Nevada Deer News

NV Limits Times for Collecting Elk, Deer Antlers March 26, 2014 Nevada, The Center for Public Intergrity 
...  "Deer and elk are struggling to survive ... The last thing they need are people out on their wintering ranges harassing them, at a time when maintaining their energy levels is extremely important to survival."

Nevada wildlife board restricts antler gathering March 25, 2014 Nevada, Washington Times 
... Nevada’s estimated 17,000 elk are found throughout much of the state. The state’s 110,000 deer are likewise found throughout much of the state ... Because other states have regulated the practice and Nevada has not, collectors come to the state during the winter to search for antlers ...

Nevada wildlife board OKs 'shed antler' hunting regulations March 23, 2014 Las Vegas Review-Journal
... Commissioners voted unanimously Saturday to prohibit antler collecting in Nevada during a winter-spring period to reduce the stress on the elk and deer ...  prohibits “shed hunting” from Jan. 1 to April 15...

Nevada wildlife board seeks to regulate 'hunting' of elk, deer antlers March 21, 2014 Nevada, Las Vegas Review-Journal
... Nevada Department of Wildlife is looking at regulating the growing practice of “shed hunting” to protect the state’s deer and elk populations... "The price is somewhere around $9 to $12 a pound for elk antlers ... If you find a matched set from a trophy bull elk, they could be worth from $500 to thousands of dollars.” ...

Man convicted, sentenced in deer poaching March 2, 2014 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press
... “This particular area of Lincoln County can be a tempting target for illegal wildlife activity as hundreds of deer congregate in a relatively small area near Echo Canyon Reservoir,”  said Cameron Waithman, the investigating game warden stationed in Boulder City. “We keep a close eye on it ...

Hunting mountain lions February 14, 2014 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press
... The approximate Nevada population estimate of adult lions is 1,360 animals... Typically, dogs are used to chase a lion up a tree and keep it there until the hunters arrive... The USDA Wildlife Services killed 20 lions based on depredation issues and five were killed to protect bighorn sheep...

2014 big game seasons are set, ewe hunt makes debut February 12, 2014 Nevada, Reno Gazette-Journal
... “Residents applying for antlered deer tags in certain units or bull elk tags in certain units will have the opportunity to purchase an additional cow elk tag if they are drawn for either,” NDOW game chief Larry Gilbertson said. “These combination tags were added to help manage elk populations that are above objectives in particular areas.” ...

$1,000 reward offered in deaths of fawn, 2 deer in Clark Co. February 11, 2014 Nevada, Fox 5 KVVU-TV 
...  killed two mule deer and a fawn last month near Indian Springs last month... the animals were left for dead during the early-morning hours of Jan. 25 in the Cold Creek community - about six miles from the High Desert Correctional Facility ...

... significant changes in elk management due to thriving elk populations created new options for Nevada resident hunters that offer combination tags... “The goal with adding these hunts as combination tags is to increase elk harvest without increasing hunter congestion,” ...

Nevada-California Deer Herd at a Crossroads January 29, 2014 Nevada, Tahoe Quarterly
... In an effort to stem death tide, biologists, government officials and interested members of the public sat down together ten years ago to create the Highway 89 Stewardship Team. The goal was to reduce the number of dead deer along the 25 mile–stretch of Highway 89 between Truckee and Sierraville. That work laid the foundation for the construction of highway underpasses ...

Retired biologist describes benefits of grazing, predator control January 27, 2014 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press 
... In the early ’70s ... ADC efforts and the private trappers resulted in a large decrease of coyotes preying on livestock, upland birds and big game. I also had five mountain lion hunters stationed around the state ... in the late ’80s, times began to change. Domestic sheep were being driven off the land by the wild sheep clubs .. These young NDOW and BLM biologists ... do not know that range domestic sheep were a buffer between the predators and mule deer...

