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

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...

Big hunting meeting coming up on Jan. 9 December 31, 2015 Montana, Daily Inter Lake
...  For Region 1 (Northwest Montana) ... During the last several years, doe hunting has been very restricted to allow the deer herd to rebuild after a couple of tough winters... Whitetail deer harvests have declined severely over the past 25 years. Some of that decline is due to occasional tough winters, but I think most of the decline is due to the loss of high-quality deer habitat ...

Hunters ask: Where were the deer this year? December 23, 2015 New York, Ithaca Journal 
... These people complaining about no deer are right. There are deer but it’s a very low population ... Actual deer harvest figures won't be available for a few months, but early indications are those numbers will likely be down, said Art Kirsch, senior wildlife biologis ... We did decrease the number of doe tags in places we thought the winter might have had an effect on population ...

AGFC should look at size of deer herd December 21, 2015 Arkansas, El Dorado News-Times
... Each summer, we learn from the official sources that the state’s deer herd is strong and plentiful, but hunters in the woods tell us that’s not the case... It’s not in the Game and Fish Commission’s interest to explain that the state’s deer herd is shrinking, but it is a responsibility... The Game and Fish Commission should rein in the annual bag limit in South Arkansas from six to four deer...

DNR official says Local herd 'collapsing' December 21, 2015 Michigan, Daily Mining Gazette
... since 2013 there has been a significant drop in the U.P. deer population.  "The best we can tell, the last three years our numbers have gone down 50 to 60 percent .. We had vast areas where we weren't seeing anything."  ... south of Houghton County ... in 2013 the fawn mortality rate was 100 percent. In 2104 it was about 90 percent ...

Big changes from state could hurt deer hunting December 17, 2015 Connecticut, Newbritainherald
... For next season, within zone 2, antlerless deer tags will NOT be valid during the private land firearms deer seasons, including muzzleloader... Only a bit over 7,000 deer have been reported. Last season’s total harvest numbers were a bit over 11,000 deer... Deer numbers are down in many areas...

Coyotes cutting deer herds December 17, 2015 South Carolina, The Colletonian
... Coyote problems and a drop in deer counts have been reported in every county across the Palmetto State this year, said Witt, with state officials keeping a record of the rising coyote numbers...

Coyote population is constantly increasing December 17, 2015 Michigan, Coldwater Daily Reporter
...  if you're a deer hunter, you've probably noticed a decline in the deer population. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, one of which is heavy predation on fawns by the clever and adaptable coyotes...

... Missouri Department of Conservation Deer Biologist Jason Sumners said on the department’s website that the deer population is decreasing... Boone, Callaway, and other Mid-Missouri counties have seen their deer population drop as much as 35 percent during the last ten years... due to hemorrhagic disease outbreaks, drought, and high doe harvests ...

There is a shortage of whitetail deer December 15, 2015 Idaho, CDA Press
... The IFG is still propagandizing that there is an abundance of deer as they continue to ramp up either sex tag sales and extend seasons...got to keep the coffers full.
What few spring fawns were born this year….quickly became the first victims to blue tongue disease. I would find them dead by standing ponds of water and creeks...

Game harvest improves in north-central Montana December 14, 2015 Billings Gazette
...Hunter numbers were up 12 percent from 2014, but are still down 18 percent from the long-term average.  “Weather conditions this year were mostly warm and dry, which may have helped increase hunter participation from last year,” ...

... Indiana’s deer managers ...  get pressure from farm lobbyists to curtail crop damage caused by our state’s wild ungulates. The money trail is loud and clear.  So what do they do? They up antlerless quotas and even create a special doe only season at the very end, at which time most does have been bred ... Many hunters, including myself, would like to see antlerless deer tags reduced and the late doe season eliminated...

Who's to blame for declining deer numbers? December 12, 2015 Indiana, Kokomo Tribune
... A few say it’s due to previous hard winters and predation. But almost everyone agrees the large increase in antlerless permits made available by our state’s fish and wildlife agency is to blame...

Hunting seasons up for debate at FWP Commission December 10, 2015 Montana, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
...  elk hunting in district 313 near Gardiner...  proposing to allow only 75 permits for elk hunters ... allowed more than 1,500 people to hunt there last season...  the number of mature bull elk in the population — which migrates out of Yellowstone National Park each year — is declining because hunters are killing too many...

NC WRC Releases Deer Study Results December 9, 2015 North Carolina, The Tribune Papers
... let’s look at the dismal deer density figures... from Buncombe County west the deer population is less than 15 per square mile ... That’s pretty bad for 100 counties in the state...  the WRC must be more forceful with the U.S. Forest Service to do more wildlife habitat management work on the Pisgah and Nantahala forests...

