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...



Reports of 
Deer Populations in Decline

... “We dropped the hammer on the deer herd back around 2007 to 2009,” Knox said.  Liberal doe days were adopted to bring the herd into compliance with its cultural carrying capacity; that is, how many deer the human population will tolerate... The survey gave strong support (60 percent) to year-round, supplemental feeding of deer ...

Mule deer and energy development‐NDASH‐long‐term trends of habituation and abundance April, 2017 H Sawyer, NM Korfanta, RM Nielson, KL Monteith… Wyoming - Global Change Biology
...  used telemetry data from 187 individual deer across a 17-year period ... Mule deer consistently avoided energy infrastructure through the 15-year period of development ... Mule deer abundance declined by 36% during the development period, despite aggressive on-site mitigation efforts (e.g., directional drilling and liquid gathering systems) and a 45% reduction in deer harvest...

WGFD, public debate cause of low deer population March 30, 2017 Wyoming, The Sheridan Press 
... WGFD personnel said the harvest isn’t to blame... wildlife biologist Tim Thomas said the most important factor is an unconducive habitat...  WGFD officials and members of the public did not agree on the impact habitat is playing ... 

Organizations come together to improve deer wintering habitats March 21, 2017 Michigan, UpperMichigansSource.com
... in Marquette and Delta County ... partnering with U.P. Whitetails and a local tree nursery to improve the wintering habitats of six private landowner’s properties ... “Everybody knows the deer are not doing well and part of that is the loss of habitat,” ...

VDGIF considers hunting rule changes March 8, 2017 Virginia, Fredericksburg.com
... Declining deer populations are being addressed. Proposals call for reducing the number of days antlerless deer may be killed on national forest and DGIF lands, and cutting the number of either-sex hunting days in 14 counties, including the entire Northern Neck, and Caroline and Essex counties..

Are predators real cause for declining mule deer? February 18, 2017 Colorado, Glenwood Springs Post Independent
... “From the literature, what we’ve seen is predation doesn’t typically have an impact on the whole population,” [George Wittemyer, a professor in the CSU Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology] ... he believes that habitat treatment would be a better focus for CPW research. By habitat treatment, he means ensuring that mule deer have enough shelter and food ...

In association with #PROJECTMULEDEER, this series is indended to educate you on not only what the mule deer need to survive, but thrive... The second in our series, 'WINTER RANGE' covers the difficulties mule deer face as the long and brutal winter sets in. From habits to the forage the need learn what the mule deer need this time of year to not only survive but thrive!! Brought to you by the Mule Deer Foundation​. February 22, 2017


CRH Hagle - 2016 [PDF Online in 2017]
... Since the 1960’s, Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) populations have declined
steadily in the Clearwater Basin in north-central Idaho ... The CBC has attributed declines in the Clearwater Basin elk populations to the loss of early-seral shrub habitat and subsequent limiting effects of summer-autumn nutrition. Based on this analysis, elk populations would be enhanced by converting areas of contiguous forest cover to a diversity of seral communities, particularly early-seral shrubs with adjacent forest stands...

...  deer aren't necessarily there as much as they used to be," said said Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz). "Baiting and feeding was one way that they were able to at least see a deer." ...

Research project seeks to understand coyotes' impact on deer February 4, 2017 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette-Mail 
... Over the past couple of decades, deer populations have declined throughout most of America’s southeast... West Virginia’s coyote population has risen in recent years while the deer population has declined... “There’s no question coyotes are having an effect [on deer populations,]” said Michael Chamberlain, a professor of wildlife ecology and management at the University of Georgia ...

Central Oregon mule deer migrations in crisis February 1, 2017 Bend Bulletin
... These deer travel from 40 to 120 miles from summer range to winter ground... long characterized U.S. Highways 97 and 20 as walls of death for mule deer. As traffic has increased on both highways, he now speaks in terms of their eventual impassibility ... deer are in danger of losing connectivity between their summer and winter habitats...