... Approximately 110 acres of wildlife habitat within the 796-acre Project Area would be disturbed as a result of the Proposed Action. In addition, 29.5 acres of wildlife habitat would be permanently lost due to the open pits being un-reclaimed.... Loss of breeding, nesting, and foraging habitat could impact general wildlife species as a result of mining activities... . Based on noise modeling by J.C. Brennan &Associates approximately 1,200 acres would be subjected to 45 dBA Leq levels, or higher,during mining activities (2013). This noise level could preclude wildlife from utilizing the habitat within that 1,200 acres. Increased human activity from the Proposed Action would likely displace wildlife ... No formal surveys for mammals, insects, and reptiles were conducted ... The NDOW identifies the entire Project Area as being within occupied pronghorn antelope 
winter habitat, with the southern half of the Project Area as being within a pronghorn antelope movement corridor as shown on Figure 16. Pronghorn habitats within the assessment area are summarized in Table 3-13. During a survey performed in July, 2011, no pronghorn antelopewere observed in the Project Area. A doe mule deer was observed in buffaloberry (Shepherdia sp.) and willow (Salix sp.) habitat west of the Project Area near springs in Thacker Canyon, and several old mule deer pellet groups were found in the rocky hills east of Thacker Creek (JBR 2012)...

NDOW discusses elk hunting options December 3, 2013 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press
...  In order to keep elk numbers under control without increasing hunting tags and congesting areas with hunters ... The following five strategies are being considered:  1. Remove depredation hunts from bonus point program ... 2. Antlerless elk management tag awarded if deer tag drawn ... . Antlerless elk management tag awarded if bull elk tag drawn ... 4. Allow both antlered and antlerless elk applications in same draw period ... 5. Spike tag ...

Elko County advisory board to discuss proposed elk hunt changes November 29, 2013 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press
... “The big driving force is because the elk numbers in the northern part of the county have gotten out of control,” said Tom Barnes, ECWAB chairman... “It’s always good to hear public input,” ..

... Prescribed burning and other methods to improve elk forage, as well as the installation of wildlife-friendly fencing are among the conservation and hunting heritage projects funded by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in Nevada...

Scientists oppose logging bills in Congress November 3, 2013 Nevada, HeraldNet
... "We urge you to consider what the science is telling us: that post-fire habitat created by fire, including patches of severe fire, are ecological treasures rather than ecological catastrophes, and that post-fire logging does far more harm than good to the nation's public lands," they wrote in a letter mailed to members of Congress Friday...

County talks about simultaneous elk hunt in three states October 30, 2013 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press
...  the animals continue to damage property and crops, according to ranchers... “We’re not opposed to a tri-county elk hunt as long as we’re allowed to continue to issue the number of elk tags we need to issue to take care of the elk problem in Nevada,” said Ken Gray, Nevada Department of Wildlife game biologist supervisor...

Nevada game wardens work in a risky world October 19, 2013 Reno Gazette Journal
... The North American Game Warden Museum said that 289 game wardens have been killed in the U.S. since 1886.  The wardens are the only enforcement officers who respond to people that are armed 99 percent of the time... Wardens in Nevada are each responsible for patrolling about 3,000 to 3,300 square miles.  Buonamici said the national average is about 900 square miles per warden ...

Motorists reminded to drive safely as wildlife migration begins October 9, 2013 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press
“Fall deer migration in northeastern Nevada usually begins in early or mid October, depending on weather ... In a recent five year span, there were nearly 2,500 reported vehicle-animal collisions across Nevada, including approximately 1,300 involving deer. Research estimates that more than 50 percent of collisions go unreported ... 

Nevada Deer Season 2013: Hunting Forecast October 4, 2013 Outdoor Life
... dry weather conditions and urbanization have stressed the state's population of 110,000 mule deer for years ...

Deer, antelope, elk population up October 3, 2013 Nevada, Nevada Appeal
...  increased tag sales resulted in an increased total deer harvest of 10,112 compared to 5,831 deer harvested in 2011. Of the 10,112 deer harvested, 8,987 were bucks and 1,125 were does. The 2012 statewide hunter success for all deer hunters was nearly 42 percent ...

