2018

News about the Decline of Deer Populations from 2018



The price of Oregon's failed cougar management September 20, 2018 Portland Tribune
... Back in the early 1990s, the Oregon cougar population was estimated at about 2,000. Today, that number is approximately 6,600... the decline in deer and elk herds can be attributed to a number of factors — climate, availability of food and water, loss of habitat, as well as predation...,

... exceptionally dry conditions ... in Central Oregon ... The meager snowpack last winter has made for extremely dry conditions ... deer numbers are in decline across much of Central and Eastern Oregon ... Buck ratios are near management goals districtwide with a ratio of 19 bucks per 100 does..,

Mule deer migration corridor should be protected September 16, 2018 Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune
... Mule deer populations are dwindling. Energy development in critical habitat may only increase their struggle ... these 33 parcels of land, less than 2 percent of the total acreage proposed for lease by the BLM, should not be leased without further consideration ... the notices have no legal teeth...

Eagle County officials concerned by wildlife population declines September 13, 2018 Colorado, Vail Daily News
...  county commissioners sat down with representatives from Colorado Parks and Wildlife to discuss the drop in local elk and deer population ... elk count in Eagle County is down 50 percent from numbers recorded in 2003 ...

Maine's deer stewards falling short of goals August 31, 2018 observer-me.com
... the earlier game management plan’s ambitious statewide deer population objective of 384,000 deer ... The newly adopted big game management plan sets a target population goal of just 210,000 animals by 2033. This is a 54 percent reduction in the state’s deer density objective incorporated in the previous 15-year big game management plan...

... Whitetail deer populations are lower today in many states than they have been in many decades, and hunters are concerned,” Brian Murphy, CEO of the Quality Deer Management Association ...

... Harvest estimates reflected an upward trend from 1976 through the mid-1990s when it peaked at over 330,000 deer for three years. After that, harvest estimates showed a steady decline. The harvest estimate for the 2016-17 season fell to 244,795 deer, making it the lowest harvest since 1981. The 2017-18 estimate is 194,975 which is a 50,000-deer drop from the prior season..,

... In the late 1980s and early 1990s, mule deer in the herd numbered around 50,000. But a series of bad winters and increased hunting pressure cut the herd down to about 30,000. Wildlife managers tried for years to reach that 50,000 goal again, but realized the deer were not just limited by a bad winter or hunting, but by available food... Fawns born in 2017 after the harsh winter measured on average 6.8 pounds. Fawns born this summer weighed on average almost a pound more...

Drop in mule deer population being addressed August 16, 2018 Washington, La Grande Observer
... The question is being asked with an increasing sense of concern on the wildlife front: Why are mule deer populations gradually declining in Oregon? ... One potential cause they are looking at is a rising number of Rocky Mountain elk in Oregon... up 6 percent since 2013. The state had 74,227 Rocky Mountain elk in 2016, up 4,654 from 2013 when it had 69,573..,

The decline of moose in northwestern Minnesota July 22, 2018 Bemidji Pioneer
... one glaring fact is undeniably clear: the moose population of Minnesota’s great northwest is significantly diminished...  unless something extraordinary happens to change the apparent downward population trend, some wildlife biologists have predicted that moose will eventually become extinct in that part of Minnesota...

... The deer population in much of northern New Brunswick continues to be too low to support a hunting season ... "The population declined in the late 1980s and early 1990s … and it hasn't recovered to the point where we believe we can have a sustainable hunting season,"  ...

... We’re not seeing mule deer like we used to... The B.C. Interior Mule Deer Project is the largest project of its kind ever undertaken in the province...

JJ Boan, JR Malcolm, MD Vanier, DL Euler, FM Moola - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2018
... Over the past decade, declines of Canadian populations of boreal caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) have received considerable attention ...  Many boreal caribou populations have been shown to be decreasing, in some cases precipitously, and empirical evidence from adult survival and calf recruitment surveys indicates that the cumulative effect of habitat disturbance, including that which results from industrial development, is a key driver in the decline. Yet, as scientific understanding of the decline has become clearer, and agreement among scientists and governments about habitat management requirements has increased ...

Habitat loss coincides with drop in pheasant, deer numbers June 14, 2018 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune
... 2007 ... a significant number of CRP contracts involving hundreds of thousands of acres established in the early to mid-1990s started to expire... At the same time  ... Game and Fish Department biologists and state legislators were feeling pressure from farmers, ranchers ... to reduce the deer herd, so license numbers were set with the intent to reduce deer numbers in many units...

Ineffectiveness of local zoning to reduce regional loss and fragmentation of wintering habitat for white-tailed deer  EM Simons-Legaard, DJ Harrison, KR Legaard - Forest Ecology and Management, 2018
... We used a time series of Landsat satellite imagery (1975–2007) to quantify habitat changes in and adjacent to 187 areas zoned on private, commercial forestlands to protect habitat for wintering white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Maine... Areas protected for wintering deer collectively represent only 2% of the forested land base in our study area, and we conclude that habitat protection focused solely on those narrowly-defined zones has been ineffective at achieving regional conservation of winter habitat for deer...

Texas to test mule deer antler restrictions starting this fall June 6, 2018 MultiBriefs Exclusive
... The overall health of the mule deer population in the Texas Panhandle has been in decline for the past few years. In an attempt to reverse this trend, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has instituted antler restrictions for mule deer season in six Panhandle counties starting this fall...

... Conservationists and researchers say wildfire control efforts in B.C. may be causing mule deer numbers to decline... mule deer are very choosy eaters, and fire creates open canopies, so it opens up the forest and then you get the flush of green growth in the understory ... We think that is the single most important factor affecting mule deer abundance in B.C

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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