought and disease...

The mule deer has been the most abundant big game animal in the west for nearly a decade. Now the species is in crisis and the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is conducting a study to find out why. Deer Project leader Matt Hayes of the University of Wyoming sees that mule deer populations in an area south of Rock Springs are declining while elk populations are rising and investigates this dynamic. - June 21, 2016 Wyoming


Reductions in 2016 antlerless deer hunting approved June 13, 2016 Washington, The Spokesman Review 
... The number of hunting days for antlerless deer hunting this season in northeastern Washington has been reduced because of concerns that a 2015 blue tongue outbreak severely reduced whitetail numbers in certain areas. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted on the proposed season changes ...

Feds consider endangered listing for moose June 2, 2016 Wisconsin, Green Bay Press-Gazette
... moose numbers have been dropping in Minnesota — from 8,480 in 2006 to 4,020 this year ... The moose is classified as a state protected species in Wisconsin...

Floods, coyotes take toll on deer hunting May 27, 2016 South Carolina, The State
... hunters killed 195,030 deer during the 2015 season ... 4 percent less than in 2014... South Carolina’s deer population peaked at 1.1 million in the mid-1990s, according to studies by researchers at the DNR and the U.S. Forest Service. But the overall deer harvest is down 39 percent since 2002 ...

LBL eliminating bonus option due to decrease in deer May 8, 2016 Kentucky, Kentucky New Era
...  outbreaks of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease commonly referred to as EHD, increased archery hunting pressure-especially on the Kentucky portion and a mature closed canopy forest. Forest and open land habitat must provide adequate forage and conditions for white-tailed deer...

... Deer populations around Petersburg’s Mitkof Island have been low in recent years...  DNA is important because scientists can identify individual deer. Seeing the same deer over and over helps them find out how many deer are in the general area...“If there’s more deer pellets on the ground that’s generally can be an indication of more deer,” ...

UW works to find out why mule deer population drops May 5, 2016 Wyoming, Wyoming Tribune
... The $1.3 million study, called the Deer-Elk Ecology Research project, or D.E.E.R. project, is focused on the herd in the southwest corner of the state that regularly travels into Colorado and Utah, said Mark Zornes, Wyoming Game and Fish wildlife management coordinator.  “It’s down about 6,000 to 7,000 deer,” ...

Will fewer deer be the new norm? May 2, 2016 North Carolina, Wilkes Journal Patriot
... The total annual harvest in Wilkes was typically well above 4,000 deer before hemorrhagic disease ... in 2012...  in 2015 when hunters reported taking a total of 3,402 ... More data is needed before N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission biologists can determine if deer harvests in Wilkes are stabilizing at a new lower level or are trending downward ...

Rare deer still struggle April 26, 2016 Washington, Chinook Observer
... trying to save the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer since the late 1960s, with mixed results...  while their range has expanded somewhat, their small population size, fragmented habitat and low-quality food sources are hurting chances of recovery... The Roseburg population includes at least 6,000 animals ...

Foundation working to increase mule deer habitat April 21, 2016 North Dakota, 
The Dickinson Press
... The population of the North Dakota mule deer has struggled over the past five years due to the climate, loss of habitat and predation, and because of that there have been increased efforts in maintaining the population.  “We had about three winters in a row that just decimated the wildlife in western North Dakota ...

Lessons to be learned from low deer harvest  April 18, 2016 New York, Poughkeepsie Journal
... One explanation from DEC wildlife managers for the statewide falloff was the particularly harsh conditions during the winter of 2014-15. But that does not ring true for the Hudson Valley, where conditions could only be described as being routine ... The Dutchess County harvest ... was off by more than 25 percent ... most common report from hunters was that they simply were not seeing deer at all or they were seeing far fewer deer...

Deer declining at Land Between the Lakes April 16, 2016 Kentucky, The Courier-Journal
... Deer numbers are dwindling on the 40-mile-long, 10-mile-wide heavily timbered peninsula that separates Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake ... Suspected and known reasons for the decline ... include increased hunting pressure ... lingering effects from a severe outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in 2007 ... coyote predation is also taking an unknown number of LBL deer...

... the deer herd was estimated to be about 270,532 animals in 1985.  The latest estimate of the province's deer population, taken in 2014, indicates there are approximately 74,338 animals remaining... heavy snowfall amounts and coyotes as factors ...

