Arizona Deer News

... 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

Cowboys help rescue deer from Valley canal December 18, 2015 Arizona, azcentral.com
...  the deer was panicked and very cold by the time officials arrived at the scene.  He said a few cowboys came to the deer's rescue. A man stood on a bridge, lassoed the deer's antlers and pulled him to dry land...


AZGFD offers reward in deer poaching case near Sonoita December 8, 2015 Arizona, KVOA Tucson News
.. reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the illegal killing of a trophy mule deer buck on Saturday, Dec. 5, in San Raphael Valley... call 1-800-352-0700

Best of White Mountain Wildlife Part I - Arizona Outdoor Adventures presents a video compilation of the best of White Mountain Wildlife from footage taken over the past few years. The video includes sights and sounds of White Mountain wildlife like Elk, Deer, Wild Turkey, Antelope, Black Bear, and Bighorn Sheep. All footage shot throughout the White Mountains of Arizona. Please visit http://www.azoutdooradventures.org - December 7, 2015


Study to determine if wildlife bridges, tunnels effective December 2, 2015 Arizona, Tucson News Now
... The Department of Transportation is spending an estimated $11 million for an animal overpass on State Route 77 near Catalina.  It will connect the wildlife corridor from the Catalinas to the Tortolitas.  The study will determine its value to animals and humans ...
     SR 77 wildlife project seeing early results December 2, 2015 Arizona, KVOA Tucson News
... The wildlife corridor through State Route 77 seems to be doing its job, and it’s not even complete yet. ... Along with the overpass is a nearby underpass and miles of special fencing to funnel animals in a safe direction...

Reward of Up To $500 Offered for Mule Deer Poaching Case in Willcox November 25, 2015 Arizona, Willcox Range News
... Game and Fish suspects that the doe was killed between Nov. 18 and Nov. 20... call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700

White Mountain Chapter is Elk Society's first in state November 20, 2015 Arizona, White Mountain Independent
... The mission of the Arizona Elk Society is to benefit elk and other wildlife, to preserve the hunting heritage for present and future generations, and to work with local youth on a variety of projects...

Reward in Catalina Mountains poaching case grows to $2250 November 17, 2015 Arizona, KVOA Tucson News
... On Friday, Nov. 6, a Whitetail buck was found tied to the base of a tree with rope. Officials said the deer was shot and its head was removed... call 1-800-352-0700

... mountain lions wandered the entire U.S. until the mid-1800s ...  an estimated population between 2,500 to 3,000 in the state of Arizona ... Male mountain lions roam territories larger than 100 square miles ...

Dead deer found tied to tree in Catalinas November 10, 2015 Arizona Daily Star
... Rewards of up to $2,000 are being offered for information about the person who left a dead deer tied to a tree near Molino Basin in the Santa Catalina Mountains...

... the deer was shot sometime between Oct. 29-31 near Fish Bench ... between Alpine and Clifton...  left to waste...

G&F working to boost deer population in Unit 16A November 3, 2015 Arizona, kdminer.com
...  The number of tags issued ranged from 650 (2009-10) down to 350 this year, with a hunter success rate high of 18 percent in 2014 to a low of 12 percent in 2013... There is no question that the mule deer in this unit are in trouble. Predators, poor habitat and lack of water are all contributing factors...

...  the buck was recently found dead from a gunshot wound at the southern end of the Cerro Colorados Mountains accessible from Arivaca Road on Oct. 25...

Tucson Men Convicted of Poaching in Redington Pass October 27, 2015 Arizona, Wildlife Crimestoppers
... recently convicted of multiple wildlife violations, sentenced to jail and fined in a case stemming from the illegal killing of five deer in Redington Pass.
One defendant pled guilty to 16 charges, and the other to nine charges. They were each sentenced to 120 days in jail.  They are also each required to serve 100 hours of community service and 24 months of unsupervised probation ...

... A total of 43,326 hunt permit-tags were issued in 2015, an increase of 1,151 over last year (42,175) and the most since 2011 (43,716)...

... The purpose of the burns, which encompass roughly 2,500 acres, is to improve mule deer habitat and "return fire to an area where it can play a natural role in the health of the environment ... The burns will also reduce the risk of wildfires ...

Mule deer grazing near the north rim of the Grand Canyon, spooked by a photographer. October 19, 2015


'Robo-deer' dispatched to Arizona forests to thwart poachers October 8, 2015 Arizona, Cronkite News
... The Mule Deer Foundation donated the so-called ‘robo-deer’ to the Arizona Game and Fish Department. [video below]


... The Arizona Game and Fish Department unveiled Wednesday a robotic mule deer designed to catch poachers ... The robot, donated by the Arizona chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation, is outfitted with a real deer hide and can turn its head from side to side...

