Alaska Deer News

Raven's Return February 27, 2014 Alaska,
... the birth of a baby moose there last spring caused us to break all the rules of wildlife detachment Alaskans are supposed to honor.  And might explain also why many months later, as winter turns slowly to spring again, we look out for the mother and calf as we would search for long lost relatives, our sense of peace and place not quite whole without them. [see video of birth beow]

A moose gives birth in a backyard near Anchorage, Alaska in the spring of 2013. ‎(Video copyright Dirk A. Sisson/used with permission)‎

... Sitka Black Tail Deer are limited by winter habitat. The few remaining patches of quality winter black-tail deer habitat are being targeted in the Forest Service’s old-growth timber sales ... at some point we need to recognize that we have passed a tipping point and we need to move the Tongass focus away from the same-old focus on old growth timber,” said Andrew Thoms, SCS executive director...

Chichagof deer under closer management September 18, 2013 Alaska, Juneau Empire
Harsh winters from 2006 to 2009 on Chichagof Island has taken a toll on the local deer population. The Hoonah Indian Association, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Forest Service are asking hunters to complete surveys ... hunters are also encourage to bring the head or the jaw of the deer they’ve hunted so biologists can determine it’s actual age...

Deer season looking up for Unit 1C August 9, 2013 Alaska, .Juneau Empire 
... Douglas and Shelter islands, as well as the Juneau mainland and some surrounding areas...  the positive outlook is based on spring deer pellet surveys conducted in April and May, as well as from anecdotal information and direct observations... the surveys have been conducted for so many years, it’s easy to identify a trend line... the department doesn’t know how many deer are on Douglas or Shelter islands ... they are working on a process to estimate the number of deer in an area by using DNA that’s collected from the pellets.

BC Lake, MR Bertram, N Guldager, JR Caikoski… Journal of Wildlife Management, 2013
...  Prey composition was primarily adult females (39%) and young-of-the-year (35%). We attribute an elevated kill rate in early winter to predation on more vulnerable young-of-the-year. Kill rates in our study were similar to those from other studies where moose occurred at greater densities. We suggest that very few, if any, wolf–moose systems in Alaska and the Yukon experience a density-dependent phase in the functional response, and instead wolves respond numerically to changes in moose density or availability in the absence of alternative prey. Through a numerical response, wolf predation rates may approximate the annual growth potential of the moose population, contributing to persistent low densities of moose and wolves on the Yukon Flats

Deer harvest reporting is past-due April 19, 2013 Alaska, Juneau Empire 
... In 2011, The Alaska Department of Fish and Game switched from a harvest survey to a harvest report for deer ... The information hunters provide helps ... monitor populations, and recommend appropriate seasons and bag limits...

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Data: 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.  

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