Reduction in Ohio's deer herd helps drivers and farmers, but annoys hunters December 6, 2015 
Akron Beacon Journal
... Ohio had as many as 750,000 deer at its peak, state officials said. Hunter groups estimate Ohio now may have 450,000 deer... The number of deer shot by hunters dropped to 175,745 in 2014-2015 from the peak of 261,260 in 2009-2010. That’s a 33 percent drop... 

...  evidence suggests moose are struggling throughout Montana.  FWP allotted as many as 836 hunter's tags for moose in 1962. In 1995, the state issued 769 tags to hunters for moose. But by 2014, hunters drew only 367 moose tags...

Every year the same complaints about decline in deer December 5, 2015 Tennessee, Knoxville News Sentinel
... Some hunters say they are going to go to the Fish and Wildlife Commission and ask for more restrictions on antlerless hunts. Others believe coyotes are to blame. Some think its subdivisions and strip malls that have wiped out prime deer habitat ...

More mahogany for mule deer December 1, 2015 Wyoming, Buffalo Bulletin
... A combination of factors has played against mule deer populations, but a crucial piece of the mule deer’s winter food supply – mahogany – has been a key player in that decline...Mahogany, a crucial part of the mule deer’s winter food supply, has been out-competed with encroaching conifer stands that kill the mahogany by blocking out sunlight...

... My results suggest that female survival rates observed during my study are on the
low end of the range reported for this species and may be contributing to population
declines of mule deer in Oregon. Annual estimates of male survival were also low, but it is unclear how that might contribute to overall population declines without more
information on annual and seasonal variation in male survival...

Researchers want wildlife considered in climate change talks December 1, 2015 Montana, The Missoulian
... warming temperatures are already showing impacts on moose ... “It’s hard to specifically link it, because mostly what we have is correlations,” DeCesare said. “But it appears that warm winters precede low survival rates for moose.” ... studies run parallel with observations of wild moose decline across the northern United States ...

White-tailed deer hunt numbers lowest in 42 years November 27, 2015 New Brunswick, CBC
... The hunt took in 38 per cent fewer animals than last year's season, with just 4,313 deer harvested. That's down from 6,935 reported in 2014... The only year that was worse was back in 1973...

Deer population down November 26, 2015 Oklahoma, Enid News
... “The drought over the past five years hurt the deer population numbers, about 10 to 15 percent overall,” said Tracy Daniel, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation district captain. “Some of the counties —like Woods and Major — the drought impacted them really hard, but Garfield and Grant, those numbers are a little better.” ...

New Report on the Destructive Impacts of Energy Development on Wildlife November 24, 2015 Montana, Natural Resources Defense Council
... A new study commissioned by NRDC and the National Wildlife Federation finds that energy extraction (e.g., coal mining and oil and gas development) in southeast Montana and northeast Wyoming is destroying the habitat of some of the West's most beloved wildlife - including mule deer, pronghorn, elk ... Half of the mule deer units in the study are in poor health ...

Attempts to Repopulate Mule Deer November 23, 2015 Colorado, WesternSlopeNow
...  mule deer numbers should be at 600,000 when currently they've counted about 400,000 ... "It's important that we maintain habitat connectivity and decrease fragmentation to wildlife across the state," ... figured out highways could be one of the things creating a loss for the population...

Mule Deer Struggling To "Surf The Green Wave" Of Migration November 20, 2015 Wyoming Public Media
... Rock Springs ...over the past couple decades we've pumped over $4 million into habitat treatments and other sorts of efforts to help bolster that mule deer population ...but with seemingly no benefit... herds that can’t migrate in search of the most nutritious grasses just end up smaller in number, plain and simple ...

... In an effort to start rebuilding the state's deer population, Game and Fish has significantly reduced whitetail doe licenses, and has not issued any mule deer doe licenses for several years..., the majority of the license cuts have been in the eastern part of the state because of some tough winters and the habitat conditions have changed ... In southwestern North Dakota, deer numbers continue to build...

Cougars in the crosshairs November 16, 2015 Oregon, The Register-Guard
... If cougars were responsible for declines in mule deer, and if killing cougars would reverse the declines, there might be some justification for the target areas. But mule deer populations have been falling for half a century, before and after Measure 18. The primary reason is not predation, but a decline in the quantity and quantity of forage ...

OSP hunting for poachers on the High Desert November 13, 2015 Oregon, WRAL.com
... there's about 22,000 deer left in Central Oregon. That's only half the number he would like to see. Heath attributes the decline to a variety of reasons, including loss of habitat, disease, vehicle collisions and poaching.  A 2012 ODFW report found at least 13 percent of mule deer in its study were poached. That's slightly more than the 11 percent that were hunted legally...