Wardens seek answers in Spring Creek deer poaching September 24, 2013 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press
... bloody mule deer doe left to rot with its back sliced open has authorities searching for a poacher.  A golfer found the body Sunday morning under a tree on the Spring Creek golf course near a catch net on the driving range....  call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-992-3030. Tips can be given anonymously.  If information leads to a conviction, the reporting party may be eligible for a reward ...

Hunting season forecast positive overall September 20, 2013 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press
... The number of tags issued for mule deer is lower this year, but still at more than 22,000 total for all areas throughout the season.  “Last year, we were correcting an imbalance in doe-to-buck rations,” Doucette said.  The ratio for doe-to-buck is still good this year, and bull ratios for elk are “excellent,” ... 

Deer herds saved in Nevada by deer hunters September 14, 2013 Nevada, Bubblews
... wildfire ... The problem was that winter was approaching fast and soon the deer would be moving up to their wintering grounds. The food supply there was meager ...  The Nevada game commission  ... opened a second deer season for all deer hunters ... The winter kill was indeed higher than normal, but by less than 10% ...

...Each tunnel on the eastbound lane and westbound lane of the highway is 200 feet long ...  will cover the tunnels with tons of dirt, and will fence in the land bridge along the sides... Nevada officials reported that studies on similar projects have also shown that deer prefer to walk over the highways instead of under them...

Deer Safety: NDOT installs I-80 crossings for animal migration August 7, 2013 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press
... To keep the animals out of harm’s way, the Nevada Department of Transportation is now installing three sets of wildlife safety passes along Interstate 80...  “We’ve studied the U.S. 93 crossings and in two years — four migration cycles — we crossed 16,000 deer. They definitely use (the safety passes).” ...


Search by keyword above or find links to state news stories organized by topic.

Data: Nevada has an estimated population of 110,000 to 112,000 mule deer in 2013 and 2014, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife.  The total population estimate is up from 109,000 in 2011, and up from 107,000 in 2010; but down from a record high of 240,000 in 1988. An estimated economic impact of $130 million annually.  In 2012, Scott Raine, the Wildlife Commission’s former chairman insists that the modeling used to estimate Nevada’s mule deer population is based on false assumptions or conjecture and that the numbers are far lower than cited.  “They’re just wild guesses ... We're over harvesting,”  Harvest Data
    Estimated 1,360 mountain lions in 2014.

Report Poaching:   Operation Game Thief at 1-800-992-3030. Tips can be given anonymously.  Rewards.

Other useful links:
NevadaMuleys.com Helping Preserve Mule Deer Lands and Habitats. 
Nevada Department of Wildlife

News from Department of Conservation


Tweets about Nevada Dept. of Wildlife


Deer History

From the late 1970's through the late 1980's, mule deer populations were increasing rapidly and  tag quotas were at all time highs. Mule deer populations began to decline in 1989.  After the severe winter event that occurred in 1992 - 1993 tag quotas were reduced. When mule deer populations failed to respond positively even 4 and 5 years after the winter conservative quotas were implemented, with post-hunt buck ratio objectives of 30 and higher. Over the last 30 to 40 years mule deer habitat has been on the decline.  Nevada's Mule Deer [PDF]



Goal of Nevada's Wildife Action Plan: Healthy, self sustaining wildlife populations in healthy plant communities on stable soils; Joshua tree overstory with mature stands exhibiting structural complexity, potential for cavities, and appropriately long fire return interval that does not inhibit Joshua tree regeneration, with vigorous shrub component consisting of the full range of species within range site potential; vigorous, diverse self-sustaining understory of grasses and forbs.

Mule Deer Management Mission Statement: To conserve and improve mule deer habitat and minimize factors limiting healthy mule deer populations

Current status of ungulates in sagebrush systems and - USGS (this link will open a large pdf file containing a graphical history of mule deer populations are related issues)

History of Mule Deer Population Dynamics in Nevada


East Humboldt Deer - August, 2013