Flagstaff, Arrow removed from deer subject to poaching probe September 25, 2015 Arizona, Arizona Daily Sun
... two officers of the Arizona Game and Fish Department tranquilized the wounded buck, which had been roaming around the McMillan Mesa area of Flagstaff... The arrow was lodged in the skin of the deer’s head near its ear...

Game and Fish shining spotlight on poachers September 18, 2015 Arizona, Arizona Sonoro News
... One of Arizona’s worst cases of poaching involved two men, Christopher Ball and Christopher Perez, who killed 15 deer as well as other animals over a two-year period from 2013 to 2014 in Redington Pass, Ariz. It was considered an especially cruel case since the two took little meat and left the animals in the desert...

Mule deer doe poached near Forest Lakes September 17, 2015 Arizona, ABC 15 Taking Action 
... illegal killing of a mule deer doe... found off of Old Rim Road on the west end of Forest Lakes last week...

Game And Fish Providing Non-Lead Ammo September 12, 2015 Arizona, Payson Roundup
... Hunters in Arizona have demonstrated unwavering support for the non-lead ammunition program with 85 to 91 percent of hunters in the condor’s core range voluntarily participating in lead reduction efforts over the past seven years... 

... The first incident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. Aug. 23 near the YMCA, between North Turquoise Drive and North Switzer Canyon Drive ... The second incident occurred at about 1 p.m. Aug. 26. Game and Fish officials received information that another mule deer buck was injured and was severely bleeding near the corner of East Forest Avenue and North Turquoise Drive. It appeared that the buck was shot by an arrow in its hind quarter...  Operation Game Thief Hotline toll free at (800) 352-0700

Two Tucson men sentenced in deer poaching case August 27, 2015 Arizona, KVOA 4
... AZGFD says they were first alerted to the poaching incident on August 23, 2014 by an archery hunter in Redington Pass.  Authorities found three deer dead from gunshots wounds, one of the deer being pregnant with two fawns...

...  Projects have included developing guzzlers for wildlife, removing cross fences and building fence to protect riparian areas, removing invasive juniper and many other projects. In return, hunters and all other recreationists have access to the Bar X Ranch...


This is a little footage we picked up by luck while hunting Mule Deer on the Arizona Strip. Shows how brutal life can be in the wild. Just another day in the life of a Muley Buck! July 31, 2015



Resilient forests, resilient communities July 30, 2015 Arizona, TriValleyCentral.com
... I cosponsored the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 because it takes a common-sense approach to forest management... Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff Congressional District 1 ... will not only allow for thinning overgrown Arizona forests, it will revive the timber industry by opening a sawmill and creating good local jobs...

Arizona Big Game Super Raffle Nets Record $598400 for Wildlife July 28, 2015 AmmoLand Shooting Sports News
... The prizes included a total of 10 Special Big Game Tags ... In the 10-year history of the raffle, almost $5 million has been raised for wildlife and wildlife management in Arizona. This year’s event generated a record $598,400 ...

... In Arizona, a total of 91 percent of the big game hunters voluntarily used non-lead ammunition or removed gut piles from the field.  In Utah, 84 percent of big game hunters in the core range did the same. ...  lead poisoning has accounted for just over 50 percent of all condor deaths...

... the doe was killed east of Chino Valley behind a subdivision Sunday night... they found the deer's carcass, stripped of the desirable meat. Two full-term fawns, due within days, were also at the gut pile...

Flagstaff students take part in Southwest Experimental Garden Array project May 11, 2015 Arizona, Arizona Education News Service
... designed to study and model the effects on climate change on ecosystems of the U.S. Southwest ... students worked on construction of a deer/cattle fence and digging holes for experimental plants at the Whitepockets and Little Mountain sites...



... Tests for the fatal neurodegenerative wildlife disease in 1,342 deer and elk have come back negative. Currently, CWD has been confirmed in the neighboring states of Utah, New Mexico and Colorado...

Breeding wolf pair released April 30, 2015 Arizona, Ruidoso News
... Two Mexican gray wolves were released April 22 into the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests in eastern Arizona by staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department...

... Arizona Game and Fish said one such area is the Kaibab Plateau, the home to the iconic Kaibab deer herd and extensive tracts of old-growth ponderosa pine... the proposal of a Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument could prevent restoration efforts of the Kaibab Plateau...

Arizona Deer, Elk Clear of Chronic Wasting Disease April 20, 2015 Willcox Range News
... Tests for the fatal neurodegenerative disease in 1,342 deer and elk have come back negative.  Currently chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been confirmed in the neighboring states of Utah, New Mexico and Colorado...

2015 hunting regulations up for approval April 7, 2015 Arizona, kdminer.com
...  that declining numbers of bucks in Unit 18B, and the reduction of tags for the general hunt in the past two years, called for a small reduction of juniors-only deer tags this year in Unit 18B... 

Deer Data:  The 2014 drought, worst in 110 years, devastated deer populations in some areas, about 135,000 deer in 2014.  Fewer deer permits were issue in 2015.  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.