Oregon Deer News

Bend, Watch out for deer and elk April 26, 2016 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
... For generations mule deer have come to Bend and surroundings this time of year to birth their young and to raise them for six months, until they are ready to travel the hundred miles or so to their wintering grounds east of here ... Isn’t it time we came to our senses and followed the example of Washington state, which requires consideration of impacts to wildlife before new projects or development can occur? ...

Caldera Spring resort approved for expansion April 16, 2016 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
... granted approval this week to expand onto 614 acres ... Central Oregon LandWatch expressed concerns about the resort having adequate habitat for deer that cross the property during migration season.  The developer proposed in the approved application to set aside 125 acres for deer ...

ODOT warns C.O. drivers: Watch for migrating deer April 12, 2016 Oregon, KTVZ
... “Spring is the traditional season when mule deer that have been over-wintering near Fort Rock make their way back to the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range ... They have to cross US97 to reach their destination, so motorists need to be alert for deer on or near the highway.” ...

ODFW takes scientific approach April 6, 2016 Oregon, Lake County Examiner
... a new project is underway specific to southern Oregon to better track mule deer populations and migration paths...  use of GPS and VHF tracking collars. Designated deer are chemically captured using tranquilizer darts, collared and released using on-ground resources or helicopters...

Oregon's Moose Count April 6, 2016 The Source Weekly
... Oregon's moose ... are Shiras moose, the smallest subspecies in North America. Even so, males still tip the scales at 1,000 pounds —mid-sized when compared with a typical 1,500-pound Alaska-Yukon bull moose. The female Shiras moose can weigh around 700 to 800 pounds...  Last count there were about 60 of them in Oregon, scattered across parts of the Umatilla and Wallowa-Whitman national forests ...

... despite their claims by cattle farmers who receive taxpayer subsidies for raising their herds on leased public land, livestock depredations in Oregon are extremely rare, and have become scarcer even as the wolf population has increased. Meanwhile, ODFW’s data shows that Oregon’s wolves are having no effect on elk, deer, and wild sheep populations....

Ashland, Officers free deer stuck in tree in Oregon April 1, 2016 Oregon, WTSP
... Officers used a hydraulic jack to spread the tree trunk until the deer was able to squeeze through, according to the police department’s Facebook page...

Ashland taking steps to control bold wildlife March 28, 2016 Oregon, KOBI-TV NBC5 / KOTI-TV NBC2
...  city officials voted to put new signs up warning citizens about feeding the wildlife.  If you’re caught feeding wild animals around town, you have the potential to get a $435 fine...

... Blacktail deer droppings hold a genetic key that helps researchers gauge their local population....

... Dave Wiley, with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, said ODFW must protect Oregon’s deer and elk herds as wolf packs expand... Oregon’s minimum wolf population at the close of 2015 was 110, with 12 packs and 11 breeding pairs. A recently updated count showed 35 pups survived through the year...

Wildlife Corridors March 21, 2016 Oregon, Oregon WildBlog (blog)
... In 2012, the only wildlife crossing in Oregon was built. It crosses under Highway 97, near Bend, and its target species is the mule deer, a type of deer whose habitat and population had been decreasing. Mule deer in the Cascades spend the summer in the high Cascades, and then migrate east, across Highway 97. The busy highway, however, blocked their way, and when they attempted to cross they were often killed...

Commission briefed on Wolf Plan Review, Columbia River Harvest Reform, and proposed new wildlife holding rules  March 18, 2016
     The Commission met today in Salem for a briefing on the 2015 Annual Wolf Report and to hear from panelists about the five-year review of the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. The panelists were selected from organizations that have been actively engaged in Oregon wolf management over the last 10 years—Cascadia Wildlands, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Oregon Wild, Oregon Cattleman’s Association, Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Hunters Association and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation...

Hunters slowly switching from lead ammunition March 17, 2016 Oregon, Statesman Journal
... eagle had the highest lead level I've ever measured ... California is in the process of banning lead ammunition completely by 2019. Oregon prohibits lead ammunition for shooting waterfowl in accordance with federal regulation, but leaves the choice up to hunters for other types of game...

