Oregon Deer News

Running elk ragged just to get their antlers July 24, 2015 Oregon, PBS NewsHour
... A growing number people head out to wild places in search of the antlers that elk and deer shed. Some of those collectors harass these animals to death by chasing them down with ATVs... Washington and Oregon have imposed rules to make sure that “shed hunters” don’t harm elk and deer ...

Mule deer diseases on the rise July 21, 2015 Oregon, nuggetnews.com
... a poor year for fawn survival. The reason is a growing threat from what appears to be adenoviruses, aka AHD. ... AHD virus of deer was first identified in California in 1994. Infected deer have clinical signs common to other diseases, such as bluetongue or pneumonia. However, chronic symptoms include ulcers and abscesses in the mouth and throat...

Hunters, anglers facing fee increases July 17, 2015 Oregon, Mail Tribune
...  Resident deer hunters will see their license and tag cost hit $58.50 next year and top out at $63 in 2020 ... a fee-hike the agency sought to help settle a $30 million budget gap...

... In contrast with other Odocoileus species, Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) population dynamics are not well understood throughout the species’ range.  Concerns over apparent long-term population declines have prompted efforts to fill basic knowledge gaps including estimates of vital rates (fecundity, recruitment and survival) and causespecific mortality...  2-year-old males had over twice the
cumulative risk of legal harvest with 22% of this age class killed by hunters during the general rifle season . ...    harvest may have had an additive effect and been the primary cause of low survival rates observed for males....

... Join us on July 18th in the beautiful and nicely shaded formal gardens of the Voorhies Mansion at EdenVale Winery for our First Annual banquet – fundraising dinner...

Stop 'Fawn-Napping' from Oregon's Inland, Coastal Forests June 27, 2015 Oregon Coast Beach Connection
... “Only if you see the parent animal dead should you assume a young animal is orphaned,” ... Most fawns collected by good Samaritans this time of year are not orphaned, and removing them from the wild complicates their chances for survival ...  fawns that are truly orphaned and picked up in the first week or two of life will only survive under the care of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator [older fawns can survive with good care] ...

How to protect your plants from deer June 25, 2015 Oregon, OregonLive
... The right fencing is a sure-fire way to keep deer out ... For long-term protection in the convenience of a capsule, Summit Deer Ban is my go-to repellent. Just set out the capsules on the ground every 10 to 20 feet around the plants you want to protect. Then water the capsules to release the scent for up to 90 days of protection. It's quick, it's easy and it's effective... 


Volunteer Rangers Work To Rein In Antler Poachers June 20, 2015 Oregon, NPR News
... Demand for antlers as rustic décor is huge, and now it's threatening deer and elk in the Pacific Northwest... legit shed hunters don't cut fences, don't destroy habitat and don't harass animals to get them to drop their antlers...

... found the buck only a couple miles off Interstate 84 in Union County.  A reward is being offered by the Oregon Hunters Association ... 1-800-452-7888.

Controlled hunt draw results available June 10, 2015 Oregon, ODFW
... A total of 137,015 fall big game hunt tags were available in the draw this year. ODFW received 407,402 fall controlled hunt applications, up from 389,172 last year... ODFW limits the number of tags for some hunts to control hunting pressure and fairly distribute tags for popular hunts. All eastern Oregon rifle deer hunting, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain goat hunts are limited entry, along with most eastern rifle elk hunts...

Wolf allies, foes prep for battle as Oregon reconsiders endangered status June 9, 2015 OregonLive.com
... Conservationists argue 77 known wolves is nowhere near enough to consider loosening protections, while ranchers insist wolves have hurt their bottom line ... Groups representing the state's hunters ... Having fewer deer and elk makes their sport more difficult...

... Despite a statewide population that has almost doubled, there are fewer fishers and hunters in Oregon today than in the 1970s... the success rate for bagging mule deer in Oregon dropped to 28 percent in 2010 from 57 percent in 1970. For bucks, it dropped to 17 percent in 2011 from 28 percent in 1971... "The lack of game is probably the largest influencing factor," .

Commission Adopts Hunting Rules June 6, 2015 Oregon, mycentraloregon.com 
... The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted 137,015 controlled hunt big game tags for this fall’s hunting season ... 

