California Deer News
Deer hair-loss syndrome challenges California researchers; low fawn survival impact population May 19, 2013 California, Lake County News
... CDFW senior wildlife biologist, Greg Gerstenberg. “While this theory is still under investigation, what we do know is that the louse has impacted migratory populations of California deer which now have a low fawn survival rate ...
New Lice Wreaks Havoc on Northern California Deer May 17, 2013 California, KTXL
... Deer in Oregon have had this problem for years, but it’s relatively new to California. Biologist believe it was either brought here through illegal transportation of deer, or simply deer walking over the boarder... they ask if anyone sees one of these bald deer to call them so they can check it out...
Deer Hair-loss Syndrome Challenges California Researchers May 17, 2013 California, CDFW, Low Fawn Survival Rate Impacts Population
Researchers at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are studying a deer hair-loss syndrome across the state. Wildlife experts are calling the issue “hair loss” but the real problem appears to be from the infestation of non-native lice and in some cases, a heavy infestation of internal parasites. Symptoms range from a scruffy looking hair coat to near complete baldness. Hair–loss syndrome is also associated with poor nutritional condition, making it difficult for fawns to survive to replace the normal mortality in mature deer.
“Some of us speculate that the louse-infested deer spend so much time grooming they become easy targets of predation by coyotes or mountain lions,” said CDFW senior wildlife biologist, Greg Gerstenberg. “While this theory is still under investigation, what we do know is that the louse has impacted migratory populations of California deer which now have a low fawn survival rate, making it difficult to replenish the herd.” The goal of the research is to understand why the lice infestations are appearing as well as to understand the full impacts of the non-native louse species and hair loss. Information is also being shared with other western states that have similar issues in order to identify trends and potential treatments.
“It has been speculated that this condition may be attributed to an environmental deficiency of copper or selenium or some other underlying environmental factor such as a difficult to detect disease agent,” said CDFW state veterinarian, Pam Swift. Regardless, we are conducting a comprehensive coordinated effort that will hopefully shed some light on this perplexing syndrome and minimize its effect on California’s precious deer population.”
To date, researchers have successfully captured and collected hair and blood samples from more than 600 deer and elk across California. Counting and identifying lice on each deer, applying radio collars to track the deer, and treating some deer for lice will hopefully give researchers some quantifiable information they need to identify trends and find a solution.
California Outdoor Heritage Alliance halts operations May 10, 2013 Napa Valley Register
... Formed in 2006 as a Political Advocacy organization in response to increasing political threats to hunting and science-based wildlife management in California ... COHA kept the public aware of proposed laws and boldly defended our hunting rights against the efforts of anti-hunting groups ...
Commission Adopts Big Game Hunting Season and 2013 Big Game Hunting Digest Now Available at Vendor and Online April 29, 2013 California, CDFW News Release
The California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) adopted big game hunting season regulations for 2013 recently in Santa Rosa. Regulations of each of the big game species and the proposed number of tags available for each were reviewed and approved by the FGC. Most of the seasons adopted were similar to last year’s seasons. There were some reduction in tags in X zones for deer and antelope and harvest levels in two Tule elk hunts were adjusted. FGC adopted a regulation to potentially increase the number of bighorn tags available to non-residents from 5 percent to 10 percent. Each year, tag quotas for all big game species are adjusted in relation to animal population surveys...
This year 208,880 deer tags are proposed statewide. There are no changes to the A and B zones. In X zones 1, 3B and 12 the number of available tags was reduced due to low population indexes and a low ratio of bucks to does. In X5B the tag numbers were reduced due to fire impact, which may cause hunter crowding. More information on deer harvest, management and tag allocation is available at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/deer/deerhunt.html... The full regulation package approved by the Commission will be available at www.fgc.ca.gov/regulations/2013.
The FGC actions coincide with the release of the California Big Game Hunting Digest, which is now available at license vendors and via download at www.dfg.ca.gov/publications/digest...
Fundraising random drawings for one of each of the following species will also be held this year: deer, bighorn sheep pronghorn antelope and elk. The drawings are open to anyone 12 years of age or older, for $5.97 per chance, per tag. Applicants do not need a valid hunting license to apply, and may apply for the drawings as many times as they wish. Applications must be submitted and transactions completed before midnight June 2, 2013.
Proceeds from all fundraising tags are deposited into the newly established Big Game Management Account, which is used to benefit antelope, elk, deer, wild pigs, bear and sheep populations. An advisory committee reviews and provides comments to CDFW on all proposed projects funded from the account. Recent activities funded by revenue from the fundraising tags have included helicopter surveys, other deer and bighorn sheep studies and improving both hunting access and water source improvements for sheep and deer.
