California Deer News
... A California game warden was shot at last weekend by a group of poachers who were illegally hunting wildlife in Humboldt County ...

Deer makes unexpected splash at California swimming pool August 12, 2016 abc7ny.com
...  "The staff kind of gently led the deer to the pool steps and the little deer sprung out of the pool and ran into the bushes,"  ...

Maybe it just wanted to cool off. A deer dived into a public pool in Berkeley in the middle of a children's swimming lesson. Don Ford reports on the rescue that ensued.


Zone A deer season opens Saturday August 11, 2016 California, Record Bee
...  Mendocino National Forest from Upper Lake to Lake Pillsbury should draw most of the hunters. The ridges from the Deer Valley Campground to High Glade are expected to be crawling with hunters... A successful hunter must fill out the deer tag and have it validated...

Belvedere wrestles with deer August 11, 2016 California, Marin Independent Journal
...  Neighbors ... have recommended the city hire a company that tracks or traps the deer and sterilize ... Sausalito residents just worked to save two acres of open land, in part to preserve habitat for deer, the same mammals that some Belvedere residents want to get rid of.  Across most of Marin, people learn to live with deer...Marin Humane Society and WildCare ... have spoken out against the sterilization plan ...

County's deer population barely hanging on August 10, 2016 California, Record Bee
... Lake County’s once healthy deer population is barely holding its own ... the deer herd reached its maximum population in the late 1950s when the deer take in the county often exceeded 2,000 bucks. Compare that to last year when fewer than 250 bucks were taken... Control burning on public lands is also a major factor in deer survival. Years ago the local ranchers and hunters annually control burned the vast Cow Mountain Recreational Area and the deer thrived. ...

Belvedere deer issue to be subject of forum August 10, 2016 California, Marin Independent Journal
... the council unanimously shot down a costly deer population count that would have required researchers to analyze deer droppings, saying it was too expensive and the results would be of little value... The community forum is tentatively scheduled to be in October. For more information on the deer proposals..
     Marin’s deer and people can coexist peacefully August 8, 2016 California, Marin Independent Journal
... perception of whether there are too many deer in Marin County seems to be subjective. Even in the small community of Belvedere, opinions differ wildly, with some people claiming the area is overrun with deer and others saying they see far fewer deer than ever before...  the number of deer-related calls in the county have remained steady for years, which is a good indicator that populations are stable and not increasing...

Before deer population management can begin on Belvedere island, analysis of deer droppings may be necessary. John Ramos reports. - August 8, 2016 California


Deer hunting season opens in A-zone starting August 13 August 7, 2016 California, VVdailypress.com
... covers the entire coast from Ventura County to Mendicino County. It is the state's largest deer hunting unit with a tag quota of 65,000 tags, a quota which has never been filled... 80 percent [of hunters] believe the deer population has decreased or stayed the same over the past five years ...

Belvedere deer droppings could reveal whether population needs managing August 5, 2016 California, Marin Independent Journal
... to be considered at a City Council meeting Monday would require wildlife researchers to analyze deer droppings, which contain DNA, allowing them to estimate the number and sex ratio ... council considers a controversial deer sterilization program...

A Common Parvovirus in Deer from California  L Li, L Woods, G Gerstenberg, X Deng, E Delwart - Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 2016 California
... We characterize the genome of the first reported deer parvovirus, Ungulate tetraparvovirus 5, which we detected by PCR in multiple tissues from 2/9 Californian mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus californicus) with hair loss syndrome (HLS) and in 4/12 deer without HLS, suggesting this common infection does not cause HLS...

... forests used to be managed more efficiently and effectively 50 years ago, but regulatory constraints or threats of litigation have changed how management decisions are made ... ...At the same time, the number of grazing herds of deer, antelope and other wild animals also has diminished in forestlands, allowing overgrowth of vegetation and increasing fire risk ...

Eureka, Illegal poaching on Elk River Road in Eureka July 30, 2016 California, Times-Standard
... the 6400 block of Elk River Road to investigate the report of a deer poaching ... gunshot caused a traumatic injury to the deer’s spinal column and paralyzed the deer but did not kill it... contact Wildlife Officer Matt Wells at 707.445.6493 or use the statewide poaching tip hotline (CALTIP) at 1.888.334.2258 ...

