Utah Deer News

DD Olson, JA Bissonette, PC Cramer, KD Bunnell…Utah,  - Wildlife Biology, 2015
...We found that precipitation decreased 50% and snow depth decreased 48% between winters. In response, deer used habitats that were 16% higher in elevation and that were 213% farther from roads with high traffic volumes. Consequently, crossing rates also decreased as much as 96% on roads with high traffic volumes. Reduced crossing rates were likely responsible for much of the 75% decrease in deer—vehicle collisions that occurred during the second winter....



... The well-known buck named Bart was found dead in the fall of 2013, and officials said photos on a hunting website led them to the 36-year-old Rhodes and 28-year-old Spillett...

Utah wildlife by the numbers March 2, 2015 KSL.com
... In 2013, 29,270 mule deer were legally taken in the state ... after the 2013 season, we estimated the population at 332,900 deer. That's the highest number of deer in Utah since 2000. After the 2000 hunts were over, surveys turned up an estimated 322,000 deer.”...

... a nearby deer allowed them to approach it and even pet it before following them around for several moments...

Reward offered in in Utah deer hit-and-run February 26, 2015 Utah, Ogden Standard-Examine
... a $2,000 reward for information about the killing of a pregnant deer and two fawns run down with a car... a Box Elder County grain field and ran them over on Feb. 14 or 15...

Cache County girl spots ghostly white doe February 26, 2015 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune
...  After looking at Elder's pictures, Utah wildlife biologists believe the white doe was not a true albino.  "If it was a true albino, it would have a pink nose...   it seems probable that it is leucistic, with a white coat, but normally colored eyes, skin and hooves...

Five deer killed in two counties February 25, 2015 Utah, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources 
...  Conservation officers are investigating three deer-poaching cases, two in Box Elder County and one in Carbon County. A total of five deer are dead, and officers believe they were killed unlawfully... If you have any details or information about this case, please contact Officer J.D. Abbott at 435-650-0654 or jonathanabbott@utah.gov  ... Rewards are available to those who provide information that leads to the apprehension and successful prosecution of individuals involved in poaching Utah's wildlife.

DWR reports highest buck-to-doe ratio in 10 years February 24, 2015 Utah, KSL.com
...  On general-season units that are comprised mostly of public land, biologists saw an average of 21 bucks for every 100 does, according to a DWR news release. Twenty years ago, the average buck-to-doe ratio was eight bucks per 100 does ...

... seeking the public’s help ... The first poaching case occurred around Feb. 14 near a grain field on the Long Divide Road in Box Elder County between Fielding and Newton ... It's pretty callous to chase two fawns and a pregnant doe, run them over for the fun of it and then leave them to suffer and die... Utah Turn in a Poacher (UTiP) Hotline at 1-800-662-3337.

... A bidder from Canada has set a new world record high, paying $390,000 for the right to hunt one mule deer buck at the state park next November... bids for the Antelope Island mule deer hunt have generated more than $1.4 million for wildlife conservation on the preserve in the middle of the Great Salt Lake...

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources discusses Mule Deer transplant project February 19, 2015 ironcountytoday.com
... “we’d rather the deer get moved to an area where the population is lacking and where there is enough winter range, rather than see them just die or get killed because of the lack of winter range where they are now.” ...

... H.R. 644, includes extensions to a number of different tax credits; it passed with 67 percent of Representatives in support... [From Mule Deer Foundation]: Private lands provide some of the best habitat for the country’s mule deer and black-tailed deer ...

Chronic Wasting Disease reported in Weber County elk February 13, 2015 Utah,
outbreaknewstoday.com
... The office of the Utah State Veterinarian confirms that one domestic bull elk has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).  The discovery came following routine testing of a male elk that was harvested by a hunter at the Broadmouth Canyon Ranch in Weber County...



Deer relocation still going strong February 12, 2015 Utah, The Davis Clipper
... After eight weeks, nearly 150 deer have been trapped, captured and relocated from neighborhoods in the foothills of Bountiful ... Channing Howard, Urban Wildlife Specialist with DWR, said the division’s initial reports are that relocated deer are adapting well to their new homes in Eastern Utah. She said DWR staff is monitoring collared deer ...