Can coyotes pay off? Will deer tags pass? April 1, 2016 South Carolina, South Carolina Sportsman
...There’s little question that the spread of coyotes across the state — all 46 counties are infested — has had a negative impact on the population of deer and wild turkeys. Harvests of both species are well below the record levels of the early 2000s, and every explanation of the declines includes coyotes...

Kansas to offer fewer deer permits April 1, 2016 News-Press Now
... will offer fewer hunting permits for mule deer in Kansas this fall in response to a reduction in the population... Fox estimates that there are 50,000 mule deer in the state and around 2,000 deer are harvested each fall.  He said the decline in mule deer populations are also occurring not only in Kansas but in Nebraska and regions of the Great Plains...

We need a deer hunting pause March 30, 2016 Vermont, Brattleboro Reformer
...As a deer hunter in Vermont, I love hunting, but when you don't see any deer for the past two years it makes you feel discouraged and wonder what happened to the deer...   People should stop hunting deer in Vermont for at least one to two years so the population could go up. Hunters don't realize that the deer population is going down ...

Ticks hasten moose's disappearing act in NH March 18, 2016 New Hampshire, Conway Daily Sun
... warm winters are causing parasites to decimate the moose population. In response, Fish and Game is considering cutting the number of available moose permits.

New study hopes to discover mysterious migration routes of Wyo mule deer March 18, 2016 Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune Online
... Iconic herds that drew hunters and wildlife viewers from across the globe now struggle under a combination of drought, development, disease and predation... scientists are beginning to understand that identifying and protecting the land where deer spend their summers — and the route they use to get there — could be key to animals’ continued survival...

Wildlife researchers want to know what is impacting Mule Deer. March 23, 2016 Montana


State legislature making progress toward establishing deer limits March 3, 2016 South Carolina, Greenville News
... Long awaited and much anticipated legislature aimed at curtailing the decline of South Carolina’s whitetail deer herd made progress over the past week ...  proposal of limiting the harvest of antlered deer and establishing a tag system to regulate the harvest of both bucks and does ...

R Carrera, WB Ballard, PR Krausman, J Devos Jr… - The Southwestern Naturalist, 2015
... Desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus eremicus) in central Arizona declined from 11 deer/km2 in the early 1960s to 2 deer/km2 in 2006...  Current mule deer densities in the study area are below what the environment is capable of maintaining, and a history of higher mule deer densities inside WCPPE over 40 y has not resulted in measurable impacts on the highly diverse plant communities of TBWA. Observed differences in diet quality of mule deer may be related to trade-offs incurred through predation risk, where mule deer inside the enclosure are maximizing their energy intake without the burden of predator avoidance and vigilance...

Researchers plan one of the largest mule deer studies in the state February 17, 2016 Wyoming, Billings Gazette
... “The goal is, once we map where the corridors are, then we’re going to overlay the corridors with land ownership and land use and get a look at where some of the potential threats might exist for those corridors and also those conservation opportunities.”  Mule deer populations in Wyoming have declined about 35 percent since 1990 ...

Coyotes make themselves at home in WNC November 17, 2016 North Carolina, Smoky Mountain News
... If you want a scapegoat to blame for fewer deer and turkey sightings over the years, [Wildlife Commission’s district biologist Justin McVey] said, coyotes probably aren’t the best one... “We have so much national forest out here that is in a mature state, that doesn’t really bode well for deer. If we could get more early successional habitat in our state, our deer population would benefit greatly.” ...

A deadly spring for NH moose calves February 11, 2016 New Hampshire, The Union Leader
... population has steadily declined in central New Hampshire ... One thing that is certain is that there has been, especially in the northern parts of the state, a correlation between winter tick infestations and a decrease in the number of moose.  Warmer, shorter winters are allowing ticks to survive longer...

Decreasing numbers of mule deer across the West a big concern February 10, 2016 Wyoming, Cody Enterprise
...  much of the mule deer population has, in the last decade or so, literally nose-dived across most of the West. The bad news is we don’t know exactly why and there is no recovery in sight...

