2013 and before, Archive of News and Information about the Decline of Deer Populations   Go to  Page 1,  2015,  2014

The Minnesota deer heard is dying. This young button buck is too week to stand. All his legs work, but he does not have the energy to move. He is starving to death.


Reduced deer population means fewer hunting permits July 28, 2013 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
... The deer population has decreased as much as 25 percent over the past 10 years in some permit areas across Northeastern Minnesota, said Tom Rusch, DNR area wildlife manager at Tower...


Hunters need to band together to save deer population May 22, 2013 South Carolina, Enquirerherald
... Although our statewide deer population exploded during the 1970s and 1980s, it has reversed and fallen steadily during the past decade, according to Ruth. Sadly, these harvest numbers show this trend is continuing and we now have 30 percent fewer deer roaming the Palmetto State than in 2002... activities related to timber management that stimulated population growth 30 to 40 years back, but those stands of trees are now grown to a point that they don’t allow sunlight to hit the forest floor... Coyotes are decimating the deer herd ...

Wildlife habitat patterns changing November 17, 2012 California, San Francisco Chronicle
.... Best estimates say the number of deer in California has plummeted from 2 million in the 1960s to about 450,000 (of which most are "suburban deer"). Expanded highways and new subdivisions have blocked historic migration routes. Timber companies cut down forests and replanted them with conifers, which deer can't eat, so there's less food. Record-high populations of mountain lions eat a deer or two per week... the big herds were devastated...

Deer management decision making time, decline of deer January 13, 2013 West Virginia, The Logan Banner
... Deer kill numbers are rolling in at roughly half what they were a short decade back... Habitat quality and environmental factors from the likes of predators and disease to mast failure and winter severity all have and play important roles... Logging had all but ceased during the Great Recession and habitat thus suffered. Mast failures were woven in with a return of winter, tag teaming on occasion for major winter kills. EHD disease ... CWD ...

The Whitetail Depression September 3, 2011 Outdoor Life... “I think we’re nearing a crisis mode,” says Dr. Woods ... a consulting wildlife biologist ... “The best-case scenario is that deer populations drop 10 to 25 percent over the next couple years.” ... a troubling combination of habitat loss, escalating numbers of predators, underfunded wildlife agencies and even hunters’ behavior ... ... [Adams says] “A young hardwood forest can easily produce 1,000 pounds of available food per acre. A mature forest produces 50 to 100 pounds....

Mule deer at a crossroads December 20, 2012 North Dakota, Bismarck Tribune
Mule deer are much more limited in their range in North Dakota compared to other Western states, where they can move to a summer range and winter range to take advantage of the best food sources. Badlands mulies are locked in to one area and as oil exploration, roads and other activities expand, it pushes them farther away from prime habitat... Bruce Stillings, big game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said a five-year study to gauge the impact of the oil boom will begin in late January or early February.

Gerry Lavigne, who served as Maine's state deer biologist for 30 years, talks about areas with deer habitat, but no deer. January, 2013



California deer population declines as habitat disappears April 8, 2012 Sacramento Bee, By Matt Weiser
... since 1990, California has lost nearly half its deer population, according to the state Department of Fish and Game ... mainly for one simple reason: habitat loss... Between 1990 and 2000, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 75,000 acres per year were converted to low-density housing across California... The natural sources of this deer food have been largely eliminated by a century of fire suppression in forests – the same problem that has caused forests to become overstocked with small, young trees that now pose an enormous fire risk... [estimated current deer population is 445,000 compared to about 800,000 in the period 1800 to 1850]

Where have all the deer gone? July 1, 2012 California, Napa Valley Register , Bill Bishop, Sr.
Having spent most of my life in Napa County, I am appalled at seeing the rate of disappearance of our wildlife. I worked as a cattleman on the Soscol area land for 30 years and the Soscol deer population, which used to have more than 200 doe in it, has maybe 10 left.... Why is Fish and Game taking money for deer licenses when there isn’t anything left to shoot? Is it too late to do anything? Are we near shooting the last Bambi?

Deer decline in South Florida September 6, 2013 Sun Sentinel
... The white-tailed deer ... faces an uncertain future in South Florida... In the southern section of the Stairsteps unit of Big Cypress National Preserve, the number of deer counted by air dropped from 393 in 2001 to zero this year... "We think it's linked to water levels." ...

California Black-tailed Deer, where are they? September 15, 2012 Examiner.com, Jeffrey Banke
... As a photographer ... searching for black-tailed deer to photograph became more and more difficult to locate animals this year ... interviewing Sierra Pacific employees who are in the woods logging for months at a time who have seen very few deer confirm this observers own research. It would seem in conclusion, that if we do not have some radical changes in both the wildlife management approach by the DFG ... then we are on a continuing downward spiral...

California's mule and black-tailed deer are in decline. Historical deer population data.Northeastern California has experienced the sharpest percentage decline in deer, followed by the northeastern Sierra. Deer populations on ...

Decline In Mule Deer Numbers AgInfo.net (blog) Mule deer numbers throughout the west are declining in rates that are alarming. Habitat loss is a major factor.

Mule Deer Management January 2012, Muley Crazy Magazine, by Dr. Jared Teter
The article proposes reasons for the decline in mule deer numbers.The entire article is attached to this post as a single PDF download (click here).

Blacktail deer populations hanging on, but there's reason for concern Oct 9, 2009 ... Blacktail deer populations in Southwest Washington are not in crisis, far from it. ... MOVE SLOWLY: Move as slow as a feeding deer. ...

Spring mule deer survey done‎ Bismarck Tribune - Western North Dakota's mule deer population has decreased slightly for the second consecutive year, based on observations during the North Dakota Game and ...

Black-tailed Deer The history of the black-tailed deer has shown both the positive and negative influences man can have on wildlife. During pre-settlement times, ...

A REVIEW OF MULE AND BLACK-TAIL DEER POPULATION DYNAMICS, Western Wildlife Society Meetings, 2012, Tavis Forrester; U Heiko W. Wittmer
Recent population declines in mule and black-tailed deer (MBTD) (Odocoileus hemionus) have shown the difficulty in predicting ungulate population trends and raised concerns about the role of predation in deer dynamics. We reviewed 56 demographic and predation studies to summarize current knowledge of mechanisms in MBTD dynamics. We found reported MBTD demographic rates match general ungulate patterns, but often data to accurately estimate population growth was missing. Predation was a large proximate cause of mortality, but nutrition effects were also important and it was unclear if predation regulated populations. In light of this review we present preliminary data from an ongoing study of black-tail deer survival in the California coast range. We placed radio ear tags on 86 fawns and GPS collars on 41 adult females and monitored deer daily during summer months and every 10 days in other seasons. The most common proximate cause of mortality was predation for both adults and fawns. Fawn survival to recruitment of 0.21 and adult female annual survival of 0.68 (Kaplan-Meier estimator) were both below average values found in our review, especially adult female survival. The role of habitat quality and nutritional condition in survival is pending further analysis.