Arizona Deer News

Arizona Big Game Super Raffle nets record $634K for wildlife August 12, 2016 White Mountain Independent
... In the 11-year history of the raffle, more than $5.5 million has been raised for wildlife and wildlife management in Arizona. This year’s event generated a record $633,750, topping $598,400 in 2015...

New study questions wolf DNA August 6, 2016 Eastern Arizona Courier
... Researchers from Princeton University studied the genomes from a variety of gray and red wolves ... According to the study just published in Science Magazine, the so-called Eastern gray wolf is 25- to 50-percent coyote, and the red wolf is really 25-percent gray wolf and 75-percent coyote...

Arizona Game and Fish warns against 'rescuing' baby wildlife August 4, 2016 CT Post
... best to leave a healthy and alert fawn alone and to walk away. Chances are the parents have left to forage for food and water...

Authorities seek help in Arizona Strip poaching case August 2, 2016 Arizona, St George New
... occurred between July 22-25 ...  buck’s carcass was found about 20 miles south of St. George, in an area known as Low Mountain... call the AZGFD’s Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at 800-352-0700 ... reward ... 

Tucson man convicted of poaching javelina and mule deer July 22, 2016 Arizaona, KVOA Tucson News
... convicted of nine poaching charges for the illegal killing of two Mule deer and six javelina on Tucson’s East and West sides in December... fined $7,917 ...

Arizona, Here And Now
... This time of year people are on the hunt for antlers. Deer and elk shed their antlers in winter, and when the weather gets warm, humans can find them and pick them up. It's called shed hunting. For some it's a hobby. For others, a business...

Canyon visitors scolded for helping fawn June 29, 2016 Arizona, Arizona Daily Sun
... ranger answered the doorbell to a couple standing with a young fawn ... Luckily, the fawn’s story had a happy ending, with it ending up reunited with its mother... handling wildlife is a Class B misdemeanor ...

... deer's remains were found near Happy Valley and the Loop 303 in Peoria...

Survival of desert mule deer fawns in central Arizona  NT Quintana, WB Ballard, MC Wallace, PR Krausman… - The Southwestern Naturalist, 2016
... Predation accounted for 64% of fawn mortality. Probability of fawn survival was lowest in the first 2 weeks postparturition. Most (50 of 51) adult females of breeding age were pregnant and adult female survival was 0.858 (95% CI = 0.766–0.961). High predation rates and timing of predation on mule deer fawns were important factors influencing deer densities in central Arizona...


Grand Canyon National Monument June 15, 2016 Arizona, Cronkite News
... The area is also home to distinguishing species such as the migratory Kaibab-Paunsagunt mule deer herd, the northern goshawk and the endangered California condor. However, the Arizona Game and Fish Commission opposed the monument in a 2015 release which states, “the commission expressed concern that the proposed monument was to ‘preserve’ and in some cases lock away these lands ...

Young deer playing in Arivaca Lake, Arizona. - June 19, 2016


Flagstaff, New hunting permits change bow hunting in Flagstaff area May 31, 2016 Arizona, 12news.com ... [new restrictions push hunting farther from the city] ... Known as 11M ... Arizona Game and Fish decided that to ensure the safety of people inside 11M, as well as to try to cut down on poaching incidents ...

Arizona Game & Fish Department
... illegal killing of a mule deer doe ...  an area locally known as Low Mountain, about 20 miles south of St. George, Utah... Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at (800) 352-0700 

Archery hunting in Flagstaff to be scaled back May 21, 2016 Arizona, Arizona Daily Sun
... an archery hunter near the Flagstaff YMCA, which is an area off-limits to hunting, took aim ... and shot an arrow that lodged in the side of the animal’s head but didn’t kill him. For several weeks, Arizona Game and Fish officials searched for the deer with the arrow still embedded in his head until they finally found and tranquilized him to remove the arrow and treat his wound...

Former Pima sergeant disciplined over deer-kill story May 19, 2016 Arizona, Arizona Daily Star
...   shot what he believed was a whitetail deer ... realized it was a mule deer ... reported the incident ... but told the officer that his 83-year-old father shot a deer ...