Story about deer management in Ashland, Oregon. March 17, 2016


... While ranchers and hunters stumped in favor of delisting, wolf advocates warned commissioners they were likely to sue if wolves lost their endangered status. They argued the state had ignored Oregon law by failing to conduct a full peer review ...

Apply by May 15 for new Premium Hunts for deer, elk and pronghorn March 9, 2016 Oregon, ODFW News
   Some hunters pay thousands of dollars to win special raffle tags that offer the chance to hunt deer, elk and pronghorn during a months-long season. But beginning this fall, it will cost a few lucky hunters just eight bucks.  New in 2016, ODFW is offering Premium Hunt tags for deer, elk and pronghorn. Hunters who draw these tags get a two or three-month season hunt ...

Oregon wolf population grew 36% last year February 29, 2016 ODFW News
Walla Walla Pack
... Oregon’s known wolf population
continued to grow in 2015. The minimum Oregon wolf population is now 110 wolves, a 36 percent increase over the 2014 population. ODFW released the 2015 Wolf Report today ... [Picture is of Two adult wolves from the Walla Walla Pack were caught on remote trail camera Jan. 16, 2016 in northern Umatilla County] ... At the end of 2015 there were collars on 11 percent of Oregon’s wolf population.  To see the full report or learn more about wolves, visit www.odfw.com/wolves  ...

Add bloomers to the landscape February 27, 2016 Oregon, Longview Daily News
... Oregon grape or mahonia is one of the best early flowering native plants for saving birds, bees and butterflies... Deer resistant, it is one of the few plants that will thrive under the dry shade of fir and cedar trees...

Warm Springs negotiating tribal hunting control February 26, 2016 Oregon, KTVZ.com
... For the last several years, the tribes have quietly negotiated with the state of Oregon on an agreement allowing them to issue their own tags and set their own bag limits on game like deer and elk... a temporary agreement reached in 2014 is already allowing the tribes to manage hunting...

Oregon's Cougar Population is Growing February 25, 2016 The Source Weekly
...  Department of Fish & Wildlife estimates that there are approximately 6,000 ...  Cougars are known to travel large areas, sometimes covering as many as 150 square miles. An adult cougar can consume a deer every week ...

Mule Deer Summit in Omak March 12 February 22, 2016 Oregon, The Spokesman-Review
... A Mule Deer Summit stacked with educational programs is set for March 12 in Omak, sponsored by the Okanogan Trails chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation...

Funding Task Force Meets Feb 29 at State Capitol February 19, 2016 Oregon, ODFW News
...The legislative task force on Funding for Fish, Wildlife and Related Outdoor Recreation and Education will hold its second meeting at the State Capitol on Monday, Feb 29 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Room HR 50. Task force members will hear about other state and national efforts to find sustainable methods of funding fish and wildlife management and related conservation, recreation and education efforts... A list of task force members, meeting agendas and materials can be found on the Oregon Legislative Information System.

... a three-year plan to kill 95 cougars annually in four wildlife management areas.  In three of the areas — Interstate, Warner and Steens — cougars will be killed to rescue decimated mule deer or big horn sheep populations... estimated 214 animals in 1961, but recovered as ODFW classified them as a game mammal in 1967 and took over jurisdiction. The population rose to 3,114 by 1994 ...

Hunters getting into the swing of things with mandatory reporting February 15, 2016 Oregon, Mail Tribune & Daily Tidings
... By the end of Jan. 31, 85 percent of deer-tag holders and 87 percent of elk-tag holders reported, as did 91 percent of pronghorn-tag holders and 94 percent of those who drew muzzleloader tags, according to the ODFW.  ...

... The deer was shot on about Nov. 20, 2015 ... The head of the deer was cut off ... call Cyr at 541-523-5867, extension 4170.