The Spring Edition of California Deer April, 2013 CalDeer.com
Butte County Fish and Game Commission meeting discusses deer, bears and more April 26, 2013 California, Enterprise-Record
...The long-term deer GPS collaring project is coming to a close, with some amazing information about the myriad of impacts on migrating deer. "The fawn numbers in the river deer population are increasing at an unprecedented number. A ratio of 30 fawns for each 100 females maintains the population, and 60 fawns per 100 females gives healthy growth. The river population is running as high as 150 fawns per 100 females...
Mysterious deer deaths remain unsolved April 22, 2013 California, Porterville Recorder
California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have not been able to pinpoint what caused the deaths of at last 13 deer in the Camp Nelson areas earlier this year... “The good news is it has stopped.” ... The mule deer tend to live in and around the Camp Nelson area and rather than migrating up and down ...
California Deer Association Banquet April 17, 2013 Stockton Record
... Deer banquet - California Deer Association's Lodi Chapter will host its first fund-raising banquet at 6 p.m., at the Lodi Moose Lodge ... Information: (209) 826-3508; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wardens Go Undercover to Crack Down on Trophy Animal Sales April 16, 2013 California, NBC Bay Area
... To see how Fish and Game is trying to enforce the law, the Investigative Unit followed a team of wardens to a bust in Santa Clara county. Undercover agents said they contacted a man who had listed 20 different mounts for sale, including the illegal sale of a mule deer and several species of elk found in California. They offered to buy a mule deer mount listed for $600, an amount the seller refused to lower...
Fawns are food for predators in 2013 April 14, 2013 California, San Francisco Chronicle, Tom Stienstra
... The birth of fawns peaks in early May, with a bell curve that runs from now to early June. "Fawns are candy of the outdoors," said Craig Stowers, state deer coordinator for the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Each mountain lion kills about 50 deer a year, and nobody knows how many lions are out there. The last estimate, 4,000 to 6,000, was put out 30 years ago, and most scientists consider it something of a joke to take it seriously. Even if there were only 10,000 lions, that would be 500,000 deer killed per year... [the deer population is] down from about 2 million in the 1960s ... from predation kills and loss of habitat and migratory routes...
2012 California Deer Harvest Numbers Are Available! April 12, 2013 The SoCal BowHunter
... 2012 California Deer Harvest Numbers Are Available! This is a follow-up to my post about the missing 2012 deer numbers from the 2013 CA Big Game Hunting ...
Decision by wildlife officials to release pet deer criticized April 2, 2013 California, Asbury Park Press
... The deer was released on Wednesday, a day after it was confiscated ... The California Department of Fish and Wildlife initially said there was little chance of the doe being returned to the wild... Diane Nicholas of Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue in Loomis, said it usually takes months to get a domesticated deer of that age ready for life in the wild...
Fish and Wildlife Release 2012 Harvest Results with Percentages, But No Totals March 27, 2013 California
Following a steep drop in the total deer harvest numbers in 2011 that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife blamed on a reporting problem, the 2013 Big Game Huntting Report was released today online with no deer harvest totals, only percentage numbers by class for the 2012 season. Although the table on page 28 and 29 follows the format of previous years and even says in the title that the total harvest number is included, the column of information is not actually in the table. This would be the first time in about 100 years that the state has not released harvest data to the public.
Decision by state to release pet deer criticized March 28, 2013 California, Sacramento Bee
... a decision by California wildlife officials to release a family's pet deer into the wild ... Preston Doughty, president of Austin Wildlife Rescue in Texas and a deer rehabilitation expert, said the doe would not have the skills to make it in the wild after two years as a family pet...
California Fish and Wildlife releases pet deer into wild March 27, 2013
... California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials took the doe yesterday from a Rio Linda family who had raised her since she was a fawn... The surprise release came just one day after Fish and Wildlife spokesman Mark Michilizzi said "the chances it will be left to the wild are very slim" because the deer lived with the Rio Linda family for two years...
Fish and Wildlife officials take deer from Rio Linda home March 27, 2013 California, Sacramento Bee
Six-year-old Ulises Cervantes watched from the doorway of his home Tuesday as uniformed Fish and Wildlife officials put his beloved pet deer, Floracita, in a wooden box on the back of a pickup truck and drove away... "A deer is a wild animal, not a pet," said Fish and Wildlife spokesman Mark Michilizzi... [over 10,000 deer farms in the U.S.]
California family rallies to save adopted pet deer March 26, 2013 California
... The Cervantes family saved Florecita when they found her mother dead on the road near their Sacramento County home ... Neighbors, likewise, love Florecita, who runs freely on the family’s large property... California Fish and Game officials, however, will be taking the animal away ... State law says it’s illegal for the average person to keep a wild animal...