... Gathering antler sheds is a hobby for many Utahns, and it is growing in popularity across the U.S. The Division of Wildlife Resources is now requiring participants to complete an online course before gathering sheds from Feb. 1 to April 15...

... Kevin Labrum, a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service, explained that junipers are strong competitors with plants that sustain deer through the winter. With the drop of the deer population due to loss of winter habitat, there have been projects around the state to cut, aka “treat,” junipers in important areas...

... 100 mule deer — all females — were captured on Antelope Island. Fifty of the deer were released on the San Juan Elk Ridge deer unit in southeastern Utah.  The remaining 50 were released on the Mount Dutton unit in south-central Utah... 

... A bull elk shot in a private northern Utah hunting park has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD) ... Confirmation of the neurological disease's presence means the approximately 20 wild deer and two moose fenced in on the Broadmouth Canyon Ranch in Liberty will have to be killed to be tested...

Utah officials: There are 3-4 illegal poaching cases a day January 23, 2015 Ogden Standard-Examiner
... a thousand-plus poaching cases a year statewide ... numbers are growing ...

Bountiful deer relocation program still going strong January 21, 2015 Utah, The Davis Clipper 
... the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has trapped and moved more than 90 deer since last November... hopes to trap and relocate 200 deer from the city ...  We’ll study the survival rates ...

DWR crews relocate 100 mule deer off Antelope Island January 20, 2015 Utah, Fox 13 Now
... The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources airlifted 100 mule deer off Antelope Island, Tuesday, to help control its growing animal population.  The process of capturing the mule deer is called mugging, basically the helicopter pilot herds the animals, until a man armed with a net gun can get a drop on them...

Death of Utah wolf is collateral damage January 16, 2015 High Country News
... a hunter took aim at a big canine... speculation swirled that the 3-year-old female was none other than Echo (named by schoolchildren), who appeared on the north rim of the Grand Canyon in October ... The second, the Mule Deer Protection Act, sets aside $500,000 dollars per year to pay hunters a $50 bounty for every coyote they kill in areas deemed important mule deer habitat...

Pulling strings on new deer hunt guidelines January 15, 2015 Utah, Standard-Examiner
... Sen. Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, is pushing legislation this session to allow the use of crossbows ... His bill, SB 45, simply allows the use of a crossbow during an archery hunt...

Utah insists wolf-coyote confusion won't be a problem January 11, 2015 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune
... Utah wildlife managers and state attorneys insist Utah’s controversial coyote bounty program does not conflict with the Endangered Species Act.  But at least one other state was forced to change its coyote-culling hunt after too many endangered wolves were killed (red wolves in North Carolina) ... Utah lawmakers created the bounty as part of the Mule Deer Preservation Act in 2012...

Parowan deer transplant project draws ire from concerned citizens January 7, 2015 Utah, ironcountytoday.com 
... Ever since the construction of Interstate 15, the deer population’s winter range has been restricted to a small strip of land east of the freeway ...  capture the deer with nets fired from specialized guns... In 2013, out of 102 deer transported, only 40 survived after a two-year period  ... Nicholes said these figures are not that surprising when compared with the survival rates of local populations of deer already in the Holden area...

Mule Deer Foundation Assists Urban Relocation Project January 6, 2015 Utah, MDF Facebook
... MDF's new Urban Deer Trailer for transplanting deer out of cities in Utah. Deer are being trapped in Bountiful, Utah and transplanted to areas of low deer numbers. Success is improving on survival of transplanted animals as we learn better ways to relocate mule deer. We hope to have additional trailers in other states in the future. If you are interested in volunteering on the Utah trapping projects, please contact us at our Main Office - 801-973-3940.

... DWR has put out 16 traps. So far, 63 deer have been relocated... Highland and Bountiful are two test cities ... More information on the program from DWR

Couple shoots two dogs, claims they are justified January 3, 2015 Utah, Good4Utah
...  Seven snow-covered deer lie dead in secluded corners of an orchard ... "They have their butts chewed out the same way... . We saw that the dogs just chased them until they got stuck, and the dogs would just chew them ... According to Utah Code 18-1-3, ... Legally, the couple is justified ...

