2017

News about the Decline of Deer Populations from 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chronic wasting disease continues to spread July 26, 2017 Wyoming, American Veterinary Medical Association
...  in southeastern Wyoming from 2010-14  [CWD, chronic wasting disease] had caused significant declines in the herd studied...  Dr. DeVivo and her co-authors found that the mule deer herd could be extinct within 41 years, although selection for a known genetic resilience to CWD could preserve a population about one-tenth the size of the original—several hundred deer—through the next 100 years...
Wolves at the door — so deal with it July 16, 2017 California, Oroville Mercury Register

 ...  the wolves are just north or east of Lake Almanor, likely between Lassen Volcanic National Park and Susanville.  ... both mule deer herds and the number of hunting tags in northeastern California have been declining for years, long before wolves got here... 

... Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) observed declines in black-tailed deer populations since the late 1980’s and attributes these declines to reduction in quality and availability of habitat, following the decline of timber harvest on federal lands... my results support the hypothesis that food and cover are more readily available and used by female black-tailed deer on industrial forestlands than federal forestlands in western Oregon...

7 western states report heavy winter losses of deer, elk July 2, 2017 Idaho, Idaho State Journal
... Mule deer and pronghorn antelope west of the Continental Divide in Wyoming suffered significant losses this winter, probably the worst in more than 30 years ... Above-average losses of mule deer fawns were recorded in northern Utah ... Idaho saw its third worst winter for mule deer fawn survival in the past 18 years ...

Deer numbers drop almost 40 percent as animals avoid oil and gas wells, new study shows June 23, 2017 Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune Online
... “Mule deer and energy development—Long-term trends of habituation and abundance,” published recently in the journal Global Change Biology, outlines almost two decades of work documenting mule deer wearing tracking collars. ... Portions of the Sublette mule deer herd in southwest Wyoming that winter on the Pinedale Anticline are almost 40 percent smaller than they were before the oil and gas boom...
Long-Term Study Finds Energy Development Has Lasting Impact on Deer Populations June 23, 2017 Wyoming, University of Wyoming News
... “There is a common perception that deer and other big game quickly habituate to disturbances like energy development, but our research clearly shows that is not the case with mule deer,” says the paper’s lead author, Hall Sawyer... With 17 years of data, this is the longest-running study of oil and gas effects on mule deer...

What hunters need to know before deer season opens June 17, 2017 South Carolina, Charleston Post Courier
... an 11-percent decrease in the number of deer harvested [in 2016] ... Hurricane Matthew also created access issues, and the harvest was down more than 25 percent in some coastal counties.  Unseasonably warm temperatures also played a factor. Forest management practices and coyotes also factor in deer harvest..,

... In central B.C., moose populations have recently declined 50 to 70 per cent. Several central and southern caribou populations continue to decline, despite decades long hunting bans...


As the snowlines receed up the mountain, the mule deer does begin to undergo an amazing tranformation that happens every spring... FAWNS is the fourth in our #PROJECTMULEDEER series presented by the Mule Deer Foundation and highlights the new life of Mule Deer across the West. From what the does need to insure a successful birth, to critical fawning grounds, you will learn not only what the Mule Deer need to survive, but thrive in todays fast paced and ever changing world! - May 11, 2017


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


... two projects that cleared encroaching conifers on more than 640 acres of mule deer winter range...  “CPW documented a drop in mule deer populations on the western slope of Colorado and recognized that habitat loss as well as the decline in quality of remaining habitat are key factors in this 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 ...



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