Two Lassen County men found guilty of poaching deer March 20, 2013 Calironia, Plumas County Newspapers
... McCallister pleaded guilty to unlawful take of deer, possession of unlawfully taken deer, take of deer without deer tag, take of deer without hunting license and unlawful take of deer over baited area. He was fined more than $5,000, sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years of probation during which time he may not hunt or fish. Child pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful take and unlawful possession of deer...
Deer in Decline in Siskiyou County, Public Input Not Accepted March 18, 2013 California
Michael Kobseff, Sikiyou County Board of Supervisors, made the following public comments to the California Game Commission's March 6, 2013 meeting, “Siskiyou county has identified declining deer populations. My grandchildren can’t hunt deer because there’s not enough of them here any more. When we as the county supervisors took this before the department we had citizens who were biologists that asked to be able to go out and count the number of deer in the winter areas. Your department declined that as not valid data, that the data had to come from the department before you would consider it.”
Driver Beware: Deer, Wildlife Can Cross Anywhere in Saratoga March 17, 2013 California, Patch.com
... Caltrans maintenance supervisor Russell Ellingworth says up to seven dead deer can be scooped up on any given day on either highways 9 or 17...In California alone, the California Highway Patrol reported more than 1,800 wildlife-vehicle collisions in 2010...
Group loses fight to block deer kill in DC park March 14, 2013 California, MiamiHerald.com
... A judge on Thursday ruled against California-based In Defense of Animals and five District of Columbia residents who had filed a lawsuit to prevent the killings... in Washington's Rock Creek Park...
5 men arrested in deer poaching near Merced River March 13, 2013 California, Merced Sun-Star
... They were cited on suspicion of various crimes, including unlawfully killing a deer out of season, killing a doe, unlawfully using a light to kill a deer and killing a deer at night, said Warden Mark Michilizzi. All the citations are misdemeanors...
Deer die off puzzles wildlife officials March 12, 2013 California, Porterville Recorder
California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials are still trying to determine why 13 deer in the Camp Nelson area have shown up dead in the past three months. Wildlife Biologist Evan King said so far officials have ruled out poisoning as the cause... “This herd typically stays in Camp Nelson year round,” said King. “They’re use to people, dogs ..."
Millions for wildlife preservation spent elsewhere, officials say March 7, 2013 California, L.A. Times
... Over the last decade, millions of public dollars intended for wildlife preservation areas were spent off the books on state office needs, equipment and building construction ... The Department of Fish and Wildlife manages more than 1 million acres of habitat. About 130,000 of its acres are leased to farmers ...Payments for 50 of the more than 100 leases in effect last year did not go into the restoration fund, the investigation found. Instead, department supervisors directed tenants to put the payments into accounts that were not part of the state treasury ...
California Fish and Game Commission Meets to Consider Deer and Other Hunting Regulations February 26, 2013 CDFW
Notice of Proposed Changes in Regulations ... Notice is given that any person interested may present statements, orally or in writing, on all options relevant to this action at a hearing to be held at a hearing to be held in the Mt. Shasta Hatchery Museum, 9 #3 North Old Stage Road, Mt. Shasta, California, on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 8:30 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard.
Notice is Also Given that any person interested may present statements, orally or in writing, on all options relevant to this action at a hearing to be held at the Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa, 2777 Fourth Street, Santa Rosa, CA 95405, California, on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 8:30 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard. It is requested, but not required, that written comments be submitted on or before April 3, 2013 to be included in the Commissioners’ briefing materials, at the address given below, or by fax at (916) 653-5040, or by e-mail to FGC@fgc.ca.gov. Written comments mailed, faxed or e-mailed to the Commission office, must be received before 12:00 noon on April 15, 2013 to be delivered by staff to the meeting; or be presented to Commission staff at the meeting no later than the agenda item is heard on April 17, 2013, in Santa Rosa, CA.
Rare white-headed deer spotted near San Rafael February 22, 2013 California, Marin Independent Journal
... "This black-tailed deer herd was notable for the white-headed deer that appeared to be its leader," ... Photographer Norm Levin ... It has a genetic oddity called leucism ... caused by a recessive gene, said Melanie Piazza, director of animal care at WildCare in San Rafael... A similar deer was seen about three years ago in the San Rafael area being followed by a fawn that had inherited the same patterning.
Deer spotted swimming off Moss Landing beach February 18, 2013 Califonia, KSBW The Central Coast
.... We watched it swim for 30 minutes about 100 yards out," ... The deer finally galloped out of the waves and appeared to be fine as it trotted up the beach... Witnesses nicknamed it "the surfing deer" ...
Village's deer controversy continues February 15, 2013 California, Evergreen Times
... the scientific collecting had not been completed by White Buffalo Inc., the wildlife management firm handling the sterilization ... General Manager Darren Shaw ... reports that 99 female deer have been sterlized, 30 relocated and four have died.... "It's a total a total disaster," said resident Jack Young, a hunter and fisherman, who was out the first night when the deer were captured ... " ... We don't have a deer problem" ...