... Following the untimely death of the widely photographed and loved mule deer known as “Buck Norris,” a group is hoping to raise enough money to a memorial in honor of Central Oregon’s unofficial mascot...
    Famed Bend mule deer 'Buck Norris' struck, killed May 30, 2015 Oregon, KTVZ.com
... The famous, much-photographed Bend mule deer “Buck Norris” was struck by a vehicle and killed ... Buck Norris was known for his large, non-typical antlers and was beloved by Bend locals and wildlife watchers statewide...

Key habitat, other benefits in urban forested parcels May 28, 2015 Oregon, Statesman Journal
... Rising labor and fuel costs, changing timber markets and declining numbers of loggers, haulers and mills have reduced potential income from forest stewardship, raising economic challenges and increasing pressure to convert lands to non-forest use. As forestlands become fragmented by development, the likelihood they’ll be managed for forest values declines...

An environmental group goes to court to see the forest service’s plans to protect Oregon wolves. May 27, 2015 WWEEK
... Cascadia Wildlands, filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking all Forest Service plans for protecting wolves while selling off timber ... Two months later, the agency hasn’t given him a single document... logging could disrupt the wolves’ range, expose them to cars and change the behavior of deer and elk ...

Big game auctions, raffles gross record $717,465 for wildlife and hunter access May 22, 2015 Oregon, ODFW News
    ODFW’s 2015 auctions and raffles for Oregon big game hunting tags grossed a record $717,465, of which $413,987 will go to the Access and Habitat Program and $254,578 to big game research and management.  The auction of 12 special big game tags grossed $489,000 including $160,000 for a bighorn sheep tag, breaking the previous record of $155,000 set for a sheep tag in 2014. The Governor’s combination deer/elk tag also broke the previous record by $20,000, selling for $68,000 this year.
     The sportsman/conservation groups that sponsored the auctions at fund raising banquets of their organizations in the past few months will keep 10 percent of the auction proceeds ($48,900)...

... Losing female mule deer is especially harmful to a population already in decline — a population Bean and his law enforcement partner, Trooper James Hayes, have struggled to protect...  federal authorities have turned their attention to global wildlife trafficking, resources for catching poachers have diminished in the Northwest...

... Sales of hunting and fishing licenses have been declining the past 30 years, and static the past decade, despite a growing population... "Steps must be taken to improve the quality of big game hunting and fishing in the state, and then the customers will return," ...

... Humane Society ... will award $10,000 to the Oregon tipsters ... unlawful taking of an elk after an anonymous tip led to his arrest in connection with the illegal killing of an elk and three deer whose heads were removed and bodies dumped off Lake Creek Road in September 2014...

Who Needs a Dog When You Have a Deer? May 13, 2015 Oregon, Wandering through Time and Place
... We don’t have a clue why a pregnant doe showed up on the back porch last week at our home in southern Oregon. But there she was, curled up, resting on the cement, and behaving like a dog, a very big dog. She looked up as if to say, “You wouldn’t make a pregnant lady leave, would you?” ...

Public input needed for hunting regulation changes May 4, 2015 Oregon, ODFW News
...  the annual hunting regulations meeting tomorrow, May 5 at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 4192 N. Umpqua Hwy., Roseburg. The meeting starts at 6 p.m... Topics include:  Black-tailed deer research study information.  “Premium Hunt” concept – new controlled hunts series for deer, elk, and pronghorn.  Cougar target area to address livestock damage in Douglas County... Mandatory reporting.  General season harvest limits and date.

Weyerhaeuser Doubles Fee-access Acreage In Oregon May 1, 2015  Northwest Sportsman Magazine
... For decades we’ve enjoyed being able to walk or drive in to prime hunting grounds on the behemoth’s property for free ...  it’s likely that the amount of acreage put into the permit program will only grow.  “Weyerhaeuser anticipates additional changes to the fee access program in the future,” ...

Controlled hunt tag deadline April 27, 2015 Oregon, Upper Rogue Independent
... ODFW limits the number of tags for some hunts to control hunting pressure and fairly distribute tags for popular hunts... the most sought after hunts can take more than 10 years to draw ... Only 75 percent of tags are awarded based on preference points; the remaining 25 percent are awarded randomly among first choice applicants...

