2019

News from 2019 about the Decline of Deer Populations




Federal government collects $10.8 million for lease sales in Wyoming December 12, 2019 Wyoming, Billings Gazette
... Thirteen conservation groups filed six separate protests opposing much of the sale. The groups expressed particular concerns over the expansion of oil and gas activities in critical sage grouse habitats and mule deer migration corridors. Population declines in sage grouse and mule deer populations have sparked a heated effort from conservation groups to uphold wildlife protections...

... recently collared 35 mule deer does in the Rochelle Hills area ... to study Deer Area 10 to better understand why the mule deer population has been low for several years... 

Mule Deer in Decline December 4, 2019 Oregon, Wallowa County Chieftain
... Mule deer populations are decreasing through the vast majority of the West... not everyone agrees on the causes ... Records seem to indicate that 1959 was a high-water mark for mule deer populations...

Death of a blacktail December 2, 2019 Oregon, Multibriefs
... [in Oregon] Both mule deer and black-tailed deer are substantially below the long-term statewide management objectives and benchmarks... Things are changing quickly in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest and it is my opinion that blacktail and their close cousins the mule deer are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine...

Seems to be fewer deer this hunting season November 30, 2019 Minnesota, Brainerd Dispatch
... Where we hunt north of Brainerd there is definitely growing numbers of wolves and last winter wasn’t the best for the health of a deer herd. Now we can’t control Mother Nature, so until we can start controlling the wolf numbers expect to see dwindling deer numbers in Minnesota...

Elk hoof disease research underway November 7, 2019 Washington, The Wahkiakum County Eagle
... The disease attacks the hooves of elk, eating away the foot and causing them to walk on soft tissue... first observed in southwest Washington ... Residents of southwest Washington have noticed a decrease in numbers of elk ...

... In Canada, boreal caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) are declining in numbers, in part due to increased predation by wolves (Canis lupus). One management option to reduce wolf–caribou interactions and thus protect caribou is to remove man-made linear features (LFs), structures such as roads, trails, and cut lines, which are used by wolves as traveling paths... 

Ranchers prepare for wolves in Siskiyou County October 24, 2019 California, Siskiyou Daily News
... Former Siskiyou County Ag Commissioner Patrick Griffin doubts that Siskiyou County will be home to large populations of wolves at any time in the near future, mainly due to low populations of their primary food supply, deer and elk. The deer population, he noted, has been plummeting for the past 20 years in Siskiyou County due to relatively robust populations of bear and mountain lions, and the expansion of human habitat...

Mass. moose sightings tell a story of survival October 22, 2019 Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram
... New Hampshire’s moose herd has declined by half since the late 1990s. The Vermont herd has more than halved since roughly the same time. Maine’s moose population is thought to have fallen from 76,000 five years ago to between 60,000 and 70,000 today... For whatever reason, moose in Massachusetts seem to be doing OK ...

... According to the Mississippi Resident and Nonresident Hunter Survey, the deer harvest during the 2018-19 season remained at the lowest recorded level as biologists face increasing challenges in deer management. The survey indicates about 197,000 deer were taken in the 2018 season. It's a slight increase from 2017's 195,000 estimate, but because it's an estimate, the difference is negligible..,

Falling elk populations bring hunting reductions September 11, 2019 Washington, Yakima Herald-Republic
... Low cow numbers and falling survival rates among calves continue to plague Yakima’s elk herd ... researchers don’t know why their survival numbers are historically low... Winter surveys estimated a population of 8,231 elk, slightly fewer than last year’s less reliable surveys during a mild winter at lower elevations and well below the objective of 9,500...

Mule deer hunting near Cody expected to be 'not as good' September 6, 2019 Wyoming, Powell Tribune
... herds have undergone severe population declines due to tough winters and poor fawn production and recruitment over the last five years...  Game and Fish began implementing changes to the seasons last year by reducing doe harvest opportunity to maximize the ability of the herd to rebound and implementing four-point antler restrictions to reduce buck harvest..,

Wildlife biologists say mule deer exiting Bend en masse August 31, 2019 Oregon, The Bulletin
... Mule deer numbers are falling in Central Oregon as fast as humans arrive, according to annual inventories conducted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Paulina Unit, east of Bend, is down to 5,918 deer from 15,400 in 2002, a 61% decline. Wildlife biologists say the deer are losing habitat to growing construction in and around Bend...