Forest Service plans deer habitat improvement burn February 14, 2013 California, Plumas County Newspapers
... in the Mount Hough State Game Refuge on the Plumas National Forest. “Fire gets rid of the dense, tough older vegetation and causes plants to sprout, providing access and tender, more nutritious food for the animals in the area,” said Mount Hough District Ranger Mike Donald. The California Deer Association, Mule Deer Foundation and California Department of Fish and Wildlife are partners in the project...
Take two spritzes of deer antler spray and call me in the morning February 2, 2013 California, Los Angeles Times
I've used deer antler spray for two days now, and I've rarely felt better, though I do find myself with an overwhelming urge to grind my itchy noggin against big birch trees, and last night, as someone pulled into the driveway, I just suddenly froze in the high beams... In Asia, deer antler is second only to ginseng as an herbal boost, supplement makers say...
Deer Spays: “No Kill” Deer-Population Control Begins in Northern CA Community January 29, 2013 California, Opposing Views
A 1,200-acre gated community nestled in the foothills at San Jose, California, has become overrun by deer, and residents are imposing a “no kill” birth-control program on a herd that has doubled to 170 in just two years... The Villages plan also includes relocating 30 of the sterilized animals outside the fenced area ..
Oaks are a keystone species in California ecosystems that aid in regulating
ecological processes and support a variety of wildlife species. There is mounting
documentation that California oak species are experiencing a lack of recruitment and
declines in populations. Agencies have responded with restoration projects for oaks;
some projects, such as those implemented by the U.S. Forest Service, have multiple use management goals, such as timber harvesting, fire fuel reduction, and oak restoration.... I evaluated the response of black oaks at two US Forest Service multiple use projects in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Northern California. I found that black oak tree and sapling recruitment did not show increases in conifer removal sites over non-conifer removal sites, suggesting that black oaks derived little benefit from multiple use management.
Mule Deer Foundation Invests to Benefit California's Mule Deer January 28, 2013, Southwick Associates
... The Mule Deer Foundation donated 11,600 pounds of Sage Brush seed valued at $253,000 to reseed important California wildlife habitat destroyed by fire... contact Randy Morrison with the Mule Deer Foundation at 707-592-9998. There will be seed planting opportunities as well as a number of water development projects.
Wildlife-Friendly Range Fence 2013 California, Carmel River Watershed Stewardship Manual
... In most cases, a 40-inch tall fence on level ground with a minimum of 12-inch spacing between the top two wires will be sufficient to prevent adult deer injuries and mortalities. Additional accommodations will be needed to allow for passage under the fence for juvenile deer that prefer not to, or are incapable of, jumping over the fence. Whenever feasible, use smooth wire for the top and bottom wires to reduce injuries. Fences should be low enough for adult animals to jump, preferably 40” or less, and the top two wires should be no less than 12” apart. Deer easily tangle their back legs if the top wires are closer together. The bottom wire or rail should be high enough for fawns to crawl under, at least 18” from the ground...
A review of the population dynamics of mule deer and black‐tailed deer Odocoileus hemionus in North America TD Forrester, HU Wittmer - Mammal Review, 2013
.... Predation was the primary proximate cause of mortality for all age classes, and was an important source of summer fawn mortality and of mortality in multi-prey, multi-predator systems. However, predator removal studies suggest that predation is compensatory, particularly at high deer densities, and that nutrition and weather shape population dynamics. We propose three models to explain local population dynamics of Odocoileus hemionus: (i) populations are limited by forage availability and weather; (ii) adult females are limited by forage availability, fawns are limited by forage availability and predation, and population growth is constrained by fecundity and fawn predation; and (iii) large changes in the abundance of predators or alternative prey change predation risk and destabilize population dynamics... [this article is related to a deer study in California]
Read the latest issue of the CDA Newsletter - Winter 2013. California Deer. The Official Publication of the California Deer Association ...
San Jose: Deer at the Villages to be sterilized January 22, 2013 California, San Jose Mercury News
... a plan to use archers to thin the herd in 2007 was derailed after a week of angry protests. But a Villages spokesman said the current plan to relocate 30 animals outside of the community's eight miles of fencing and sterilize the does in the 170-strong herd is a humane solution to the growing problem.... a study co-authored by DeNicola and Cornell University researchers found there is currently no federally registered drug commercially available for deer control. [available drugs for non-lethal control] ...
CDFW to Offer Predator Hunting Clinic at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area January 17, 2013 California, California Fish and Wildlife
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (CDFW) Advanced Hunter Education Program is offering a predator hunting clinic on Feb. 16 at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area in Riverside County. Designed for hunters of all skill levels, this clinic will teach the best techniques and tips for pursuing coyotes, fox and bobcats...