Desert Mule Deer Shed hunting across Southern Arizona with Dan & Monica King. May 18, 2016 Arizona


$9.5 million bridge just for wildlife opens near Tucson May 11, 2016 Arizona, azcentral.com
... An addition to the two dozen highway wildlife bridges or underpasses statewide, the 150-foot-wide overpass spans all six lanes of Oracle Road... Together, they link animals from the mountains and Catalina State Park down through Big Wash and up to the Tortolita Mountains and a county park. Video from mounted cameras has captured deer crossing the overpass...

Wildlife take a liking to bridge over Oracle Road April 25, 2016 Arizona, Arizona Daily Star
... In 2006, the Arizona Department of Transportation identified the Oracle Road area as a critical habitat linkage in a statewide study ... Mule deer walked across North Oracle Road earlier this month ... One of the main goals of the bridge is to connect the Coronado National Forest with the Tortolita Mountains. ...

Arizona Game and Fish Department captures footage of mule deer using the State Route 77 wildlife overpass within a week of installing cameras. - April 18, 2016


... AZGFD on Thursday said the men were fined a total of $54,300 for their respective roles in committing multiple wildlife violations by “spotlighting” animals in 2013-14...  an archery deer hunter discovered three deer that had been shot with a rifle a day or two before. One of the deer was pregnant with two fawns.  At the time, it was archery deer season, and no rifle hunts were allowed....

Local deer population holds steady April 6, 2016 Arizona, Sierra Vista Herald
...  annual surveys are conducted which review observed buck-to-doe and doe-to-fawn ratios. In the Sierra Vista area, these observations have remained fairly consistent, falling within the low 130s to mid-160s over the last five years...

Shed Antler Hunting? Stay on Roads and Trails March 25, 2016 Arizona, Ammo Land
... Game and Fish Department reminds those utilizing an off-highway vehicle (OHV) in their search to stay on roads and trails... damage caused by those driving off-trail can take more than 100 years to recover ...

Studying The Mule Deer Of "Sky Island" On The Kaibab Plateau March 17, 2016 Arizona, KNAU Arizona Public Radio
... Scientists are trying to project what mule deer on the Kaibab Plateau might need in order to survive a changing climate... using her findings to generate a computer model that will identify what forest elements are important to the herd ...

MDF Arizona News March 17, 2016 Mule Deer Foundation
... The Mule Deer Foundation has a new program – “Conservation is Real“. More information about this innovative program will be coming in the next couple weeks. MDF Arizona will have new t-shirts and Hats available this week, with the Conservation is Real logo. Be sure to Post or hashtag #conservationisreal in all your social media posts

Hunting coyotes: One weekend, two viewpoints March 4, 2016 Arizona, Today's News-Herald
... "The thing that dictates population is the availability of prey. When there are lots of deer, pronghorn and rabbit, coyote populations go up," Paxon said. The opposite is true as well, although there can be a lag time between when, say, a rabbit population crashes and when the coyotes that prey on them show the effects...

Adoption program eyed for wild Arizona burros February 29, 2016 Arizona, ABC15 Arizona
... the overpopulated nonindigenous burro problem in Mohave County has led to traffic accidents on state and county highways. They also say the population has taken a toll on the feed and water resources mule deer ...

Reproduction and Nutrition of Desert Mule Deer With and Without Predation  R Carrera, WB Ballard, PR Krausman, J Devos Jr… - The Southwestern Naturalist, 2015
... Desert mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus eremicus) in central Arizona declined from 11 deer/km2 in the early 1960s to 2 deer/km2 in 2006...  Current mule deer densities in the study area are below what the environment is capable of maintaining, and a history of higher mule deer densities inside WCPPE over 40 y has not resulted in measurable impacts on the highly diverse plant communities of TBWA. Observed differences in diet quality of mule deer may be related to trade-offs incurred through predation risk, where mule deer inside the enclosure are maximizing their energy intake without the burden of predator avoidance and vigilance...

Tucson man cited for poaching javelina, mule deer, doves February 18, 2016 Arizona, Arizona Daily Star
...  issued 21 citations by the Arizona Game and Fish Department for poaching 12 javelina, three mule deers and four mourning doves ...

We are on our way back from the 2016 Western Hunting & Conservation Expo in SLC Utah. We stopped to shed hunt on our way back home to Arizona for a little 5 hour trip! - February 17, 2016


... El Jefe, an adult male jaguar thought to be the only one of his kind in the entire United States ...“They turn around and come back to Mexico or they get shot,” ...