ODFW program collars mule deer for population study February 8, 2016 Oregon, Wallowa County Cheiftain
... Declining mule deer populations over the past few decades have forced Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to apply GPS radio collars to the animals... No one is really sure of the cause of the decline ... “Last year put we out over 500 collars in the central part of eastern Oregon and this year we’re adding another 140-some in the northeast part ...

Fish and Wildlife Commission meets in Tigard Feb. 12 February 5, 2016 Oregon, ODFW News
... The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet on Friday, Feb. 12 in Tigard at the Embassy Suites Portland Washington Square, Regency One Room ... Cougar Management Plan Review Process: As part of the ODFW Director’s report, staff is set outline the process for reviewing this plan, which was adopted in 2006. The Plan outlines how ODFW manages Oregon’s estimated 6,000 cougars with a focus on maintaining a viable, healthy cougar population while preventing conflict with livestock, pets and public safety and managing cougar impacts on ungulate populations...

Apply for Hunter Representative position on A and H Board by Feb. 29 January 25, 2016 Oregon, ODFW News
    Help provide hunting access and improve wildlife habitat on private land by serving on the Access and Habitat Board. ODFW is recruiting for a Hunter Representative position on the statewide Board and applications are due by Feb. 29, 2016. Those with an interest and experience in hunting and wildlife conservation are encouraged to apply. Please contact Isaac Sanders at (503) 947-6087 or visit http://www.dfw.state.or.us/lands/AH/get_involved.asp for application forms and more information ...

Gray Wolves At Center of Controversy January 20, 2016 Oregon, KEZI TV
... Levi says he thinks there are probably about 100 wolves in the state, slightly more than the official number of 81. He says wolves are uniquely suited to bringing down big game such as livestock and elk, but they pose virtually no threat to humans...

OSP Asks Public Help in Finding Poachers January 17, 2016 Oregon, mycentraloregon.com
... unlawful taking of five (5) mule deer outside of Baker City, within the Lookout Mountain Wildlife Management Unit, located in Baker County...

Commission meets Jan. 15 in Salem, discussion of Wolf Plan  January 8, 2016 Oregon, ODFW News
Meeting Agenda  ...  During the director’s report at the beginning of the meeting, Wildlife staff will brief the Commission on a proposed process for reviewing the Wolf Plan. The Plan is reviewed every five years and the last review was in 2010; however the Commission delayed the review a year as it considered (and ultimately approved) delisting of the gray wolf from the state ESA in 2015. ODFW will suggest that the review begin in April, after 2015 wolf counts are complete and the 2015 annual report is published. The review process will include meetings with stakeholders and opportunities for the public to comment. Under the proposal, ODFW would present an updated Wolf Conservation and Management Plan for approval at the August 2016 Commission meeting...


Report hunt results by Jan. 31 - $25 penalty for not reporting deer and elk tags January 7, 2016 Oregon, ODFW
Any hunter who purchased 2015 big game or turkey tags needs to report their hunt results by the deadline, which is Jan. 31, 2016 for most tags... Hunters have two ways to report:  Online via reportmyhunt.com or www.odfw.com. Hunters without Internet access who wish to report online can visit an ODFW office with a computer available for Hunter Reporting (ODFW field or regional offices in Adair Village/Corvallis, Bend, Clackamas, La Grande, Portland-Sauvie Island, Roseburg, Salem Headquarters, Springfield, Tillamook.)
By telephone: Call 1-866-947-6339 to talk to a customer service representative. Hours: 6 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Pacific Time, seven days a week...


When, in the New Year, Antlers Drop January 4, 2016 Oregon, Patheos
... in Oregon, our male native deer and elk are preparing to drop their antlers... after the fall rut, the deer’s testosterone levels drop, which triggers the shedding of antlers... Bone is heavy, and carrying bone spikes on your head all winter means you burn more energy...

... The prosecutor said witnesses saw the Hammonds illegally slaughter a herd of deer on public land.  "At least seven deer were shot with others limping or running from the scene," Williams wrote.  He said a teenage relative of the Hammonds testified that Steven Hammond gave him a box of matches and told him to start the blaze. "The fires destroyed evidence of the deer slaughter ...