Shasta County, Woman wants answers about tied-up deer left to die July 26, 2016 California, Redding Record Searchlight
... Its front and hind legs had been bound with white and blue nylon rope ... "I made seven phone calls and got nowhere," ...  neighbors told her, some people tied up the yearling and its mother on Sunday night. They threw the adult deer in the back of a pickup and drove away...

Southern mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus fuliginatus) doe and her twin fawns drink together in San Diego County's back country. - July 26, 2016 California


     The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold an outreach meeting Saturday, Aug. 20 in Los Banos regarding the Northern San Joaquin Valley Type A and B Wildlife Areas. CDFW will take comments and recommendations and provide updates on habitat conditions, availability of water for wetlands and possible impacts to hunter access on public lands...

Monterey Bay Area’s Native Amah Mutsun Seek Return to Lost Way of Life July 21, 2016 California, 90.3 Kazu
... The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band wants to restore ecosystems that once flourished here: from the deer herds that roamed the land to the medicinal plants that sustained the tribe...They may use controlled burning to maintain grasslands ...

... Mountain lions are not listed as threatened in California, but only around 10 to 15 remain within the 240-square-mile Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area... on our current trajectory we expect genetic issues to start causing problems for this population unless they can increase dispersal,” ...

White deer spotted in Monterey neighborhood July 19, 2016 California, KSBW The Central Coast
... The rare white deer also has pink hooves. It is likely the same deer that was born in early 2012 and was seen as a fawn, living in Veterans Memorial Park...

Seeing deer on the Monterey Peninsula is nothing new but a rare type of deer is getting some attention in one Monterey neighborhood: a white doe. Neighbors are spotting what they think is an albino deer in wooded neighborhoods near the Veterans Mem July 18, 2016 California, KSBW


Sacramento, A CBS13 news crew was in Midtown when they spotted this deer roaming the neighborhood. - July 14, 2016, California


   Hunters’ Dollars to Fund Big Game Conservation and Management Projects The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has awarded $1.1 million in grants for big game conservation projects in Fiscal Year 2016-2017 … A $150,000 grant to the California Deer Association to reconstruct and maintain watering devices for wildlife in the northern part of the state...

... For the first time, Baeke Ranch will offer deer, quail and wild pig hunts. Overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley just northwest of Solvang, Baeke Ranch is located in Ballard Canyon Ranches, known locally as “Hog Valley.” The property is approximately 20 acres ...

Fair necessities: Something for everyone July 8, 2016 California, Davis Enterprise
... the State Fair ... petting zoo ... mini donkeys, ponies and deer... European fallow deer have been bottle- and hand-raised ... confidently sidle up to people ...

Tejon Ranch to offer public access -- for $2500 per family July 5, 2016 California, The Mercury News
... . For most of its 165-year history, visits were confined to invited guests and to hunters who paid up to $25,000 to bag elk, deer, wild pig, turkey and even bears....

Watching new wildlife emerge is transforming July 4, 2016 California, SFGate
...  we had no idea it was happening.  Until, that is, the mother and its newborn stood. They emerged together. The tiny fawn took a single step, then another ... My camera captured the moment where the doe nuzzled its newborn’s neck...

... Interstate 280 running up the San Francisco Peninsula saw the highest number of vehicle-wildlife collisions ...  Deer collisions are frequent along Route 50 between El Dorado Hills and Pollock Pines, and along Interstate 80 near Auburn...
     Roadkill Hot Spots on California's Highways Identified in Report June 29, 2016 UC Davis
... The 2016 report from the UC Davis Road Ecology Center pinpoints stretches of highway where wildlife-vehicle conflicts are most common. It drew largely from the thousands of volunteer scientist observations submitted into the California Roadkill Observation System, which also maintains an interactive map of the last 90 days of roadkill incidents and species throughout the state...

Yosemite National Park HD Video of Deer at Mariposa Grove. - July 4, 2016 California


... State officials announced this week that a gray wolf-like animal walked past motion-activated trail cameras multiple times over the past several months in western Lassen County ... State wildlife officials have released a draft wolf conservation plan ...