Few Fawns Surviving On Chattahoochee National Forest August 3, 2019 Georgia, Georgia Outdoor News
... Only three of 13 fawns ... survived to 4 months... coyotes killed four, black bears ate two (possibly three) and a bobcat killed one...

Moose population declines in Idaho July 18, 2019 The Bulletin
... Biologists have no clear answers but say the decline is happening across the West ... does not know moose population numbers, but estimates there are 10,000 to 12,000 moose ...

Deer numbers showing improvement in County June 15, 2019 Maine, Sun Journal
... in some Aroostook County townships the lynx, a federally listed endangered species, was more prevalent than deer ... The deer situation has improved some in the County, but tough winters and continued predation holds back the recovery of deer numbers ... coyote packs take down deer year-round, it’s the deer in wintering areas that are the most vulnerable ...

... Mule deer populations around the West are down — 31 percent since 1991 ... some studies show that if you kill off a lot of coyotes, they breed even more.  "Oftentimes, coyote control programs have been implemented, and in some, or many, instances the effects were negligible," ...

MNRF hopes to grow moose population June 1, 2019 Ontario, DrydenNow.com
... Aerial surveys have shown declining calf moose numbers in recent years across Ontario ... potential benefits from changing quota settings and hunting rules can include increasing adult tag quotas by growing the moose population, and by decreasing the harvest of calves...

IDFG panel gets earful in Grangeville May 7, 2019 Idaho, Lewiston Morning Tribune
... Those who addressed the commissioners said deer and elk numbers have slid over the past decade or more, and changes are needed to hunting seasons to bring them back. They also said the Idaho Department of Fish and Game needs to collect more data on deer herd sizes and composition...

A declining wildland deer herd May 9, 2019 Montana, Bigfork Eagle
... One of the major current conservation issues in Northwest Montana is our rapidly declining wildland deer herd. All hunters and biologists agree that our deer herd is down substantially from past years. But, there is substantial disagreement on the cause of that decline...

... "It's not like there's an occasional cougar sighting. There are daily cougar sightings," ... Our deer population is going down so fast that our predators are going to have to find something to eat." ...

Declining mule deer numbers prompts study April 4, 2019 British Columbia, BCLocalNews
... Why are some of our Interior mule deer populations declining? How are predators and the recent huge wildfires affecting them? ... B.C.’s largest collaborative mule deer study was launched last year...

... "Across the state, we've been seeing [moose] numbers go down," ...Across Idaho, available tags for antlered moose dropped from 669 in the 2017-2018 season to 560 later this year. For antlerless moose, the tag amounts dropped from 136 to 74...


America's caribou have quietly gone extinct March 22, 2019 Mail Tribune
... After years of dwindling, the last remaining herd of caribou known to roam between Canada and the Pacific Northwest states of Idaho and Washington was down to just one known member. In January, wildlife managers in British Columbia captured the female ...  "That animal was not going to survive." ...

... "Four herds in B.C. and Alberta have gone extinct over the last 25 years and there are less than 3,000 woodland caribou in the study area in the two provinces." ... The most dramatic population surge occurred In the Klines-Za population, north of Prince George, BC, where maternal penning and wolf removal strategies were used. In three years, the herd nearly doubled, from 36 to more than 67...

... the new FSC standards have specific rules and criteria around preserving woodland caribou ... The latest assessment of woodland caribou suggests 81 per cent of Canada’s herds are in decline...

A large group of wildlife scientist and conservationists are trying to solve the declining number of mule deer in the Okanagan Valley. - March 4, 2019 British Columbia


... One hunter who had been afield for 40 years and whose family has a longtime deer camp near Sherman Pass spoke of seeing only one mature mule deer buck and a handful of does last season.  He tearfully called for a six-year deer hunting moratorium across Eastern Washington so future generations would have opportunities to see the animals...