Ashland, City sets 'Living with Wildlife Summit' April 24, 2015 Oregon, Ashland Daily Tidings
... To help address fears in the community and to teach people safe behavior in a deer- and bear-friendly town, the city is hosting a “Living With Wildlife Summit” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, at the Ashland Community Center ...

Dear garden, deer free April 23, 2015 Oregon, Register-Guard
... “We were able to go to 6 feet with wood structure on the fence, and then we put the wire on top,” ... horizontally strung wires can be used on the fence’s top 2 feet ...

Protect your landscape from hungry deer April 21, 2015 Oregon, Bend Bulletin
... deer ... are likely to ignore plants with fuzzy leaves, such as lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantine). Deer get confused when overstimulated by fragrant flowers or foliage. Plants with spines or bristles are usually passed by...

Three bills dealing with Fish and Wildlife advance April 16, 2015 Oregon, Statesman Journal
... HB 2402 ...would set up the Task Force on State Department of Fish and Wildlife Funding to come up with ideas for expanding sustainable income streams ... HB 2182 ... would require the department to study the creation of a Predator Management Plan...

Commission set to take action on hunting rules April 6, 2015 Oregon, Dailysunnews
... Proposals for the 2015 hunting season include adding two days to the modern firearms season for mule deer, shifting to a later start for the archery elk season
... An agenda for the meeting is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/.

The Deer are out for Spring in Coos Bay April 4, 2015 Oregon, Coos Bay, Oregon
... There are deer throughout Coos Bay and the early Spring is one of the best times to spot them.  They can be seen running down the roads in the center of town all the way to the beaches ...

New ODFW director's challenges begin with fee increases March 27, 2015 Oregon, OregonLive.com
...  agency's $340-million budget and the need to backfill a $30-million-plus deficit with a combination of license and tag increases, a first-ever pitch for general fund money and the trimming of dozens of full-time positions...

... A YouTube video has transformed a laid-back deer named Sugar Bob that lives on the grounds of the Applegate River Lodge into a late-night television star... Sugar Bob and Davis stole the show Wednesday night on the satirical "Daily Show" program ...

Hunting horns the new outdoor craze March 24, 2015 Oregon, The Register-Guard
... Seeking shed deer or elk antlers has become Southern Oregon’s second hunting season ... becoming more of a family affair in recent years ... Southern Oregon’s black-tailed buck deer are entering the prime shedding period ...

City of Sisters bans feeding deer March 24, 2015 Oregon, Sisters Nugget
... The ordinance does indicate it is Class B violation which carries a $250 fine. The City would first send notification to someone and attempt to get voluntary compliance prior to citing them ...

Hillsboro Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Plan [PDF] N Atwell, J Hilterbrand, C Kaffka, A Lauber, E Shore - 2015 Oregon
...Deer rarely find their way past the security fence and onto the airfield at HIO, and do not
need to be dispersed if they are outside of the airfield security fence. If there is a need to
remove deer from within the security fence, Airport staff may gently coax them to a place
where they can exit the airfield or they will be lethally removed following the Port’s Oregon
Department of Fish & Wildlife permit...

Deer tracking goes high tech March 10, 2015 Oregon, My Eagle News 
... The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to place GPS radio collars on 500 female mule deer, mostly in the Southern Blue Mountains ... A helicopter crew from Leading Edge Aviation, based in Clarkston, Wash., is handling the mule deer captures using a specially designed net gun... “Captures up to the third trimester should be OK for the doe and unborn fawn,” said wildlife veterinarian Dr. Colin Gillin...

Commission briefed on growth of Oregon’s wolf population March 6, 2015 ODFW News
... ODFW Wolf Coordinator Russ Morgan presented the 2014 Oregon Wolf Report. ODFW documented 77 known wolves in Oregon in 2014, including 26 pups that survived through the end of the year. Eight of Oregon’s nine known wolf packs were “breeding pairs,” meaning they had at least two pups born in spring that survived through the end of the year. Six new pairs of wolves were also documented in Oregon last year ... More details are available in the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management 2014 Annual Report.

A concept for rebuilding hunter numbers March 5, 2015 Oregon, Corvallis Gazette Times
... The ODFW has recounted the problem of dwindling hunter numbers, and its effect on the income generated by license, and tag sales which are some of the main funding for their programs... A decline of herd numbers is one of the major reasons ...