CWD could be brutal for Upper Peninsula November 12, 2015 Michigan, Port Huron Times Herald
...  Wisconsin officials have confirmed CWD [chronic wasting disease] cases 75 miles from Menominee... Hunters can spread the disease by moving an infected deer’s carcass and fluids — and materials contaminated by them — from one place to another...  a substantial portion of the Upper Peninsula’s culture and economy could be history...

Maine Moose Hunt November 6, 2015 WCAX.com
... The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife issued 2,740 moose permits this year - the fewest permits in 12 years. Biologists say parasites have culled the moose population in recent years...

New Study Looks At Why Elk Thrive While Mule Deer Don't November 5, 2015 Wyoming Public Media
... “Mule deer numbers have declined in the last couple decades by almost 40%. Here in Wyoming, the latest numbers seem to be between 36 and 38%. You go from 550,000 to 360,000, that's a pretty good drop in a very short amount of time.”...

G&F working to boost deer population in Unit 16A November 3, 2015 Arizona, kdminer.com
...  The number of tags issued ranged from 650 (2009-10) down to 350 this year, with a hunter success rate high of 18 percent in 2014 to a low of 12 percent in 2013... There is no question that the mule deer in this unit are in trouble. Predators, poor habitat and lack of water are all contributing factors...

It’s time to improve our deer herds and increase opportunity October 25, 2015 California, Victorville Daily Press
... In California, our deer herds are at probably their lowest ebb in history. Between long-term drought, increasing human population growth that continues to negatively impact habitat, and the DFW’s inability to implement habitat improvements or management efforts ...

Wily coyote to force deer hunting limits? October 24, 2015 South Carolina, Charleston Post Courier
... killing fawns at a rate of more than 50 percent in some places. Since the coyote started to prey, the number of deer statewide has fallen about 30 percent, biologists and hunters say... Deer can’t maintain that level of predation and the level of harvest we have had in South Carolina ...

Deer hunting gets off to a strong start October 22, 2015 Washington, The Herald of Everett 
... “The number of hunters in the field, as counted at the Deer Park station, has been declining steadily since about 2006,” ...

The Columbian 
... There are about 900 Columbian white-tailed deer around the Lower Columbia River. That’s a 10-year high, and about double the historic low point when the species was listed as endangered ... a private landowner would have more options to haze or relocate the animal ... A special rule proposed with the downlisting would also allow states, tribes and others more flexibility in moving the deer ... [More information from U.S. Fish and Wildlife,  use this link to view the proposal and instructions on how to submit comments]

... Ruth explained that in the 1990s there were a million deer statewide, but the numbers have declined since. Statewide population estimates put the deer herd at about 730,000 animals with an estimated harvest of approximately 215,000 each of the last few years...  

Firearms deer season opens with buck-only regs for many hunters October 16, 2015 Georgia, Athens Banner-Herald
... WRD cut the number of either-sex deer hunting days, and moved either-sex days away from opening weekend, in a number of Georgia counties in response to lower deer populations. Fawn survival rates are significantly lower than they used to be Georgia, primarily due to predation by coyotes...

Moose populations on alarming decline in North American parks October 15, 2015 Canada, CBC.ca
... An alarming number of moose calves are failing to survive their first year, pushing moose populations into decline in many parts of North America. Why that's happening isn't clear ...

New study looks at mule deer in Bitterroot October 9, 2015 Montana, Ravalli Republic 
... Mule deer does are having a hard time of it in the Bitterroot Valley and beyond.  No one is really sure why.  This winter, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ biologists will begin a three-year study ... 

Low Deer Numbers, But Plenty of Food in Northeast October 8, 2015 Connecticut, Field and Stream
...  Connecticut is four years into a fawn recruitment study in the northwest corner of the state. They look at 90-day fawn survival and in the past three years it’s ranged between 0.66 and 0.40 fawns per adult doe. This year it’s down to 0.22. That’s one fawn per 4.5 does...Just 15 years ago there were very few predators outside of deer hunters, now the state is crawling with record numbers of coyotes, black bears and bobcats...

Clean Fields May Be Hurting Midwest Deer Populations October 7, 2015 Outdoor Life Magazine
... farmers have become very good at killing weeds and other non-commodity vegetation, plants that wildlife biologists identify as habitat for everything from songbirds to whitetails...