State calls off the dogs for bear hunting January 1, 2012 California, Calaveras Enterprise
... illegal to pursue bears and bobcats with hounds... Data collected in 2011 by the California Department of Fish and Game indicates there are between 25,000 and 30,000 black bears living in 52,000 square miles of hunting zones throughout the state...San Andreas businessman Rico Oller disagrees ... estimating the state population is now in excess of 70,000... “Bears are huge predators of fawns ... They are just going to devastate the fawn population.” ...
Department Name Change Effective Tomorrow December 31, 2012 California DFG
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) will become the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), effective Jan. 1.... “The name of the department was changed to better reflect our evolving responsibilities,” said Department Director Charlton H. Bonham
Aerial survey estimates of fallow deer abundance [PDF] 2012 California Fish and Game
… We used ground surveys to determine distribution and ground and aerial surveys and individually marked deer to estimate the abundance of fallow deer in north-coastal California. Estimated post-rut densities across 4 annual surveys ranged from a low of 1.4 per squared kilometer to a high 3.3 deer per square kilometer in a low density stratum and from 49.0 deer per square kilometer to 11.6 deer per square kilometer in a high density stratum. Sightability was positively influenced by the presence of white color-phase deer in a group and group size, and varied between aerial and ground-based observers and by density strata. Our findings underscore the utility of double-observer surveys and aerial surveys with individually marked deer, both incorporating covariates to model sightability, to estimate deer abundance.
Firefighters rescue deer trapped in canal's water December 25, 2012 California, Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Metro Fire Department personnel rescued a deer that had been caught in the Folsom South Canal at Sunrise Boulevard and Sun Center Drive in Rancho Cordova ...
DFG Releases Necropsy Results of Mountain Lions Shot in Half Moon Bay December 21, 2012 California, CDFG News
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) today released the results of necropsies performed on two mountain lions shot by DFG law enforcement staff on Dec. 1 in Half Moon Bay. The necropsies showed the two female lions were about four months old and in poor condition. DFG biologists believe it is unlikely they would have been able to survive in the wild. The two lions weighed about 13 and 14 pounds and their stomachs were empty.
“An incident like this one requires time to gather all the facts. With the necropsy reports, I now realize these animals were smaller than assumed. I regret this unfortunate incident in Half Moon Bay for all involved,” said DFG Director Charlton H. Bonham. “The Department intends to learn from this experience. We take the safety of the public and the welfare of California’s wildlife with the utmost seriousness.”
The two lions were first reported to DFG on Nov. 30 by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office. On the advice of DFG staff, sheriff’s deputies encouraged the lions to move out of the residential area. The lions returned to Half Moon Bay the following day, Dec. 1. By the time wardens arrived at approximately 2 p.m., the lions were under a backyard deck and the rain was constant. Wardens were only able to see the heads and faces of the lions.
“In a perfect world we would have had further non-lethal options available. Law enforcement authorities from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and DFG attempted to haze the lions over a 36-hour period but were unable to move the lions out of the area. Our trained wardens work in extraordinarily difficult circumstances every day and this day was no exception,” said DFG Assistant Chief Tony Warrington.
Resident reports deer attacked by mountain lion December 19, 2012 California, OCRegister
2:40 a.m. Friday. Atherton Drive and Normandy Court. A Coto de Caza security officer called about a deer that was attacked by a mountain lion. The deer was in the street but he didn't know where the mountain lion was hiding, possibly behind a tree. The man said he would stay in his vehicle.
Glendale, Second dead deer found in same Glendale area, cause of death unconfirmed December 18, 2012 California, Glendale News Press
Authorities said on Tuesday they have not confirmed whether a dead deer -- the second such find in the canyons of East Glendale recently -- was killed by a mountain lion or coyote...
Cuyamaca, West side trail has its own story to tell, still recovering from 2003 fire December 15, 2012 California, U-T San Diego
... The West Mesa area of Cuyamaca was studied from 2004-2009 for California State Parks to determine the repercussions of the largest wildfire in California’s recorded history. Some 98 percent of pine trees were killed, whereas most of the oak trees were killed only above ground, but resprouted from their bases.... mule deer in Cuyamaca “preferred California black oak acorns over any other forage.” Fawn survival rates tend to increase or decrease with the size of local black oak acorn crops... many deer tracks on the West Side Trail ...
Glendale, Deer was killed by mountain lions in Glendale December 13, 2012 California, Glendale News Press
A deer was found dead at the Sports Complex in Glendale ... Mountain lion footprints were found in the area...
Struggling deer observed at Emerald Bay, More from Laguna Beach December 13, 2012 California, OCRegister
A deer that ran into the ocean at a private beach in Irvine Cove ... The animal began swimming south toward Aliso Creek Beach but died, apparently of a heart attack ... This is the second deer to be stuck in the water this year.