What extinction in Idaho looks like: Last caribou captured, ending conservation program March 1, 2019 Idaho, Idaho Statesman
... The British Columbia Ministry of Forests’s capture ended more than 35 years of conservation ... lone female ... Forests were cut and burned. Deer that thrive in the brush that was left over moved in, carrying a parasite known as a brainworm. That all but wiped out the caribou...

Dwindling deer population a diverse problem February 27, 2019 Virginia, Fredericksburg.com
... King George, Caroline. Essex and Westmoreland Counties are all down extensively [harvest], 50 percent or more, against those five-year averages. Meanwhile counties at the margins of the region, such as Fauquier, Orange and Culpeper are only down 11, 20 and 21 percent, respectively...

Scoping meeting targets shrinking mule deer herds February 26, 2019 Wyoming, Powell Tribune
... Mule deer population trends in the area are down, with no immediate hope of a rebound... n the Upper Shoshone and Clark’s Fork herds ...  For the past few years, harsh winter weather — particularly hard on fawns — has been the largest factor in population declines ...

From out of the fire, 'a reset' February 24, 2019 Colorado, The Daily Planet
... The number of mule deer ... on the south side of the Uncompahgre Plateau, had fallen 75 percent since 1980 ...  issues with the habitat ... overgrazing ... It’s not even good livestock forage there ... a pair of low-flying cropdusters, guided by GPS coordinates, will be releasing seeds over a section of the mule deer’s decimated winter range ...

Senator Says Hunting Guide Bill Would Stop Overhunting February 22, 2019 Indiana, Eagle 99.3 FM WSCH
... Senate Bill 363 would keep hunting guides from leading hunts if they violating license laws... “Many people are concerned the deer population is getting too small in our state because of overhunting,” ...

Idaho Fish and Game adding big game proposals February 18, 2019 LocalNews8.com
... Winter surveys are also showing that mule deer populations in 66 and 69 are 38 percent lower in 2019 than they were when last surveyed in 2013... wildlife managers are recommending elimination of either-sex hunts in units ...

Those high-flyin' Kansas deer February 18, 2019 Hays Post
... The study began as a means to help KS Dept of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism biologists understand why mule deer are steadily regressing westward and being replaced by whitetails... This year the goal was to capture, tag and collar an additional 30 does near Scott City and an additional 30 farther north near Lenora ...

Saving the elk through conservation and advocacy February 15, 2019 Colorado, Vail Daily News
... With more than 4,000 less elk in the Eagle Valley today than in 2002, including sharp declines in the annual number of elk calves, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is particularly focused on elk calf retention rates and recruitment... We're losing extreme amounts of wildlife habitat every day...

... Climate change, reduced forage and predation are blamed for the large ungulates’ decline, Idaho Department of Fish and Game regional wildlife biologist Kara Campbell said...

... Climate change, reduced forage and predation are blamed for the large ungulates’ decline ... Fire suppression and reduced logging has also limited the summer forage for moose ... moose populations rebounded in Idaho and Montana roughly 50 years after the massive 1910 wildfires...

... The first large-scale movement study of mule deer in the Sheridan Region kicked off last month near Kaycee ... efforts were part of the Mule Deer Initiative, a statewide program originally created to address a severe decline in mule deer population across the state...

Washington loses its last woodland caribou January 25, 2019 Washington, SFGate
...Washington and the contiguous United States have lost their last woodland caribou, as British Columbia officials have captured and shipped the one surviving animal to a breeding facility in Revelstoke, B.C... The small, quiet, reclusive woodland caribou have received far less local and global attention than Washington's photogenic orca whales...

Growth crowds elk, deer in more ways than one January 16, 2019 Colorado, soprissun.com
... hundreds of elk used to graze between Carbondale and Glenwood  ... “You’re seeing a direct loss of habitat and also extra people that are recreating on the lands that are left,” observed John Groves, Carbondale District Wildlife Manager. “We’re probably less than half the population we had 15 years ago.” ...