Columbian white-tailed deer protections loosened as species recovers October 6, 2015 Oregon, OregonLive
... It took 48 years, but the Columbian white-tailed dear has pulled back from the brink of extinction.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday unveiled a proposal to downgrade the deer's status from endangered to threatened ... will make it simpler for state managers to, say, relocate deer ...
     Endangered Columbian White-Tailed Deer Reach Recovery Milestone October 6, 2015 Oregon, KUOW News and Information
... The population of Columbian white-tailed deer along the Columbia River has doubled from around 450 in 1967 to more than 900 today... Columbian white-tailed deer populations declined as a result of habitat loss as farming, logging and development took over the river valleys and bottomlands the deer call home ...

Siskiyou, state clash over deer plan October 5, 2015 California, Siskiyou Daily News
...  the letter argues that it is forest fires and fire suppression activity that has led to a decline in deer populations in Siskiyou County, rather than stresses on habitat from urban development...

Increased antlerless allocations considered by Game Commission October 4, 2015 Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
... 14 years into the agency’s embrace of “quality deer management,” hunters in northcentral Pennsylvania continue to complain that the plan has removed too many deer from those mountainous deep-woods counties...  population trends increasing in just two WMUs (2D and 5D). But in the same period, allocation increases were recommended in 21 WMUs. ...

... In Maine, state biologists recommended a nearly 25 percent reduction in deer hunting permits for 2015 because of the tough winter’s toll on the herd ...

Maine sporting camps – going, going gone? September 27, 2015 Portland Press Herald 
... The loss of deer hunters over the last five years has been particularly painful. Deer nearly disappeared in western and northern Maine after two tough winters, and our failure to protect critical deer wintering areas was a key factor ... “in 1904 there were at least 300 sporting camps in operation in Maine. By 2007, this number had dwindled to fewer than 40.”...

All deer gun licenses issued in North Dakota for fall hunt September 21, 2015 North Dakota, KFGO
... The number of available deer licenses this year is the lowest since 1978, due to a low population of the animals...

The Vanishing ‘Serengeti of North America’ September 17, 2015 British Columbia, dailytownsman.com
... the caribou is now on the endangered species list with less than 20 animals left in the herd closest to us in the South Selkirks. Mule deer populations are in serious decline, elk numbers have been reduced dramatically ... moose and mountain goats in some management units have been in decline for some time now...

State must make a point out of letting bucks replenish Septmber 14, 2015 Maine, Portland Press Herald
... There’s been a fair amount of discussion lately about the concept of antler-point restrictions [APR] ...  one reason why now might be a good time for Maine to at least consider APRs. We’re trying to grow our herd in most if not all of the state. The deer population has been devastated by predators, insufficient protection of winter habitat and severe winter conditions...

Range-Wide Status of Black-Tailed and Mule Deer 2015 Mule Deer Working Group. Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
... Population estimates and analysis for states with mule deer or black-tailed deer ... 

Deer hunting days up, but take down September 3, 2015 Louisiana, The Advocate
... Deer numbers ... down last year.  State Deer Study leader Scott Durham can explain the decline, but there’s no single-fit, statewide reason other than the explosion of feral hogs across the state’s landscape... We have reports of HD2V, and a disease like this can reduce a deer herd, maybe up to 25-50 percent ...

Energy Production Impacts on Colorado Deer August 24, 2015 Public News Service
... A new study confirms that oil and gas production in northwest Colorado is disrupting important winter habitat for one of the nation's largest herds of mule deer... A Bureau of Land Management report on Wyoming's Pinedale Anticline drilling area found a 60 percent loss of mule deer population between 2001 and 2009 – oil and gas boom years...

... Senate Bill 454 ... proposes a limit of four antlered bucks per year and that all deer harvested are tagged...  the overall population has decreased ... habitat changes related to forest management, extremely liberal deer harvests over the last two decades, and the colonization of the state by coyotes since the turn of the century." ...

Shorter deer seasons, lower limits eyed by LDWF August 18, 2015 Louisiana Sportsman
... One of the main factors Durham said is a primary driver in the crash of the deer population is loss of habitat as rural areas have been either opened for farming or eaten up by urban development.  The end result is fewer forested acres in the state — and it’s those forests that support deer herds...

JM Northrup, CR Anderson, G Wittemyer - Global Change Biology, 2015
... Deer displayed more nuanced responses to other infrastructure, avoiding pads with active production and roads to a greater degree during the day than night. In aggregate, these responses equate to alteration of behavior by human development in over 50% of the critical winter range in our study area during the day and over 25% at night. Compared to other regions, the topographic and vegetative diversity in the study area appear to provide refugia that allow deer to behaviorally mediate some of the impacts of development...

Winds of change blow as hunting for deer begins August 14, 2015 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... public meetings, mail surveys and telephone and Internet-based surveys indicate 70 percent of hunters support the concept of a limit on antlered bucks and the implementation of a tagging program ...  a 25 percent overall decline in the statewide deer population over the past decade...