What about the deer? (on Mount Lincoln) December 13, 2012 California, Napa Valley Register
... There is a small herd of deer that have been spending their summers on the back side of Mount Lincoln for many years. The does come in the spring and birth their babies here... This herd of deer has been coming here for many generations... [Editor’s note: Owner John Merchant is proposing a major expansion of Indian Springs Resort, to wrap around Mount Lincoln. That proposal will be before the City Council on Dec. 18 for a public hearing.]
Pure-white deer spotted again in Monterey December 10, 2012 California, KSBW.com
A rare deer with a gleaming white coat of fur has amazed many Monterey residents this month. On Friday, one Monterey resident shot photographs of the white deer while it was strolling near Quarry Park ... may be the same white deer that was born in Monterey earlier this year ...
Rare California Wolf on the Move for Food December 9, 2012 U-T San Diego
California Department of Fish and Game program manager Karen Kovacs told The Oregonian winter storms lashing the high country south of Lassen Peak have forced deer to lower elevations, and the wolf known as OR-7 has followed ...
Deer back in Bidwell Park pen December 5, 2012 California, Enterprise-Record
... deer wander into the pen regularly, said Dan Efseaff, park and natural resource manager.... Long ago, state Department of Fish and Game and other agencies used to put deer in the pen that had been injured or taken from people illegally keeping them. The pen was a favorite spot for youngsters and adults alike, who would toss old apples or other vegetables over the fence. ... the state agency decided the deer shouldn't be kept penned up, and in 1995 relocated some to a valley wildlife preserve, and castrated the others ...
Wildlife Conservation Board Funds Environmental Improvement and Acquisition Projects November 30, 2012 California, CFG News
The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved $18.8 million to help restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat throughout California at its Nov. 29 quarterly meeting. The 21 funded projects will provide benefits to fish and wildlife species, including some endangered species, and provide public access opportunities to important natural resources [projects such as] ... A $2.5 million grant to the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County to acquire approximately 1,210 acres of land for the protection of habitat linkages and working forest property in the Pajaro Hills, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.
Suspected deer poachers caught red-handed November 20, 2012 California, Crime News10.net
... Fish and Game officers were called and learned the deer had just been shot on Ponderosa Road and put in the back of the SUV, Foy said. However, the deer wasn't dead and began to struggle in the back of the Toyota. One or both of the men allegedly stabbed the deer to stop its struggle and kill it ...
Federal Wildlife Services makes a killing in animal-control business November 18, 2012 California, San Luis Obispo Tribune
A coyote is caught in a neck snare set by Wildlife Services trappers in Nevada. Wildlife Services trappers have killed .... "Geese, deer and feral pigs can destroy golf course greens, fruiting plants (and) lawns," the agency says.... Erick Wolf, CEO of a California firm called Innolytics, which developed a form of birth control for Canada geese and pigeons with help from Wildlife Services' scientists in Colorado... "All they want to do is shoot, trap and poison," said Wolf. "They don't want to consider anything else."
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...
Young bowhunter's trophy buck now part of DFG investigation November 16, 2012 California, North County Times
... the buck's score is the highest ever for a California mule deer.... Kettl was cited for shooting an arrow within 150 yards of a barn and unlawful possession of an illegally taken deer...the big question is was the hunter cited on a technicality because he shot a monster buck that Julian locals, and even the game warden that cited him, had been seeing and trying to hunt themselves?
California's Strategic Vision for Fish and Wildlife Leads to New Initiatives and New Name November 15, 2012 Outdoor News Bulletin
... Two years ago, the California General Assembly passed a bill that required development of a new strategic vision for the California Fish and Game Commission and the California Department of Fish and Game. Assembly Bill (AB) 2376 called for improving and enhancing the capacity of the department and commission to fulfill their public trust responsibilities to protect and manage the state’s fish and wildlife for their ecological values and for the use and benefit of the people of California.... the bill calls for the use of ecosystem-based, adaptive management and credible science. It directs the department and commission to emphasize partnerships, collaboration and coordination with others.... also changed the name of the department from “Fish and Game” to “Fish and Wildlife.” ... Additional Information
Sierra conservation groups complete $8M deal to protect Webber Lake, Lacey Meadows November 15, 2012 California, Sierra Sun
... the permanent protection of Webber Lake and Lacey Meadows, an extraordinary 3,000-acre property at the headwaters of the Little Truckee River northwest of Truckee. The property will be opened to the public for the first time in more than a century when the snow melts next spring... 1,900 acres of pristine sub-alpine meadow ... animals recorded on the property include black bear, mule deer, mountain lion, bald eagle ...