ODFW program collars mule deer for population study February 8, 2016 Oregon, Wallowa County Cheiftain
... Declining mule deer populations over the past few decades have forced Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to apply GPS radio collars to the animals... No one is really sure of the cause of the decline ... “Last year put we out over 500 collars in the central part of eastern Oregon and this year we’re adding another 140-some in the northeast part ...

US Forest Service wants to thin north Georgia forest January 29, 2016 Georgia, Atlanta Journal Constitution
... "The deer population has declined pretty significantly over the past 20, 25 years. Ruffed grouse and other hunted species are becoming very rare," said Jim Wentworth, the district's wildlife biologist. "We can reverse that trend by taking a small part of this watershed and creating some of those young forest conditions." ...

California Deer Tag Numbers May Drop By 70,000 January 27, 2016 Calironia, The Outdoor Wire
...  Currently, 196,980 deer tags are issued for the A, B, C, D and X zone general hunts in the state. The new figures allow for lowering that number to 127,000, or 69,980 fewer tags. That means the state is expecting deer herds to plummet...

... This mule deer study in the Bitterroot could serve as a pilot for other locations around the west that are seeing similar declines and changes in land use by mule deer ... “I’m interested to see if the differences in management strategies or components of the habitat are making a difference in doe mule deer survival,” ...

Connecticut's 2015 Reported Deer Harvest January 15, 2016 Whitetail Trophy Room
...  total number of deer harvested was 8,007 from all of the combined deer hunting seasons ...    . In 2013 harvest reports revealed a total of 12,549 deer ... In 2014 the harvest numbers fell again to 11,394 ... the 2015 Report

...Field & Stream’s State of the Deer Union: This special report documents the end of the “whitetail boom.” In just five years, deer numbers have plummeted in some states...

Mule deer populations are in decline throughout much of the western U.S., including some populations here in Wyoming. One area is in western Wyoming, where a first-of-its kind study is now in its third year. - January 19, 2016 Wyoming


Mother nature is messing with us January 12, 2016 Louisiana, Louisiana Sportsman
...  Last year, according to LDWF, the deer kill was lower than ever.  I suspect this year it will not look any better. November is the peak month for deer harvest in Area 2, but the reports I received indicates it was pretty slow...

70 Moose were Collared in Maine January 11, 2016 Maine, Council Chronicle
...  for the six year study on productivity and mortality of moose... In America, the moose population has been decreasing continuously since the 1990s, but fortunately in the arctic and subarctic regions, their numbers have stayed the same ...

Deer, pronghorn remain in rebuilding mode in 2016 January 10, 2016 North Dakota, Grand Forks Herald 
... Mule deer, in particular, have experienced steady population gains over the past few years, and big game biologists and wildlife managers are hoping the bottom is behind us for white-tailed deer... North Dakota simply has less habitat for wildlife than it did 10 years ago ...

...While mule deer numbers are currently stable, the population of mule deer is half what it was in the 1980s in areas throughout the southern and western parts of the state... Fager said the amount of snow we’re seeing this winter could have a negative impact on the mule deer...

Charlotte Observer
... Among 4,500 participants, over 80 percent back limiting the kill of antlered bucks and establishing a tagging system... The state’s deer population has decreased in recent years ... Reasons include habitat changes related to forest management, extremely liberal harvest limits ... colonization of the state by coyotes since 2000 ...

...Kroll, in a video message, told the NRB and the rest of Wisconsin that, “It has been my prediction that we are going to begin to see a decline in the white-tailed deer across its range.” He cited several causes for this expected trend, noting a deterioration of habitat, a significant increase of predator populations, and increasing disease...

Game and Fish managers to talk mule deer January 4, 2016 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... population objective for the Sublette Herd was ...32,000 animals. The last estimate was 26,000...  a target size of 50,000 animals, the Wyoming Range Herd ... last estimate was 34,000 deer ...

... it seems the high deer numbers of the ’70s and ’80s have declined to the point that hunters are now crying about not seeing any deer, so hunters ... have also gone back to the days of not shooting does in hopes of increasing deer numbers...





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Deer Friendly,
Sep 3, 2015, 7:39 PM
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Deer Friendly,
Jul 26, 2015, 7:01 PM
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Deer Friendly,
Oct 31, 2015, 8:40 PM
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Deer Friendly,
Jul 16, 2015, 8:34 PM