As I walked the New Almaden Trail this morning I spotted a majestic buck grazing in the forest just off of the trail. It had an impressive rack covered in velvet. Although it noticed me it had no real concern and just went about its business. - June 27, 2016 California


Are Belvedere deer woes worth the public cost? June 22, 2016 California, Marin Independent Journal
... The City Council is being cautious about their proposal to hire a company to catch and sterilize the deer and thereby reduce the herd’s numbers.  The plan has drawn objections from Marin’s two leading animal organizations — the Marin Humane Society and WildCare. Both say that instead of a costly sterilization program, Belvedere residents should protect their landscaping with fencing...

Wildlife-Vehicle Conflict Hotspots along California Highways (2009-2015) California Roadkill Observation System, U.C. Davis [PDF]
... This report provides an overview of wildlife-vehicle conflict (WVC) hotspots on California highways, based on carcass observations in the California Roadkill Observation System (http://wildlifecrossing.net/California)... 

Belvedere council wrestles with deer sterilization proposal July 14, 2016 California, Marin Independent Journal
... The council agreed to invite the Connecticut-based nonprofit White Buffalo Inc., a pioneering group that performs deer ovariectomies, to present a proposal at a July 27 meeting...  a goal of reducing the deer population — which the group estimates is about 100 animals — by about 50 percent...

Lawsuit filed over Mendocino County pot regulations June 12, 2016 California, Santa Rosa Press Democrat
... The Mendocino County Blacktail Association — dedicated to maintaining healthy herds of Columbian black-tailed deer, in part for hunting — is seeking an injunction against the urgency ordinance and demanding the county complete an environmental impact study. The ordinance allows people to grow up to 99 plants on a 10-acre parcel with a permit from the Sheriff’s Office...

Belvedere deer strategy would be safe and humane June 12, 2016 California, Marin Independent Journal
... If approved by the city of Belvedere, a California-licensed veterinarian who specializes in wildlife would perform the surgeries. He has performed more than 400 ovariectomies on wild deer. Capture-related mortality rates have been less than 2 percent.  In a recent identical program at The Villages in San Jose, approved and monitored by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife ...

Pair of deers crossing Eel River in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. - June 9, 2016


Why is the DFW still failing to manage our deer herds correctly? June 6, 2016 California, taftmidwaydriller.com
... 60 to 80 percent of those reported dead deer are yearling bucks, and almost all the rest are two-year olds ...  I was hunting private land managed for quality deer. Our hunter success rate was an honest 80 to 90 percent. Meanwhile, just on the other side of the fence on U.S. Forest Service property, the public hunting zone had a DFW ìestimatedî success rate 14 percent (again, probably actually around seven or eight percent). ...

Sterilizing deer won't solve Belvedere's problem June 5, 2016 California, Marin Independent Journal
...  the population of deer in Belvedere has not grown — it has remained the same for many years...  the use of chemical control (darting an animal with a tranquilizer) is something reserved for critical or dangerous situations ...  White Buffalo Inc., the company five residents want to hire to perform ovariectomies on the deer, plans to undertake serious surgery in a resident’s garage ...  not humane ...

Exotic pediculosis and hair-loss syndrome in deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations in California A Roug, P Swift, B Puschner, G Gerstenberg… - Journal of Veterinary …, 2016
... Infestation with nonnative, “exotic” lice was first noted in Washington black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) in 1994 and has since then spread throughout the western United States. In California, infestation with the exotic louse Damalinia (Cervicola) sp. was first detected in black-tailed deer from northern California in 2004 ... Our results show that exotic lice are widespread in California, and younger age classes with low blood selenium concentrations are more likely to be infested with lice than older deer...

... A woman was busted in Mendocino County after she tried to sell a fawn on Craigslist ... A misdemeanor conviction for illegal possession and sale of wildlife can bring up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine...