Behavioral response of mule deer to natural gas development in the Piceance Basin July, 2015 Colorado, Northrup, Joseph M., Ph.D., Colorado State University
... deer populations across Western North America have declined over the last 20 years from historical highs, and recent research has highlighted hydrocarbon development as a potential driver of large scale displacement of deer from preferred areas on their winter range ...

New group advocates more young forest habitat July 24, 205 Virginia, HeraldCourier.com
...  Virginia Wildlife Habitat Coalition ... “ ...Virginia’s public forest are remarkable out of balance in terms of age class — way too much older growth..  many game and non-game species will continue to decline ...

Plan to increase Allegany County deer herd July 22, 2015 Maryland, Cumberland Times News Homepage
... there are hunters in Allegany County who believe that the deer population between Westernport and Orleans has dwindled to an alarming number... After one season of hunters not using bait, the number of deer carrying over into the next year should be significant...

Support preservation of mule deer July 15, 2015 Wyoming, Cody Enterprise 
... A decline of the state mule deer population from 544,000 to 350,000 between 2000 and 2013 is alarming.  Grizzly bears get more attention. Elk have more fans... But it is apparent no one wants to envision a Wyoming without mule deer...  females must give birth to 66 fawns per 100 adults to sustain herd levels... The birth rate fell short of 66 in nine of the last 13 years...

The Great Deer Decline: Are the Good Ol' Days Over? July 14, 2015 Petersen's Hunting
... South Carolina’s deer population has been trending downward for nearly 20 years, dropping from 1.2 million animals in 1996 to 800,000. The decline is even more dramatic in Iowa, where 550,000 deer roamed the state in 2006. It’s close to half that now. Ohio’s deer kill was also down to the lowest level in 14 years...
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... In contrast with other Odocoileus species, Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) population dynamics are not well understood throughout the species’ range.  Concerns over apparent long-term population declines have prompted efforts to fill basic knowledge gaps including estimates of vital rates (fecundity, recruitment and survival) and causespecific mortality...  2-year-old males had over twice the
cumulative risk of legal harvest with 22% of this age class killed by hunters during the general rifle season . ...    harvest may have had an additive effect and
been the primary cause of low survival rates observed for males....

FWC’s South Florida Deer Research Project July 2, 2015 Florida, The Ledger
... Over the last several years, hunters in this area have noted a decline in deer populations. Some have blamed panthers, other blame water regulations and policy.  
FWC agrees that deer populations have taken a hit, but they have been unable to determine what variables have caused this slump. Project site

What Really Happened In The Wyoming Big Game Draw? July 1, 2015 Wyoming, Eastmans' Official Blog - Eastmans' Hunting Journals
... the odds are getting tougher than ever before to draw a top quality big game tag. With a sheep herd that is on the wane, a moose herd that has been all but decimated ... an elk herd that has suffered one of the most drastic declines in modern history, a deer herd that has been on a steady downhill slide for more than 20 years ...

Deer population down across Oklahoma June 30, 2015 KOCO Oklahoma City
... In 2011, deer all across the state were so stressed as they looked for food that fewer reproduced... This continued in 2012 and 2013 ...

Ecology of Adult Female Rocky Mountain Mule Deer Following Habitat Enhancements ... 2015, New Mexico, Open Access Theses and Dissertations
... Populations of Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) are currently declining across the West and throughout New Mexico. Specific reasons for the decline of mule deer are unclear but hypotheses which have been developed include predation, overhunting, competition with other large herbivores, habitat loss and deterioration, fire exclusion, extreme weather, and declining nutrition. Multiple factors may be interacting ... Total survival for the duration of the study from March 2011 to February 2014 was 0.83 (SE = 0.029) and was best explained by total precipitation and age as well as body mass and ingesta-free body fat at time of capture...

High Country News is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) independent media organization that covers environmental news and other important issues and stories that define the American West. Through insightful, in-depth journalism, it strives to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities. - June 25, 2015



... Despite a statewide population that has almost doubled, there are fewer fishers and hunters in Oregon today than in the 1970s... the success rate for bagging mule deer in Oregon dropped to 28 percent in 2010 from 57 percent in 1970. For bucks, it dropped to 17 percent in 2011 from 28 percent in 1971... "The lack of game is probably the largest influencing factor," ...

State, region losing battle against CWD May 29, 2015 Wisconsin, Green Bay Press-Gazette
... biologist Gary Alt ...  speaking at the National Deer Alliance "summit meetings"  ... wondered rhetorically if deer would still be on the landscape in two centuries. "What happens between now and then?" Alt said. "The jury's still out. But we shouldn't assume anything about CWD's long-term impacts on the species." ...
... “Many of the same struggles you’re now seeing in whitetails are the same problems we were documenting in mule deer when I started my career in the late 1970s,” ... Miles Moretti, president/CEO of the MDF [Mule Deer Foundation] ... One challenge documented across the Upper Midwest from the Dakotas through Wisconsin in recent years is a huge habitat loss ...

