Alaska Deer News
Horizontal Transmission of Chronic Wasting Disease in Reindeer [PDF] 2016, Alaska, SJ Moore, R Kunkle, MHW Greenlee, E Nicholson…
... In 2005, we challenged reindeer fawns from a farm in Alaska, USA, where CWD had never been reported, by intracranial inoculation (7) with pooled brain material from CWD affected elk from South Dakota (CWDelk), CWD-affected mule deer from Wyoming (CWDmd), or CWD from whitetailed deer from Wisconsin combined with brain material from experimentally challenged white-tailed deer (CWDwtd) ... Reindeer were susceptible to chronic wasting disease regardless of source species. Horizontal transmission occurred through direct contact or indirectly through the environment...

Wildlife troopers in Sitka discover carcasses of 4 deer not salvaged November 5, 2016 Alaska, Alaska Dispatch News
... multiple Sitka black-tailed deer carcasses dumped along "the Sitka road system," ... submit tips anonymously to Alaska Fish and Wildlife Safeguard at 800-478-3377.

... A Petersburg man and a teenager aboard a fishing vessel shot and killed a half-dozen deer as the animals were swimming in Southeast Alaska waters over the weekend ...

State bases Alaska game management on politics, not science August 18, 2016 Alaska Dispatch News
... state predator control is required if hunters aren't satisfied with the number of moose, caribou and deer they are harvesting ... The Alaska Legislature served up the Intensive Management Act. Reducing wolf and bear populations to artificially increase numbers of moose, caribou and deer for human harvest ...


Deer rescue operation occurs off Juneau's Shelter Island July 28, 2016 Alaska, Alaska Public Radio Network
... The deer was struggling to stay above water ... eventually able to lasso the deer and pull it onto the boat... The crew was able to drop the deer off at Shelter Island ...

Block Fish and Wildlife Service refuge rule: Agency proposes to limit some hunting practices in dispute with state July 19, 2016 Alaska, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
...  the state has an intensive game management law ... that it uses to achieve management of moose, caribou and deer for human consumption. The Fish and Wildlife Service doesn’t allow predator control programs on any federal refuges in Alaska... both the Senate and House versions of the Interior Department budget contain language thwarting the Fish and Wildlife Service rule ...

... we examined numbers of harvested individuals and biomass yield associated with reducing a population from 14,500 to 10,000 individuals over 3, 5 and 8 years. We compared harvest of cow—calf pairs versus unaccompanied females. The higher potential for adult female survival compared with calf survival to impact population growth rate resulted in higher yields from cow—calf harvests. Achieving the population objective required the mean annual harvest of 889, 626 and 477 cow—calf pairs or 1161, 805 and 605 unaccompanied females, for the three harvest durations, respectively... Over a five-year period, cow—calf harvests yielded approximately 56% more individuals and 17% greater biomass, an estimated difference of 130 metric tonnes...

... 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,” ...

My Turn: 'Road to nowhere' to cost $3M May 1, 2016 Alaska, Juneau Empire 
...  a 2.4-mile “pioneer road” on West Douglas Island was approved... The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recommended against authorization of this project because of damage to important deer and salmonid habitat. They feel the road should be moved to a lower elevation....

 ... We examined 6 combinations of future timber harvest, winter severity, wolf harvest regulations, and roads on population dynamics of deer and wolves, developed by a panel of experts. Results. Outcomes across scenarios after 30 years varied, with changes in wolf abundance ranging from a 156% increase to a 41% decline, whereas deer abundance declined from 10−37% after 30 years...

Reindeer Racing February 23, 2016 Alaska, McGill Tribune 
...  Reindeer—more commonly known as caribou in North America—are a species of deer native to arctic, subarctic, tundra, boreal, and mountainous regions of northern Europe, Siberia, and North America. Both male and female reindeer grow and shed antlers each year ...

Fairbanks debates federal proposal on predator hunts February 14, 2016 Alaska, m.juneauempire.com ·
... The rules proposed in January would prohibit brown bear baiting, killing wolves and coyotes during the denning season and targeting bears with snares or traps. Hunts like those violate the agency’s conservation mission by deliberately targeting predators to increase the output of large game animal like deer, caribou and moose for human consumption ...

How a deer can cause a plane crash January 29, 2016 Alaska, KCAW Raven Radio Foundation
... deer...  Carcasses have been washing up on the runway since November, attracting birds...  “If a bird strikes a plane, chances are it could severely damage the turbine to the point of completely destroying that engine.” ...