Exclusive video of El Jefe: America's only known wild jaguar - February 3, 2016 Arizona


The Lonely Jaguar of the United States February 4, 2016 Arizona, The Atlantic
...Their range once extended north from Argentina to Central America and Mexico and up into south-central states and even California and Louisiana ... the last legally killed jaguar, a male, was taken by a deer hunter in the Patagonia Mountains, south of Tucson [in 1965] ...

...  groups are joining forces to sue the U.S. Forest Service over a policy that allows hunters in the Kaibab National Forest to drive motorized vehicles cross-country to retrieve felled elk ... a 142-page environmental impact report the Forest Service put together prior to issuing the exemption for big game hunters...

Multi-year Study Of McDowell Mountains Mule Deer To Begin January 30, 2016 Arizona, Arizona Daily Independent
... Up to 32 mule deer will be outfitted with GPS radio-telemetry tracking collars that will enable biologists to study movement patterns and habitat preferences ...

... Four conservation groups, represented by the Western Environmental Law Center, filed suit today against the Kaibab National Forest in Arizona, aiming to protect wildlife and cultural resources from motorized cross-country travel...

Commissioners Urge President to Say No On Monument Designation January 23, 2016 Arizona, Prescott eNews
... The commissioners countered several claims by monument proponents, pointing out that ... There is no threat to the migration corridor for deer between Arizona and Utah. If an issue were to arise, we should seek to remedy and mitigate it, not create another set of rules...

Tucson-area 'Varmint Roundup' is abruptly postponed January 15, 2016 Arizona, Arizona Daily Star
... hunters were to compete for a $1,000 purse for killing the most coyotes, bobcats, foxes and mountain lions ...  Tucson Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation organized the event ... “The Arizona Game and Fish Commission has no official position on predator hunting contests,” ...

Unit 2B January 15, 2016 Arizona Game & Fish Department
... The majority of this unit has very low-density mule deer habitat, with a few pockets of higher concentrations...

Unit 43A January 15, 2016 Arizona Game & Fish Department
... The majority of the deer in this unit will be found near the Colorado River between Ehrenberg and Cibola. There is a large deer herd on the Cibola NWR. The deer may travel between the refuge and the desert areas to the east up to the base of the Trigo Mountains, using the various washes that lead to the river...

Game Management Unit 33 January 15, 2016 Arizona Game & Fish Department
... Unit 33 had several large fires in 2002-2003 that have rejuvenated habitat. The fires have asssited with the high protein content in the deer browse that helps to grow deer and deer antlers. It takes 4-5 years for a buck to mature and grow large antlers in the 90-100 inch class. Good winter and summer rains are needed to have good fawn crops. Unit 33 has high whitetail deer population ...

Unit 45A January 15, 2016 Arizona Game & Fish Department
... during the recent drought the refuge has experienced a steady decline in both fawn production and hunter success. Currently the deer population has decreased from about 1,500 deer in the mid to late 1980s to about 811 in 2015. Low hunter success over the last couple of years bears out this population decrease...

Unit 44A January 15, 2016 Arizona Game & Fish Department
... This year (2015) is looking a better because of plentiful rain but populations are still effected by the long-term drought cycle. The deer population has leveled off from a decreasing trend. The deer that primarily use the low desert have not been as affected as much as those that stay in the mountains. Rainfall in the winter of 14/15 has been above normal and range conditions are good throughout most of the unit.  The higher deer densities are still associated with the Harcuvar Mountains. There are some deer in the Harquahala Mtns. but the overall density is low...

Game Management Unit 6B January 14, 2016 Arizona Game & Fish Department
...   Not much different from the rest of the state, the Mule Deer population in Unit 21 has declined over the past several decades, but buck to doe ratios have remained fairly constant... The majority of whitetail deer seem to use the typical whitetail habitat from about 3500 to 6000 feet in elevation.  

Game Management Unit 6B January 14, 2016 Arizona Game & Fish Department
... Mule deer utilize habitat throughout Unit 6B. The upland conifer forest north of the Mogollon Rim supports a higher density of deer, but older and larger bucks are observed with greater frequency in the chaparral and juniper-pinyon habitats in the Dry Creek and Spring Creek basins of the Verde Valley... The northern half of the unit provides quality elk habitat. The vertical escarpment of the Mogollon Rim west of Sedona divides the upland forested plateau from the Verde Valley...