SC deer harvest declines by 9% May 10, 2015 South Carolina, The Tand D.com
... the statewide harvest of deer last season decreased about 9 percent.  An estimated 109,446 bucks and 93,506 does made up a total harvest of 202,952 ... Although timber-management activities stimulated the growth in South Carolina's deer population in the 1980s and '90s, considerable acreage is currently in even-aged pine stands that are greater than 10 years old, a situation that does not support deer densities ...

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Deer Summit Day 1: The National Deer Alliance Launches May 7, 2015 Outdoor Life Magazine
... In the 10 years between 2003 and 2013, states in the Midwest reported an average 23 percent decline in buck deer harvest. In Iowa, the decline is a staggering 40 percent. In 2000, the average doe-to-fawn ratio (a ratio of fawns that survive until the beginning of the fall hunting season) was .89, meaning that for every 100 does, 89 fawns survived. In 2014, the ratio was .66...

... Wildlife regulators in states where deer hunting is a way of life and an important tourism draw are implementing or considering deep cuts to hunting permits after a tough winter killed off many of the animals... Maine ... Vermont ... New Hampshire ... Pennsylvania ...

Animals in the wild are dying for a drink in the drought-stricken West May 6, 2015 Nevada, Washington Post 
... About 4,000 mule deer have disappeared from a mountain range near Reno between late last year and now, likely because of drought. “Our level of concern is very high,” Catalano said. Nevada has placed low fiberglass pools called guzzlers that hold up to 3,600 gallons of water at more than a thousand wilderness areas across the state to provide water for wildlife..

Deer numbers continuing to dwindle April 30, 2015 South Carolina, Rock Hill Herald 
...  the overall deer harvest last season was down a whopping 9 percent, with 202,952 deer taken, compared with 225,806 the year before... These numbers show that deer hunters in South Carolina are now harvesting almost 40 percent fewer animals than we were just a dozen years ago...

Will DNR close 2015 U.P. deer season? April 29, 2015 Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie Evening News
... Anticipating the deer harvest will be among the lowest recorded over the last three decades, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is preparing to present six different options to the Natural Resources Commission at the May 7 session in Lansing, including closing the entire Upper Peninsula to deer hunting for the upcoming season ...

... It’s no secret that we’ve lost most of Maine’s deer hunting industry after the deer herd itself was lost. Those guides, for example, who could, moved to other states. I know one lodge owner and guide who sold his north country lodge and bought a ranch in Texas, where he charged $5,000 to $10,000 for a week of deer hunting...

Deer discussion dominates meeting April 12, 2015 North Dakota, Minot Daily News
...  "We are doing our best to manage that herd and build numbers back up, but it is going to take some time." ... "deer are still declining" and that "this year will see a reduction in deer tags again."  "A lot of grassland is gone. Where we used to have whitetails popping up like popcorn we're just not going to have the whitetails that we used to have," ...

...  The Upper Peninsula deer population had peaked at approximately 700,000 animals ... in the mid-1980s ... the numbers have continued in a downward spiral to a shocking level of 200,000. And, with this winter’s severity index well beyond the average, the alarming trend continues...

The North American Deer Summit, Decline of Deer Populations March 31, 2015 Whitetail Deer Passion - Blogger
... What are the reasons for the overall decline of the deer populations?  ...  Scientist from the QDMA (Quality Deer Management Association) found ... Growing predator populations ... Urban sprawl ... Disease ... Government “Deer Management” ...

Are Crops Contributing to the Whitetail Decline? March 17, 2015 North American Whitetail
...one herbicide in particular— glyphosate — catches most of the fire from critics ... With “Roundup Ready” (RR) crop varieties, glyphosate can be used to kill many annuals and perennials ... A North Carolina friend recently told me deer had all but quit using a local bean field since the farmer switched to RR beans... The consequent deficiencies of those minerals cause fetal hypothyroidism and a wide variety of birth defects....

Major deer study includes Nodaway County February 10, 2015 Missouri, Maryville Daily Forum
...  there just aren’t as many does and bucks roaming the hills and river bottoms as there used to be... A similar survey is being conducted in the Ozark counties of Wright, Texas, Douglas and Howe.  The two areas vary widely in terms of habitat and geography, and Flinn said those differences will allow scientists to compare and contrast their findings ...