Locals fault forest plan for impacts to deer, salmon habitat January 23, 2016 Alaska, KFSK
... The agency in November released its draft Tongass Land and Resource Management plan, spelling out where logging and other development is allowed on the forest. The plan reflects unanimous recommendation by a fifteen-person Tongass Advisory Committee on transitioning to a harvest of younger, second growth trees on areas that have already been logged... Public comment on the plan is open through February 22nd...

... U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan is looking to stop a proposed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ban on some bear, wolf and coyote hunts on federal wildlife refuges in the state...

... "Although the Alexander Archipelago wolf faces several stressors throughout its range related to wolf harvest, timber harvest, road development, and climate-related events in Southeast Alaska and coastal British Columbia, the best available information indicates that populations of the wolf in most of its range are likely stable," ...

Shrubs on warming North Slope attract moose, hares November 11, 2015 Alaska, ScienceDaily.com
... the longer growing season has resulted in an estimated 78 percent increase in shrub height  ... Ken Tape, an assistant professor with the University of Alaska  ... in the journal Global Change Biology...  the arrival of moose on the North Slope within the past century also could be part of that shift, although other factors such as hunting pressure make their migration history more complicated...

... The coastal temperate rainforest is one of the rarest ecosystems in the world, and a major portion of the global total is found in Southeast Alaska. In this ecosystem, Sitka black-tailed deer are the dominant large herbivore ... winter weather had the strongest influence on population dynamics, via reduced over-winter fawn survival, with mass at birth and gender ratio of fawns important secondary drivers...

Unusual sighting: mule deer in Interior Alaska September 18, 2015 News Miner
... Area wildlife biologist Don Young, with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, doesn’t think Houx’s photo is a hoax. Several reports of a young male mule deer have come in recently from the Eielson area ...

Any deer season to open Sept. 15 September 11, 2015 Alaska, Juneau Empire 
... Douglas, Lincoln, Shelter and Sullivan islands ... rebound in the area’s deer population ...

Deer outlook, reports positive August 21, 2016  JuneauEmpire.com
... Deer populations look relatively strong ...  deer are recovering from a harsh 2006-2007 winter ... 

Deer, elk seasons open for Petersburg-Wrangell areas August 6, 2015 Alaska, wrangellsentinel.com
...  In 2013, around 800 hunters reported harvesting 476 deer, down from 852 in 2003.  Deer populations on islands in the area have lately been at around half of what they had been a decade ago ... deer populations may see slight improvements this season due to a largely snow-free winter ...

Deer hunting season opens Saturday, Aug. 1 July 31, 2015 Alaska, Juneau Empire 
... with good fawn production and very little, if any, winter mortality. Aerial surveys have observed hundreds of deer in the alpine areas in the month of July. Because of the rebound in the population, hunters are encouraged to include female deer in their harvest, once the legal season opens later this year...

Reindeer expert, apprentices ease herd into new home July 18, 2015 Alasa, thedutchharborfisherman.com
... 29 reindeer arrived in early June to the Alaska Peninsula village of Port Heiden, where the community is reviving a long-dormant tradition of reindeer herding. Now, a traditional herder and two teenage apprentices are taking on the challenges of establishing and sustaining a herd where there hasn't been one for several generations...

... Deer pellet counts are our primary tool for monitoring the deer population ... This year's mean pellet count shows an improvement from last year but is still in the range of our previous low points like in the early 2000s ... Hunter reports suggest that the situation may improving faster than the pellets indicate... Things are getting better but they're not back to normal yet...

... Alexander Archipelago wolves (Canis lupus ligoni) has plummeted from 221 to as low as 60, according to data released last week...  “Because old-growth logging has reduced habitat for Sitka black-tailed deer, wolves and humans are competing for fewer deer.”..

RD Boertje, MM Ellis, KA Kellie - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2015
...  After controlling for −1-year errors associated with the seasonal transition period, we found evidence for errors accumulating with age. We found no significant difference in accuracy based on which tooth was sectioned... Thus, we recommend the more easily extracted canine for estimating moose age...

Ketchikan Deer Lands Two California Men in Court April 8, 2015 Alaska, Alaska Native New
... a vehicle smashing into a deer on the Third Avenue Bypass in Ketchikan. The caller reported that the occupants... exited the truck, loaded the deer and left the scene ... charged with Failure to Notify Authorities of the Road Kill...