Oregon's Wolf Delisting Is Challenged In Court December 30, 2015 KUOW News and Information
...  claims the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife violated its own laws by failing to use the best available science and prematurely removing protections for Oregon’s 81 gray wolves... Wolves occupy an estimated 12.4 percent of their potential range in Oregon ...

How to understand Oregon's new 'premier hunt' tags December 23, 2015 Statesman Journal
... available in nearly every unit with existing deer, elk, or pronghorn hunts. The significant difference between a standard big game tag and a premium hunt tag is season length... Your odds of drawing will vary based on how many other hunters apply for the same tag...

Caldera Springs resort wants to add up to 490 lots December 16, 2015 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
... a permit application for developing up to 490 residential lots ... The property is along a route for migrating deer during the winter, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The area is within a wildlife zone that requires protection of deer habitat...

Reform ODFW to reflect today’s Oregonians December 7, 2015 Oregon, Statesman Journal
... Fewer Oregonians are hunting. Only 8.9 percent bought licenses in 2013, down from 18.9 percent in 1975. The agency faces a $32 million operating shortfall for 2015-2017...

... Jim Akenson, conservation director for the Oregon Hunters Association, said the state's largest organized hunting group should take the lead on a transition to non-lead ammunition ...

Eagle Crest deer saved from arrow shot December 2, 2015 Oregon, The Bulletin
...  report of a deer with an arrow stuck in its left side ...  biologists hit the deer with a tranquilizer dart and then performed what they described as surgery in a garage to remove the arrow ...

... My results suggest that female survival rates observed during my study are on the
low end of the range reported for this species and may be contributing to population
declines of mule deer in Oregon. Annual estimates of male survival were also low, but it is unclear how that might contribute to overall population declines without more
information on annual and seasonal variation in male survival...

Hunter Illegally Kills Black-Tail Deer November 27, 2015 Oregon, golocalpdx.com
... the deer found dead off Frankham Road near Cloverlawn Drive, in the southeast portion of Grants Pass ... call the Oregon TIP line at 1-800-452-7888

... Wolves are prolific and quickly disperse “far and wide” to new territory ...“When the states get their (management) jurisdiction back, most states conclude they need to control the population in some way,” ... David Mech, a University of Minnesota researcher who studies wolves ...

Commission to meet in Portland Dec. 4 to consider wildlife rehabilitation rules November 25, Oregon, ODFW News
... The proposed new rules will provide species-specific guidance for reporting, handling, holding and rehabilitating common mammals like black bears, and ungulates (deer and elk). They would also add language to make state rules consistent with federal guidelines for federally-listed or endangered species and prohibit certain taxa of wildlife from importation into Oregon for rehabilitation...

Take steps to reduce deer deaths November 21, 2015 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
... A lot of people have expressed their horror about all the dead deer in town and on county roads and highways. If we work together we can make Central Oregon a more deer-friendly place.  Let’s put our heads together and show the rest of the country that animals and humans can coexist ... If you have ideas and would like to help the deer and elk, please send an email to saveadeer@yahoo.com

OSP Cracks Down on Deer Poachers November 20, 2015 Oregon, KBND
... will watch for suspicious activity on deer ranges near Fort Rock and Silver Lake... There is a black market out there for deer antlers ...

State police investigating Pilot Rock deer poaching November 16, 2015 Oregon, East Oregonian
...  a dead deer with the head removed in a field on East Birch Creek Road just east of Pilot Rock... contact senior trooper Dain Gardner at 541-561-7425

Cougars in the crosshairs November 16, 2015 Oregon, The Register-Guard
... If cougars were responsible for declines in mule deer, and if killing cougars would reverse the declines, there might be some justification for the target areas. But mule deer populations have been falling for half a century, before and after Measure 18. The primary reason is not predation, but a decline in the quantity and quantity of forage ...