Project to track coyotes in three states February 7, 2015 Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle
... the University of Georgia on a groundbreaking study of coyotes across Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama... Wildlife managers say there is mounting evidence that coyotes have drastically reduced deer fawn survival...

Game and Fish search for solutions to muley decline February 4, 2015 Wyoming, Buffalo Bulletin
... The problems the Upper Powder River herd, located around Kaycee, are facing, are mirrored across Wyoming and across the western states where mule deer live... Thiele’s research using population tallies and hunter and landowner surveys shows does are getting pregnant, but fawns are dying.  Fawn to does ratios are down by 20 percent since the 90s ...

W.Va. wildlife biologists calculate deer numbers to set hunting regulations February 1, 2015 West Virginia, The Charleston Gazette
... “The key component in our [calculations] is the buck kill per square mile ... We use that as an index to estimate the size of the deer population.”  Last year, the buck kill fell by 34 percent statewide. By extension, the buck kill per square mile also fell 34 percent... “We use a two-year running average,” [Paul Johansen, the DNR’s assistant wildlife chief]

Deer hunting experiences a big drop January 22, 2015 Virginia, Richmond.com 
...  deer hunting season numbers for 2014 could be down as much as 30 percent in Powhatan County.... Statewide, the number of deer kills is expected to be down about 20 percent ... The deer management staff expected that increased antlerless deer kill on private lands would eventually result in a reduced deer herd and deer kill, even without an assist from a second factor, which was hemorrhagic disease ...


Research seeks reasons for demise of mule deer January 20, 2015 Wyoming, High Country News
...  “Mule deer are declining across Wyoming and the West.” ... Matt Kauffman, University of Wyoming professor of zoology and physiology, who with his crew, caught, wrangled and released 175 deer one week last December.  Wyoming Game and Fish Department strives for a population of 564,150 mule deer, but the last statewide estimate was 374,400 ...

Ideas aimed at killing more Maryland deer January 18, 2015 Maryland, Cumberland Times News Homepage
...  Maryland’s estimated summertime deer population is 227,000. In 2002, that number was significantly higher at 295,000... With almost half of the deer in the state being killed it is no wonder that hunting season harvest numbers have dwindled robustly from 15 to 20 years ago ...

... West Virginia hunters harvested 104,223 deer in 2014 ...  This year's total was 31 percent less than the 2013 harvest of 150,877 deer and 23 percent below the five-year average of 136,168...

UGA Deer Lab to partner in coyote study January 16, 2015 Georgia, Online Athens
... Coyotes, which are not native to Georgia and southeastern states, are a likely cause of drastic reductions in the survival rates of deer fawns....

Hunters can help mule deer January 14, 2015 Oregon, The Bulletin 
... The Upper Deschutes Unit stretches from U.S. Highway 126 on the north to state Highway 58 on the south... Deer numbers didn’t bounce back after the winter of 1992-93 when brutal cold and ice locked down the winter range... “Numbers are rebounding slightly in the upper northwest part of the unit,” ... recent large wildfires that have helped open up understory, “creating some really good summer range.” ...

White‐tailed deer population dynamics and adult female survival in the presence of a novel predator MC Chitwood, MA Lashley, JC Kilgo, CE Moorman… - The Journal of Wildlife …, 2015 North Carolina
... Recent localized declines in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations in the southeastern United States have been linked to increasing predation pressure from coyotes (Canis latrans), a novel predator to the region. Studies have documented coyotes as the leading cause of mortality for neonates, and 1 study documented coyotes as a mortality factor for adult females... Our data indicate that for low-density deer populations with heavy predation pressure on neonates, protecting adult females from harvest may not completely offset population declines. Coyote removal might be a necessary strategy because it could possibly increase very low fawn survival, which appears to be the most important vital rate influencing λ in our study. However, managers may have to start with reductions in adult female harvest ...

Fertilizing western rangelands for ungulate conservation: An assessment of benefits and risks  NM Korfanta, ML Mobley, IC Burke - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2015
...To offset habitat loss from energy development, wildlife managers are experimenting with large-scale sagebrush fertilization on western public rangelands. We synthesize what is known about basic sagebrush ecosystem biogeochemistry and ungulate nutritional ecology ...  the practice of sagebrush fertilization may pose a net conservation cost...

Density dependence in mule deer: a review of evidence EJ Bergman, PF Doherty Jr, GC White, AA Holland - Wildlife Biology, 2015  Colorado
... Wildlife managers and hunters expressed concern over a recent decline in western Colorado mule deer herds, yet the underlying cause of this decline is yet to be determined... Similar declines that occurred during the 1960s and early 1990s ... The conventional working hypothesis in Colorado is that mule deer herds are limited by winter range habitat....
Annual mule deer survey for district 270 completed January 10, 2015 Montana, Ravalli Republic
... This year, she counted a total of 886 deer, which was down a bit from last year’s 938... In the early 1990s, biologists counted as many as 2,500 mule deer in HD 270. More recently, mule deer numbers in the hunting district peaked at 1,757 in 2009. Numbers have been dropping ever since, with a low point of about 700 in 2012...