... Mule deer, which are smaller than elk, have not only been prevented by a layer of ice from pawing through powdery snow to reach their natural forage, but that ice also makes them easier prey. The deer break through the ice and stumble while animals like coyotes can stay on top of the surface.  "With conditions that we have, we do anticipate higher mule deer mortality," ...

Are coyotes affecting local fawn recruitment? January 22, 2017 Ohio, Sandusky Register
... hunters in Ohio and throughout the Midwest have seen deer populations decline over the past several years. Wildlife managers have been forced to reduce antlerless deer harvest ... An Ohio State University study done several years ago showed deer made up as much as 22 percent of coyote diets, but could not reveal the source of the prey, which could have included road killed animals..

Managers to meet on deer January 10, 2017 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... herds weren’t in a good position for much growth ... fawn-to-doe ratio in the Wyoming Range herd’s northern ranges ... came in at 58 per 100 during a recent aerial survey, the lowest observed in over two decades ...

Wildlife species face harsh winter January 8, 2017 North Dakota, Aberdeen News
... deer are already in survival mode which is much earlier than in most winters. Deer are already showing signs of stress, a cause of concern for wildlife biologists at a time when the state's deer herd was beginning to rebound ...

... We speculate that low sodium values and West Nile Virus may be contributing to low neonate survival rates in Grant County. Serum chemistry differences may be attributed to differences in forage quality and availability across study areas. Our results indicated that oil and natural gas development did not negatively affect white-tailed deer survival and health....

Hunters seeing fewer deer in Virginia December 15, 2016 Virginia, Roanoke Times
... Virginia’s deer kill thus far is estimated to be down 12 percent compared to the same time last season... the problem) might be HD [Hemorrhagic Disease]  again ...

... Warm winters are producing more rain which then freezes on snow, covering the pasture beneath with an impenetrable layer of ice that the deer cannot break through. As a result, female reindeer are going hungry and aborting their calves ...

Deer-gun harvest totals continue to decline December 10, 2016 Ohio, Columbus Dispatch
... Tonkovich ... had anticipated a kill of perhaps 80,000 ... the number of deer checked fell 6,580 from the 73,399 reported during the 2015 gun week... The decline in less than a decade has been dramatic, a drop of more than 40 percent  ... The wildlife division began curtailing the sale of antlerless permits in 2013...

Moose in Minnesota: Speculation on decline December 2, 2016 Hometown Focus
... “In 2006, an estimated 8,800- moose still roamed across Lake, Cook, and St. Louis counties... the latest estimate places the region’s moose population at 3,450 animals.” ... in the early 1990s ... region’s once stable population of about 4,000 moose continued to dwindle ... Disappearing habitat, deer encroachment on habitat, increased parasites, sustained warmer weather, and predators ...

Deer management is a balancing act December 1, 2016 Ohio, Farm and Dairy
... In recent years, biologists have been using farmer and hunter surveys to help set goals for managing the herd  ... One thing is very clear. The huge number of deer that roamed the Ohio landscape a few years back will never be back. That’s a management fact ... 

Moose, ungulate populations under fire in the Kootenay region November 23, 2016 British Columbia, The Nelson Daily-11 hours ago
... The B.C. government is further reducing the number of moose hunt permits in the province, including a huge drop in the West Kootenay, in order to put the brakes on the decline in moose population... Ungulate populations in the region are also dropping. Caribou (290), bighorn sheep (2,300), mountain goat (7,900) and mule deer (20,000) are considered in decline...

Wily coyotes continue to thrive in the Southeast at the expense of deer populations November 22, 2016 South Carolina, United States Department of Agriculture
... Coyotes began migrating eastward throughout the latter half of the 20th Century... The 2015 Deer Hunter Survey documents a decline in the state’s deer population since the 1990s that coincides with the increase in coyotes... declines in deer numbers, prompted the state of South Carolina to implement stricter bag limits for deer as a result of the documented reductions in fawn recruitment...