Unit 10 Deer Status January 14, 2016 Arizona Game & Fish Department
... Mule deer occur unit-wide with the exception of wide-open grassland areas. Population densities range from low-to-medium with the higher densities generally occurring in the Williams corner and the Aubrey Cliffs areas... Other areas in Unit 10 also hold mule deer, but population densities are generally low ... Mule deer in Unit 10 do not appear to be migratory. These are almost all resident deer...  There are a few whitetails scattered across the unit ...

Kaibab Mule Deer Herd January 13, 2016 Arzona, AZGFD News
... Data currently indicates that buck: doe ratios, a very important management statistic, have rebounded as of late and are significantly higher than the statewide average. Under alternative management these favorable ratios should be maintained or even improved. With continued and persistent drought the woody winter browse in 12AW has been less than productive for the past several years and as result concerns over the carrying capacity of this vital range are warranted...

Reward offered in Arizona deer carcass case January 6, 2016 Arizona, AZCentral
...  Jan. 1 about a mule buck that appeared to have been killed with a bow and arrow about a half-mile west of Usery Pass Road near the Salt River and Usery Mountain Park... 800-352-0700

Deer Data:  About 155,000 deer in 2015 post-hunt based on harvest data.  The 2015 pre-hunt mule deer population estimated at 90,00 to 100,000.  A rebound from the 2014 drought, worst in 110 years which devastated deer populations in some areas.  About 135,000 deer in 2014.  Deer hunt permits in 2015 totaled 43,326, 42,175 in 2014, and 43,716 in 2011. The post-hunt 2009 mule deer population was estimated at 75,000 to 80,000 [see p. 6, Hunt Arizona 2012], the white-tailed population was estimated at 70,000 to 75,000.  The all time high population was around 1961 when hunters took 35,897 deer [see p. 7].  A second, more recent peak in the early 1980's with the deer declining through until about the year 2000, about stable since then.  The states decision to go a buck-only hunt in 2000 has had no appreciable impact on the population.  In 2015 there were 43,326 hunt permit-tags issued, 42,175 in 2015, and 43,716 in 2011.
   Despite a serious overpopulation of deer on the North Kaibab in the 1920s, deer numbers had decline dramatically from over hunting in the rest of the state. From the  Arizona Daily Star, Friday, May 12, 1922: "Deer and other game became scarce for a while when human predators almost killed them off in the area, so a reserve was created where hunting was banned. "  In 1929, the mule deer season was closed south of the Gila River, and even as recently as 1946, fewer than 5,000 mule deer were harvested.  For reasons that are still unclear, deer populations began to increase, 1961 was the all time high.  Poor fawn survival reduced the harvest to 16,000 by 1970. 
      A series of droughts since then have kept populations down. [Hunt Arizona, p. 7] Whitetails comprised less than 15 percent of Arizona’s deer harvest in 1961, nearly 40 percent in 1998 , and just over 40 percent today. The 2013 deer survey found 23 mule deer bucks per 100 does, 26 whitetail bucks per 100 does.
    Mountain lion population estimated at 2,500 to 3,000 in 2015.
    Jaguar ... the last legally killed jaguar, a male, was taken by a deer hunter in the Patagonia Mountains, south of Tucson [in 1965] ... a single jaguar was captured on video in Arizona in 2016

Report Poaching:  call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700 or report online at: www.azgfd.gov/ogt_form.shtml   Rewards up to $8,000.

Other useful links:
Arizona Deer Association   - Volunteer to provide water to deer and other wildlife
HabiMap.Org a wildlife information system to help the state in conservation efforts, 300 layers of wildlife data and interactive maps
Arizona Game and Fish Wildlife Center at 623-582-9806.  Information on fawn rescue and other wildlife issues. 

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Mission Statement: Goals: The Department manages wildlife using the North American Model, which asserts that wildlife is held in public trust — not owned by any one person or entity, regardless of whether the animal is on public or private land or water.
     Wildlife is managed based on the overall public good. The North American Model allows non-frivolous use of wildlife, and relies on scientific research-based management. It recognizes that wildlife cannot be managed along political bound aries, so cooperation across boundaries is a neces sity. The North American Model also relies on laws and enforcement, and provides the public a voice in wildlife management decisions.