Activists reach deal with National Park Service to halt DC deer killings, for now November 14, 2012 Washington Post
They say the deer can be managed with nonlethal methods and that the plan to kill the deer violates a law requiring the park service to preserve wildlife in its natural condition as nearly as possible. The park service had planned to use sharpshooters ... lawsuit filed by In Defense of Animals based in California ...
Rutting season brings higher risk of deer vs. car accidents November 1, 2012 Auburn Journal
Between July 2011 and June 2012, there were 25,000 vehicle accidents involving deer in California, according to data supplied by State Farm Insurance ... Deer-related accidents tend to spike in November ...
Authorities searching for deer shot by arrow in Berkeley November 1, 2012 California, Berkeleyside
... the Berkeley hills... Young-Eun Choi , who lives on Campus Drive, spotted the wounded and weakened deer Wednesday morning and took some photos of her eating. “The head of the arrow had gone through the body but the tail of the arrow was still on the opposite side, leaving the arrow stuck in the deer,”
Deer Hair Loss Symdrome October 29, 2012 CDFG Wildlife Investigations Lab
A deer Hair Loss Syndrome (HLS) workshop was hosted by the Wildlife Investigations Lab on Aug. 20-21, 2012 ... HLS is a recently described disorder affecting black-tailed deer in the coastal areas of Washington, Oregon and California. Little is known about the cause of the syndrome and its effect on black-tailed deer populations. It is characterized by a severe infestation of an exotic chewing louse (Damalinia sp.), general decline in body condition, hair loss (especially over the thorax, flanks and hindquarters), morbidity, mortality and excessive grooming behavior. It is seen in mostly young deer, especially does, and is most evident in the winter and spring.
Animal Lovers Defend Deer in Rock Creek Park October 29, 2012 Washington, D.C. Courthouse News Service
... In Defense of Animals, of San Rafael, California, sued the National Park Service to stop it from a mass killing of deer in Washington's Rock Creek Park ... " the population of native wildlife that, according to the Park Service's own data, has remained relatively stable for at least ten years and decreased in many years under natural conditions without any human interference, is unwarranted, particularly when NPS also concedes that the deer pose no urgent threat to the Park or any of its resources," the complaint states.
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California data: The California Department of Fish and Game estimated 489,000 deer in 2012, up from an estimate of 445,000 deer in 2011. That is down from about 850,000 in 1990 and from the peak in the 1960s of 1.5 to 2 million. During the 1800-1850s, the deer population is estimated to have been about 800,000. The population fell to about 300,000 during the 1850 to 1910 period, the historic record low.
The mountain lion population peaked in 1996 at about 6,000 and was estimated at about 4,000 in 2010. Estimated $400 million related to deer hunting in the state annually. Resident Hunting License $43.46
- California Roadkill Observation System Report what you see, the roadkill incidents are saved to a database that is mapped and used at U.C. Davis for Wildlife Research.
- California Essential Habitat Connectivity, science and collaboration for connected wildlands.
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- New Strategic Vision as California Fish and Game becomes California Fish and Wildlife
- California Wildlife Action Plan (summary); - California's Wildlife Action Plan Report a 623 page detailed plan
Closure of California Deer Refuges to be considered by the legislature. The report, which was recently made public, is a result of public input and comments the department has gathered in regards to its proposal to eliminate the refuge status of 19 state game refuges, effectively opening those areas to hunting. A full copy of the report is available on the department's Website at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/gamerefuges
Wildlife Fawn Rescue of Sonoma County Wildcare. An Organization Devoted to Living Well with Wildlife in San Rafael, California
Bay Area Puma Project, Fish and Game Information and Map of the travels of the first wolf know to be in California since 1924.
The Decline of the California Deer Population
As habitat disappears, so does California's deer population April 14, 2012 McClatchydc.com
... since 1990, California has lost nearly half its deer population, according to the state Department of Fish and Game... This forest icon is on the wane mainly for one simple reason: habitat loss... Deer require a particular type of forest habitat called "early seral." ... 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.
The population estimates in the graphic below were provided by CDFW to the Sacramento Bee in support of a story to explain why $300,000 has been allocated to a research project to study the causes for the declining deer population in California.