California data: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) estimated 512,000 deer in 2015 up from 443,289 deer in 2014.  The population estimate for 2015 that CDFW presented to WAFWA was a range of 450,000 to 550,00, better reflecting the estimation reliability.  Although the CDFW population model relies heavily on the deer harvest data, this estimate was made in early 2015, before the harvest data was available.  Our population model puts the population in the low 400,000 range for 2013 and 2014, down from the peak of about 2 million around 1960.  See a Long term deer population estimate for information on reasons for the decline.  
     Data from the U.C. Davis Roadkill project point to a "troubling decline" in deer numbers for 2015, consistent with the expected outcome of prolonged drought.   Road kill data had jumped in 2014.  Deer appear to have been to be moving around more in search of food of water in 2014, hunter success went up somewhat in 2014, a common result of scarce food supplies. Nevada estimated a population decline as a result of the drought in 2015. Preliminary 2015 harvest data is higher, but the state implemented mandatory reporting which is expected to increase the reporting rate.  In January, 2016, the state considered dropping the target number of deer tags for 2016 from 196,680 to 127,000.  Read a peer reviewed research article demonstrating how public management decisions in California have contributed to the long term decine of the deer population.
     CDFW declines to explain the details of  its population estimation method. We filed a freedom of information request and got one small, undocumented spreadsheet that seemed to assume a downward future trend for the population.  This peer-reviewed research article, starting on page 159, documents previous information on CDFW's website that significantly overstated the relative abundance of deer in California.   
       CDFW estimated the population at 850,000 in 1991, 1.5 million in 1967.  The graphic below shows the CDFW's estimate for the California population since 1991 compared to the reported deer harvest [click on graph
to enlarge]. Recent population estimates from CDFW do not track with the declining deer harvest data.  See a Long term deer population estimate for information on reasons for the decline. Habitat loss, fragmentation, and fire suppression resulting in denser forests have been major factors contributing to the decline of deer populations throughout the West. The decline in timber sales corresponding to reduced logging activity is highly correlated to the decline of California deer populations.  Buy a paper bag - save a deer.  Also contributing to the population decline in California appears to be the large number of deer tags issued by the Game Commission.  
     In 2014, the Game Commission authorized about twice as many buck tags as there are available bucks in the entire state. Given the history of a large number of tags issued, hunter success in California is often lower than in any other state.  If California hunters had the national average hunting success rate, the wild herd would be wiped out. CDFW generates about $25 million in revenue annually from the sale of tags.  
      Evidence suggests that another contributing factor in California may be the long-term policy of  essentially bucks only hunting, resulting in highly skewed deer population demographics, as might be found in a poorly managed game preserve.  The reported 2013 harvest was 13.8% of the peak harvest reported in 1956.  No other state in recent history has experienced this much of a decline. No other state has followed an essentially bucks only harvest nearly as long as California. [see a peer reviewed journal article documenting these issues] The state also takes a high percentage of young bucks, resulting in relatively few mature bucks. The national management trend is to balance herd demographics. Deer managers around the country often comment to the press about the dangers of persistent skewed demographics. A 2009 study of deer in Siskiyou county found only 3 percent males.  During the 1960's, when Idaho was selling too many tags to sustain the herd and overstating the population numbers.  The people of the state pressured the agency, tag sales were reduced, the herd recovered.  Same basic story in Colorado during the 1990's.  About 10,000 deer are killed each year in vehicle collisions.  Estimated $400 million related to deer hunting in the state annually, but on a steady decline.
     Elk, less than 10,000 in 2015.
     The mountain lion population, estimated at around 3,100 by mountainlion.org in 2015, thought to have recently peaked around 1996 at about 6,000 and was guessed to be about 4,000 in 2010, an estimate of 3,000 to 5,000 in 2013  About 600 in 1967, 2,400 in 1972,  at least 5,100 in the late 1980s. California hunters collected from $20 to $60 each for killing 12,461 mountain lions from 1907 to 1963..  Hunting lions was banned in 1990.  More info
     Wolves, the draft plan for wolves in California.  
     California is home to 197 mammal species, 433 species of birds, 84 reptiles, 67 species of freshwater fish and 5,047 native plants. It has more species than any other state. CDFW

Report poaching:  Contact the 24-hour CalTIP hotline (888-334-2258) or send an anonymous text tip to 847411 (tip411). In the message, just text CALTIP followed by a space and then the information.

Useful Links:
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.
Wildlife Observer:  Cam-WON provides a service to operators of wildlife cameras to manage their camera network in a web-based environment enabling sharing of photos and data from their projects.        
 -  Wildlife Fawn Rescue of Sonoma County Wildcare. An Organization Devoted to Living Well with Wildlife in San Rafael, California - Sierra Wild Life Rescue, Placerville   - Wildlife Fawn Rescue, Kenwood  -  Kindred Spirits Fawn, Loomis

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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 

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