Deer and elk serve as a buffer to livestock attacks November 15, 2015 Oregon, Capital press
... Mark Henjum, a retired wildlife biologist who was ODFW’s original wolf program coordinator, said healthy deer and elk populations are a buffer between livestock and the state’s increasing number of predators.  Oregon has 25,000 to 30,000 black bears, an estimated 6,200 cougars and a minimum of 82 wolves, according to ODFW...

OSP hunting for poachers on the High Desert November 13, 2015 Oregon, WRAL.com
... there's about 22,000 deer left in Central Oregon. That's only half the number he would like to see. Heath attributes the decline to a variety of reasons, including loss of habitat, disease, vehicle collisions and poaching.  A 2012 ODFW report found at least 13 percent of mule deer in its study were poached. That's slightly more than the 11 percent that were hunted legally...

NewsChannel 21's Kandra Kent rode along with OSP fish and game troopers to learn more about the toll taken by poachers - which they say actually has more impact on deer populations than legal hunting. - November 12, 2015 Oregon


... Even though Oregon has fewer than 90 wolves who occupy just a small portion of their historical range there, its Fish and Wildlife Commission this week removed them from the state's list of endangered species. This administrative action clears away one key barrier to a trophy-hunting and commercial-trapping season on wolves ...

Wildlife troopers ask public's help to find deer poaching suspect November 10, 2015 Oregon, OregonLive.com
... The Oregon Hunters Association is offering a reward up to $500 for information leading to the identification and arrest of a man suspected of illegally shooting a three-point buck from an automobile Saturday in Douglas County....
... a three-point buck shot from a vehicle parked in the middle of the 17000 block of Tiller Trail Highway in Days Creek.  The buck was shot at approximately 10 a.m. on Nov. 7 ... call the Oregon TIP line at 1-800-452-7888

... The Deschutes Land Trust announced Tuesday it has received a $450,000, three-year commitment from an anonymous Oregon family foundation towards the Campaign for Whychus Creek... secures important habitat for salmon and steelhead, deer and elk ...

Commission approves delisting wolves November 10, 2015 Oregon, My Columbia Basin
... Wolves in Western Oregon will continue to be managed with ESA-like protections until they reach the objective of four breeding pairs for three years in a row....
     Oregon Wildlife Commissioners Drop Wolves' Endangered Status November 9, 2015 Oregon, OPB News
... clears the way for a decision in the future to allow controlled wolf hunts, should the predator’s population continue to grow.  Wolf hunting would be allowed for wolves that chronically attack livestock or deer and elk populations...

Fish and Wildlife Commission delists wolves statewide in split vote (4-2) November 9, 2015 Oregon, ODFW News
 ... The Wolf Plan continues to provide protection of wolves into the future. Any take of wolves is tightly regulated in all phases of the plan. Non-lethal preventive measures to prevent wolf-livestock conflict are the first choice of wildlife managers in all phases of wolf management. There is no general season sport hunting of wolves allowed in any phase of the Wolf Plan.  Wolves in western Oregon will continue to be managed with ESA-like protections until they reach the conservation objective of four breeding pairs for three consecutive years. This is known as Phase 1 of wolf management.  Additionally, west of Hwys 395-78-95 wolves are also still listed under the federal Endangered Species Act and the Commission’s action has no effect on their federal status...