Shed hunt responsibly to protect big game March 3, 2015 Oregon, My Eagle News
... Biologists say shed hunters using motor vehicles can put wildlife on the move just when these animals need conserve their energy reserves. Pets and people on foot or horseback can also disturb big game... Rob Tanner, co-founder of Oregon Shed Hunters, the sport of shed hunting is gaining popularity...

ODFW set to collar, GPS track 500 deer in S. Blue Mtns. February 27, 2015 Oregon, KTVZ.com 
... about 500 adult female mule deer between Prineville and Ontario will be collared so wildlife managers can better understand their ranges and movements... GPS collars automatically transmit location data via satellite ... collars typically have a three-year battery life...

Farewell to Skyline Forest? February 25, 2015 Oregon, The Source Weekly
... Fidelity announced it sold a nearly 200,000-acre parcel of land, including Skyline Forest, to Singapore-based Whitefish Cascade Forest Resources, LLC... development of the forest land is bad for Central Oregon because it disturbs wildlife—mule deer and elk migrate through the areas—and because the forest is at high risk for fires...

Shed hunt responsibly to protect big game February 23, 2015 Oregon, ODFW
...  the peak of shed hunting season in late winter/early spring also coincides with tougher weather and less forage availability for big game, making it a vulnerable time for wildlife. Shed hunters using motor vehicles can put wildlife on the move when these animals need to be conserving valuable energy reserves. Pets and people on foot or horseback can also disturb big game.  Wildlife biologists have real concerns about the sport’s impact on big game, especially when it’s not practiced responsibly... People who collect shed antlers are allowed to sell or exchange them, but certain rules apply. Only naturally shed antlers, antlers detached from the skull, or a skull split apart can be sold or exchanged. For antlers detached from the skull or skulls split apart, the seller must have legally taken the game part ...

... Last year, contractors completed slash treatment on 232 acres of his land, opening up the canopy and putting much-needed space in between the trees. More work will continue this spring and summer.  “Just by opening the canopy of the trees, you bring tremendous benefits to the land,” Fisher said. “It reduces the risk for wildfire, it helps with soil erosion, the wildlife habitat stays intact, the trees grow taller and stronger, and the wood can become marketable timber.” ... “The elk and deer love this area now that it’s open,” Fisher said.  But habitat improvement isn’t the only benefit of slash treatment. The primary benefit is reducing the threat of catastrophic wildfire....

Heed Those 'Closed Trail' Signs If You Want To Help Wildlife February 20, 2015 Oregon, Jefferson Public Radio
... Several Northwest hiking routes are off-limits to humans this time of year. That's because the region’s migrant mule deer still need a few months to themselves.  “Giving them a little bit of space and a little consideration can be helpful to ensure that we have healthy deer populations,” ...

... Representatives Sal Esquivel (R), who is co-chair of the Oregon Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus, explains what's happening: "Probably the largest factors contributing to the decline in hunting and fishing participation ... Declining deer and elk populations, whether it be from habitat loss, increased mortality from predators, or other factors, discourages a lot of people from heading into the field...

Fish And Wildlife Director Picked February 15, 2015 Oregon, myCentralOregon.com
... The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has chosen Curt Melcher ... Commissioners were also briefed on the Mule Deer Initiative; an effort to address Oregon’s declining mule deer populations through habitat improvement, predator and travel management and other strategies...

Oregon at crossroads over hunting, fishing February 14, 2015 Dalles Chronicle
... Vic Coggins, a retired ODFW district biologist who found himself at ground zero in northeast Oregon's "elk wars" of the 1980s, recalls that agricultural interests wanted elk removed to improve range conditions for livestock... a disproportionate number of commissioners from the livestock industry, flew over Zumwalt Prairie and declared there were too many elk there, and so the commission began issuing tags for what amounted to a wholesale slaughter ...

Oregon Data: A mild to normal winter for 2013-14 has increased survival but populations continue to struggle in parts of the state.  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. 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 is 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 decine.
     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 densitires are highest on the north coast, down a little in 2014 along the mid-coast with bull ratios only a little above 10 per 100 cows. 
    As of 2011, Oregon had about 6,000 cougars.
    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.