... We are seeking two PhD students to conduct dissertation research focused on how changing habitat conditions, predation, and competition affect mule deer demography in the Boundary Region of British Columbia. This region – located along the BC-WA state border – once supported British Columbia’s most productive mule deer population, but this population has not rebounded since declining in the 1970s...

Game and Fish to monitor large Casper deer herd November 11, 2016 Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune
... Deer numbers in the Bates Hole, Hat six herd south of Casper have long struggled along with other Wyoming herd ... expects to collar 45 does in January or February. The GPS data will allow biologists to track the animals’ movements and migration patterns for three years...

With deer kills down, some possible causes & solutions  November 11, 2016 Maryland, Delmarva Now
... another report of the kill decreasing again this year... There are certainly isolated places where the deer numbers are still too high, but statewide, particularly on highly pressured public land, it may be time to start scaling back the deer kill and rebuilding our herds...

... Missouri has fewer whitetails today than it had a decade ago ... population seems to have stabilized and is in a growth stage right now ... In 17 counties in Southwest Missouri ... averages 20 deer per square mile ... the Southwest Region’s deer herd is stable and slowly growing ...

Mule Deer on the Skids October 28, 2016 sportingclassicsdaily.com
... “The mule deer . . . is a species marked for extinction . . . Either the whitetail deer or man may cause that extinction. Without either, the mule deer could continue unimpeded for as long as habitats exist and the sun rises. It got along well enough with white-tailed deer as long as we were not around, but conditions changed with our arrival.” ... Dr. Valerius Geist

Deer population is down, but rutting season still dangerous to drivers October 9, 2016 New Jersey, Press of Atlantic City
...  the deer population in the state is estimated to be about half what it was in 1995 ... The state's deer management policies have cut the population from 204,000 to about 101,000 ...

Deer hunting season off to a good start October 9, 2016 Oregon, NRToday.com
... Jim Fields of Wilbur said he’s been seeing less deer than he used to.  In the mid-’80s, he said he’d see about 20 to 40 black tailed deer per day, but now he’s lucky to see half a dozen.  “A lot of that I know is due to a decline in their habitat ...

No does allowed in Sunflower WMA gun seasons October 6, 2016 Mississippi, Jackson Clarion Ledger
... "There's just not the deer out there that there should be," ... fawn recruitment is lagging and the overall population is not increasing.  "The does are in great shape," Fleeman said. "They should be dropping two to three fawns a year... "We don't know what's causing it,"...

Deer hunting moves to private land October 4, 2016 Virginia, Staunton News Leader
... The number of deer bagged on public land in Augusta County during the last few years has dropped precipitously... “We’ve seen a dramatic decline in the national forests over the last few years," Knox said. "It started falling in 2002 and it has been going way down," ...

America’s Gray Ghosts: The Disappearing Caribou October 3, 2016 Idaho, New York Times
... The only caribou left here in northern Idaho number about a dozen and live deep in the forests of the jagged Selkirk Mountains, near the Canadian border ... At last count, there were some 1,354 mountain caribou in 15 subgroups in southern British Columbia. Ten years ago, there were thousands ...

Rifle deer season starts Saturday September 28, 2016 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
...  throughout the Ochoco District ... deer populations continue to be lower than management objectives because of habitat loss and disturbance, poaching, predation, disease and road kills... in the Deschutes District ... a ratio of 24 bucks per 100 does [near management obectives]. Late-spring rains gave a boost to the population ...

Deer population's changes studied by NB, Maine researchers September 26, 2016 New Brunswick, CBC.ca
... the deer population has declined by 70 per cent in the past 30 years — from 270,000 in 1985 to 70,000 in 2014.  ... researchers and industry partners are beginning a three-year project to try and find out why... will use GPS data ...

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 ...

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








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