Oregon Data: For 2015, an estimated 300,000 to 320,000 blacktails and 225,000 to 235,000 mule deer, about 540,000 deer  A mild winter for 2013-14 and a very mild winter for 2014-15 has increased survival, but limited precipitation created poor forage for deer in 2015.  Deer tags will be increased by 1 percent and elk tags by 3 percent for the 2015 hunt.  Deer populations are up in the north coast.  In the southwest, Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease reduced the population in fall, 2014.  Black-tail populations in the western Cascades are at about management objectives.  Drought in the High Desert has reduced mule deer populations
    The Oregon deer population has been in a long decline since the 1960s, but has been relatively stable for the past few years, although the ODFW no longer publishes a population estimate. The black-tailed deer population was estimated be about 452,000 in 1979 and 320,000 in 2004, 300,000 in 2012, slightly higher in 2014 and 2015. The mule deer population, east of the Cascade Crest, was estimated at 216,000 in 2009. Around 215,000 total mule deer in 2014 and about 32,000 of those are bucks. [2013 ODFW population analysis, PDF]
    The 2014 black-tailed deer population of the north coast was up as increased logging creates better habitat,  populations also appear to be increasing along the mid-coast with improved buck ratios and reduced deer affected from hair-loss disease.  Deer populations continue their decline in the western Cascades,  declines in logging, but better buck ratios.  Deer populations in the south Cascades are down, especially mule deer, but doing better in valleys.  Mule deer populations in the high desert continue to be low, but a slight increase from last year.  Increased clear cutting is boosting populations in the Wilson unit. The buck to doe ratio on some private lands is 29 to 100, but as low as 15 per 100 in the Rogue  unit - a ratio considered to be dangerously low by many deer managers and may be contributing to the deer population decline.
     There is a small population of Columbian white-tailed deer in Douglas County and the Columbia River Gorge, some of which were moved during 2013 when it was feared they would be flooded.  These deer were common in Western Oregon, but fewer than 700 remained in 1970, farming altered their major habitat.  
     General deer management policies have led to low buck to doe ratios, ratios from 19 to 33 bucks per 100 does reported for the Rogue Unit. Peak deer harvest was in 1961 at 163,939 with 31 percent of total mule deer harvest being antlerless and 37 percent of black-tail antlerless.  The percentage of does in the harvest has generally gone down since then.  In 2004, the numbers fell to below 10 percent for mule deer and in the 9 to 14 percent range for black-tail deer.  The 2012 harvest was 43,098, or 26.3 percent of the historical high. In 2012, hunter success was about 36 percent.  Every fall thousands of mule deer make a 30 to 75 mile trip between Bend and La Pine, increasingly difficult due to development. 
     Elk densities are highest on the north coast, down a little along the mid-coast with bull ratios only a little above 10 per 100 cows. 
    Cougars, about 5,000 to 6,000 from 2011 to 2016, estimated at 214 in 1961.  Classified as a game mammal in 1967 and managed by ODFW.  Population estimated at 3,114 in 1994.
     Wolf, about 110 in early 2016.  The last wolf bounty was paid out in 1947, the first wolf pack in recent times was seen in 2006.  A minimum of about 82 wolves in the state in 2015.  Wolf status report, 2015.  Wolf Plan, slides.
    About 25,000 to 30,000 black bears.
    A 1913 edition of Outdoor life offers the following estimates:  1,000 elk mostly in Northwest Oregon (re-introductions of Rocky Mountain elk had just begun in northeast Oregon); 80,000 deer, mostly blacktail; 16,700 black bear, also mostly in western Oregon; 4,650 antelope, and no mention of bighorn sheep or Rocky Mountain goats.  Deer populations throughout the U.S. had been over hunted during this period.

Report poaching, rewards:  1-800-452-7888

Other useful links:
-  Compass map,  online system of maps helps you make informed land use decisions related to fish and wildlife habitats as you plan energy, transportation, conservation and other large projects.
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MULE DEER INITIATIVE Commission Briefing - February 20, 2009. Issue:
Researchers and wildlife managers generally concede mule deer achieved maximum abundance during the 1950s and ‘60s. Since then, mule deer have declined across the West, including Oregon. The most recent decline appened during the early 1990s and, though not fully understood, it is believed to be primarily due to the combined effects of drought and severe winters. Historically, deer populations rebounded quickly after such climatic extremes. However, in recent years, production and survival of fawns have remained at depressed levels. Low recruitment, severe winters, dry summers, changing predator/prey relationships, and increased habitat loss have pushed mule deer populations lower than the department and public desire.

Mule Deer Music Video of Home on the Range


 

We took a boat around Paulina Lake in August, 2014. These mule deer came from the woods and eventually down to the waterline, paying no mind to us at all. What beautiful animals.