Graphic from Sacramento Bee
You Wouldn't Know How Far The Deer Population in the State of California Has Fallen If You Relied on the Graphic on the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Website
The bottom part of the graph below (dark blue line) was taken from the CDFW website, the straight line is developed by using the CDFW estimate for deer in California in 2012 that was released to the Sacramento Bee (consistent with the graph above) and the common estimate in the literature for the peak population in 1962 of about 1.5 to 2 million deer. The straight line shows the downward trend for the deer population in California based on these two numbers, compared to the CDFW's suggest trend. The CDFW graph significantly distorts the deer population trend. [Double click on graphic for larger image]
Issues with California Deer Management
The harvest data for 2011 shows a steep decline, but the CDFW explains this as a result of the new tag sales system, Automated License Data System (ALDS) that was deployed in January, 2011, and a nearly 20 percent increase in non-reporting [California Big Game Hunting Digest 2012, page 21. This information was removed from the web site in about February, 2013. The harvest data for 2012 has not been posted. Last year the data was posted around mid March]. Other states have implemented similar systems without a significant drop off in reporting. Non-reporting is illegal and is estimated. This harvest data is one of the primary inputs into the state's deer population model. [double click image to enlarge]
Deer Population News Archive on this site that indicated the deer population was suffering a severe decline. Using a simple estimate that hunters reported kill reflects the long term average of about 3.5 percent of the total population, the 2012 population estimate would be 294,000, well below the 489,000 provided by CDFW.
In an effort to boost population, does are not hunted legally in California. In 2011 the harvest of bucks by age class was: Two point bucks: 51.2%; Three point bucks: 29.9%; Four point bucks: 15.4%; Four point plus bucks: 2.7%. It is illegal to shoot a two point buck in many states. The very high proportion of immature bucks taken as harvest and the very low buck to doe ratio contrasts with the efforts of quality deer management that many states have enacted since 2000 where buck age restrictions and some balance of the buck to doe ratio has been considered essential in maintaining a healthy herd. For example, here is a recent article about reform of deer management in South Carolina:
Deer hunters better off thanks to outreach of Bogart non-profit October 17, 2012 South Carolina, Oconee Enterprise
[In 1988] South Carolina ... Bucks were overhunted, and does were treated like sacred cows. The annual harvest was dominated by bucks no more than a year and a half old. “They thought that it was because of inbreeding that bucks were getting smaller,” said Joe Hamilton [of Quality Deer Management] ... Hamilton, a graduate of the UGA School of Forestry, was familiar with a book, “Producing Quality Whitetails,” written by Al Brothers in Texas. For some reason, his methods had not made it beyond the vast state borders of Texas...
A long time observer of the California deer expresses concern about current management policies:
California Black-tailed Deer, where are they? September 15, 2012 Examiner.com, Jeffrey Banke[Jeff Banke is a freelance photographer who has been teaching Hunter Education for the California Dept. of Fish & Game for 18 years, is one of only 7 Master Instructors in the State.]
... 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...
The Low Buck-to-Doe Ratio Makes Fawns More Likely to be Taken by Predators
Hunters must adjust to Oct. doe season October 20, 2012 West Virginia, Charleston Gazette
... "The specific benefit to the deer herd is that it will compress the breeding season," Johansen explained. "When there are too many females in a deer population, the rut gets extended because it takes too much time for bucks to service all the does." Instead of taking a couple of weeks, the rut can stretch to almost a month... an extended rut inevitably leads to an extended birthing season for fawns the following spring ... "When the fawn drop is spread out over a long period of time, newborn fawns become much more susceptible to predators," he said. "Coyotes and other predators have several weeks to pick fawns off when they're most helpless."
An ongoing study of deer in Wisconsin shows that predation is the second most cause of deer mortality after hunting, and "most predations occur within the first four to six weeks following birth" Study continues to monitor cause of mortality among Wisconsin deer February 6, 2013 WDNR
Video discussing other problems as a result of low Buck-to-Doe Ratio
23, 2012 Pennsylvania, BowHunting.com
In 2012, Utah dramatically reduced the number of tags:
2012 general-season buck deer hunt begins Saturday with big changes October 18, 2012 Utah, Cache Valley Daily
“Back in the 70s and 80s the number of tags given out was around 210,000. This year we have around 50,000 tags, 25 percent of that number. People have said for a long time that they would like better quality and fewer hunters.” “Although deer herd populations won’t see a big increase there will be an increase in buck-to-doe ratio,” Douglas said. “This means for hunters that the quality of deer will go up. We may not see these increases in the next year but in the future that quality will increase.” “Back in the 70s and 80s the number of tags given out was around 210,000. This year we have around 50,000 tags, 25 percent of that number. People have said for a long time that they would like better quality and fewer hunters.”
Predators and Prey—A Case of Imbalance, Mountain Lions and the North Kings Deer Herd "Forest Research West", June 1989
In the study area on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada, apparently mountain lion numbers have increased while deer numbers declined to about one-eighth their peak numbers in the 1950s.. In the study area on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada, apparently mountain lion numbers have increased while deer numbers declined to about one-eighth their peak numbers in the 1950s. Neal, along with George Steger (also with PSW), studied the California mule deer in the Sierra Nevada from 1970 to 1985 as part of an interagency effort to reverse the decline. This effort showed that the decline was primarily due to loss of fawns during the first 6-8 months of life.
Resource Management Mission Statement: "The Mission of the Department of Fish and Game is to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public."