State game board to review deer seasons, limits for Sitka January 8, 2015 Alaska, KCAW Raven Radio Foundation 
... The point of the proposal, which was submitted by a member of the public, is not to protect does — it’s to protect fawns. Because what we commonly call “doe season” is actually “any deer season,” and shooting even fawns is legal... Review the Sitka-area proposals.See the Board of Game agenda.  Listen to the live stream of this weekend’s (Jan 9-13, 2015) meeting...

Gifts of deer January 2, 2014 Alaska, Juneau Empire
... Ancestors of Sitka black-tail deer began to wander north to Southeast Alaska at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, as glaciers receded ... Alaska Department Fish and Game researchers estimate there are around 200,000 in Southeast, with hunters annually harvesting around 12,300...

   Management goals for Sitka black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus sitkensis) at
Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge are to minimize deer impacts to native flora and
fauna while maintaining subsistence harvest opportunities. Accomplishment of
these goals requires statistically-robust estimates of deer abundance. We
estimated deer abundances in non-forested, non-mountainous habitats of southern
Kodiak Island using double observer (mark-recapture) distance sampling applied
to traditional line-transect aerial counts... This survey provides the first statisticallyrobust
means of indexing annual trends in deer densities and abundances on
Kodiak Island

Deer-vehicle accidents average October 28, 2014 Alaska, WisNew
... brings deer crashes on county roads to 22 since Oct. 1. That compared to 21 in 2013 and 32 in 2012 during this same reporting period...

Two Coast Guard members cited for wasting game October 22, 2014 Alaska, m.juneauempire.com 
...  they illegally dumped a deer and four whole ducks on Montana Creek Road earlier this month...  the large buck found on the roadside Oct. 1 was barely salvaged yet its antlers were removed. Four whole ducks were found nearby...

... “The forecast remains pretty poor ...The reason for the decline in the population remains somewhat unknown. We know that we had a series of deep snow winters. We had three winters back to back with well above average snow fall.” ... they are never going to get a precise population estimate on deer...

Timber sale awarded to mill in southeast Alaska October 3, 2014 Alaska, Washington Times
... The conservation groups that have sued have raised concerns about the wolf and deer populations, old-growth logging and the health of the region’s small mills if Viking won the bid...

... "this Court finds ... the Forest Service still has not adequately explained its decision to approve the four logging projects"...  Larry Edwards, Greenpeace Forest Campaigner. “The logging plans did not take into account that these areas are already struggling to sustain a high enough deer population to allow timber sales, while still meeting the requirement to provide enough deer to sustain wolves and deer hunters...

Another deer found with wire snare near Sitka September 17, 2014 Alaska, Ktoo 
... Like its predecessor, this deer received antibiotics, an ear tag, and a bright orange collar with a Global Positioning System data recorder. Mooney will include the animal in a local habitat study with several other deer...

...  the largest intact old-growth temperate rain forest in the world... crucial habitat for the Alexander Archipelago wolf, which is being considered for Endangered Species Act listing, and the Sitka blacktailed deer ... "Without enough old-growth winter habitat in the forest for shelter, deer populations plummet during deep-snow winters," said Gabriel Scott, Cascadia Wildlands' Alaska legal director...

Data: For 2015 the Alaskan Sitka black-tailed deer population is estimated at between 333,000 and 346,000.  About 200,000 deer in southeast Alaska. Sitka black-tailed deer,related to mule deer, were originally found only in Southeast Alaska.  Between 1987 and 2007 the harvest averaged about 12,330.  Periodic severe winters can significantly reduce the population.  Deer populations are still down in some areas from the severe winters of 2012 and 2006-07.  According to the 2013 Deer Management Report [PDF] "As clearcut logging continues to reduce old-growth habitat in portions of the unit (Unit 1A), many previously logged stands no longer support deer, the local deer populations are expected to decline.  Population models predict declines in deer carrying capacity of 50-60% by the end of the logging rotation in 2054."  Does were 24.4% of the 2013 harvest.

Alaska DNR News

Other useful links:
- Sitka Conservation Society
Grow More Moose
- Girdwood-based Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
- Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
- Alaska Department of Fish and Game
- Alaska Hunting Regulations
Mission Statement: To protect, maintain, and improve the fish, game, and aquatic plant resources of the state, and manage their use and development in the best interest of the economy and the well-being of the people of the state, consistent with the sustained yield principle.


Sitka Deer Habitat and Study with Radio Collar