Declining deer harvest a big issue in Illinois December 27, 2014 Illinois, Chicago Sun-Times
... The historic collapse of the number of deer harvested by Illinois hunters in the 2013-14 seasons looks as though it will be nearly mirrored in the 2014-15 seasons.  In the 2013-14 seasons, hunters harvested 148,569 deer, down 17.8 percent from 180,811 in 2012-13. There was a 25.3 percent drop in firearm harvest, from 99,546 in 2012 to 74,318 in 2013.

Deer hunting practices need to change December 26, 2014 Illinois, Commercial News 
... one thing we all agreed on is that these Late Winter, Antlerless Only Deer Seasons need to be stopped immediately as they are detrimental to the deer herd. If the IDNR doesn’t stop them, hunters need to do so by refusing to hunt those seasons! If the seasons aren’t ended, the deer herd will continue to decline! ...

Expect deer hunting opportunities in 2015 December 24, 2014 West Virginia, Independent Herald 
... The recent gun buck kill of 37,000 is a throwback to some forty years ago... starting about the New Millennium, disease outbreaks, mast failure and the return of normal winters all took their tolls. Managers had to adapt to these factors plus the continuing decline of deer habitat on the “landscape” or statewide basis. This decline is the result of our ever maturing forests ...

Deer kill is down 40 percent in Virginia December 24, 2014 Roanoke Times
... , the 2014 deer kill was down 40 percent from a year ago, based on the number of bucks and does that successful hunters have checked by phone or the Internet. That’s 52,126 in 2014 compared with 87,425 in 2013.  A decline of this magnitude is unprecedented in modern times...  The most significant declines in Virginia are in the eastern half of the state ...

Commission approves Game Management Plan | Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife December 21, 2014 Washington, Bonney Lake and Sumner Courier-Herald
... A new six-year plan ... including ... Predator/prey interactions – Follow new guidelines to help depressed deer and elk herds that are below population objectives due to predation by black bears, cougars, bobcats or coyotes...

... because the strategies are voluntary, deer are in trouble. Landowners ignored the last round of voluntary deer guidelines. Now, barely 1 percent of over 9 million commercial acres are fit for deer survival.  Deer yards used to be protected by law. Biologists documented them, and the old Land Use Regulation Commission made them off limits to harvesting...

... Not so fast, Wildlife Division research specialist Brent Rudolph said.  Much of the worst decline has happened in the Upper Peninsula, but statistics show it's on par with two other states in the northern region, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  “Certainly from the U.P. perspective we’ve been telling people since last winter that deer numbers are down,” ...

Seeking the key to forest management by padlock December 12, 2014 Oregon, Statesman Journal
... the federal harvest has shrunk to less than 10 percent of what it was in the 1980s, sawmills have closed, jobs have been lost ... Blacktail deer populations have declined every year since Clinton’s 1994 forest plan was passed. Without timber harvest to open the dense forest canopy, there is less browse at deer level on the forest floor... 

Many factors affect Wisconsin deer hunt December 4, 2014 Wisconsin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 
... Sen. Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) ...  "Hunters are angry..." The primary reason fewer deer were killed in 2014 is the deer population is down... Consecutive severe winters have hit the deer herd hard in northern Wisconsin, lowering the population and prompting a drop in antlerless deer permits. The northern forest, too, continues to age and offers less desirable deer habitat...

Iowa's 2014 shot gun deer season preview December 3, 2014 Iowa, Globe Gazette 
... With a 33 percent drop in harvest numbers since 2006, Iowa’s Natural Resource Commission this summer approved a reduction in antlerless tag quotas in 72 counties. The remaining 27 north central and northwest counties have no county antlerless tags ... The deer herd is now at mid-1990s target levels ...

Deer Expert Questions Success of Management December 1, 2014 Texas, Texas Deer Association
...  The 2013 deer hunt once again was a disappointment to many hunters across the nation, as deer numbers and habitat conditions continued to deteriorate. Since the late 1980s, Dr. James C. Kroll (aka “Dr. Deer), one of the world’s top deer authorities, has warned this would happen under what has become known as Traditional Deer Management...  most deer herds indeed are declining, harvest numbers are down, herd losses to diseases are up, hunters are increasingly unhappy, and habitat quality appears to be suffering as collateral damage...





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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