Montana pronghorn populate Utah, the West December 31,. 2014 Billings Gazette
... More than 5,000 of the ungulates have been caught on the mountain and moved to other locations in Utah and throughout the west since the mid-1970s... With help from helicopter pilots, groups of pronghorn are chased to a 300-foot runway.... eventually end up in a large, round corral....

Several hunting changes approved by wildlife board December 31, 2014 Utah, The Davis Clipper
... All of the changes were approved in the board’s Dec. 1 meeting and are available in the 2015 Utah Big Game Application Guidebook... available to download from the Internet at wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks ... 

... Without antlers, it’s difficult to spot the males and distinguish the doe-to-buck ratio, which helps biologists get a sense of how Utah’s deer population is faring... Deer populations have steadily climbed since the harsh winter of 2007 and 2008 ... 

Oh, Deer! USU Students Exploring Solutions for Human-Wildlife Conflicts December 17, 2014 Utah, Utah State Today - Utah State University News
... The students are exploring several possible solutions to deter deer from devouring the Nibley resident’s Austrian pines and pear, apple, peach and plum trees – all irresistible treats to the wildland critters... “Over the next six months, we’ll carefully monitor our treatment methods and document whether or not they’re effective,” ...

Three Deer Poached In San Juan County December 17, 2014 Utah, Mid-Utah Radio
... discovered the remains of the deer in a wash between Cross Canyon and Montezuma Canyon on November 23rd... Call the poaching hotline at 800-662-3337.

... Bountiful City leaders and volunteers are collaborating this winter in an effort to trap and move urban deer from suburban neighborhoods to remote locations across Utah... Adult deer are fitted with a radio collar and tested for chronic wasting disease before being moved to a horse trailer....



Cache County, Helicopter team collaring deer along east bench December 11, 2014 Utah, The Herald Journal
... the team has captured about 30 fawns. Wildlife officials will be able to track them for the next five years to determine how many of them are living and dying in targeted areas...

... Mule deer congregate on lower-elevation ranges to find feed during the winter months, and as a result, the animals are often more vulnerable to poachers, according to a DWR news release. DWR officials have their annual winter patrols to deter poaching and to find the offenders...

Bountiful, DWR begin 2nd year of urban deer program, research December 8, 2014 Utah, KSL
... Between January and February, the DWR live trapped and moved 36 deer from Bountiful and translocated the animals to Cedar Mountain ... “We have a resource that does have a value, and we’re trying to use this as a way to most responsibly manage them,” ... , initial projections show that it will cost the city about $200 per deer to trap and move...

...  a freshly killed bull elk in the Currant Creek area...  another elk nearby ...  a poached four-by-three buck deer that was left to waste in the area of Tidwell Slopes ...  carcass of a small buck deer at the head of Axhandle Canyon ... hotline, 800-662-3337

... The six units ... in southwestern Utah—are managed for 18 to 20 bucks per 100 does... Each unit has more bucks than the objective calls for, so there are plenty of bucks to hunt... The free guidebook should be available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks by Dec. 15.

Majestic mule deer: Regal wildlife in the Rocky Mountains, decline of population November 28, 2014 Utah, Daily Herald 
... During the past half-century mule deer have experienced a decrease in the size and quality of their habitat. Many forb- and shrub-thriving rangelands have gradually converted to juniper-dominated communities due to decades of fire suppression ...  the increased role predators play as mule deer herds concentrate onto ever-shrinking tracts of habitable land ...



USU club aims to help locals deer-proof yards November 26, 2014 Utah, The Herald Journal
... the Utah State University Berryman Club, an arm of The Berryman Institute, a national organization based in the department of wildland resources at USU... Good examples of natives that deer won’t destroy include junipers, sumac, sage, mountain sage and mountain mahogany ... These plants both provide deer with winter food without harming the plant ...

...  on Oct. 26 when a dead two-point buck was found near the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Davis County ... on Nov. 9 near the Lower Provo River Road in Summit County .. Nov. 14. A small mule deer buck was located in the Canyon Trails housing development near Highway 248 .. Nov. 11 ... in a Cedar City residential area...

...  on Oct. 26... deer hanging in a tree near the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in a North Salt Lake canyon... call 1-800-662-3337...

Herriman, 4 deer killed with arrows, left to waste in Herriman November 18, 2014 Utah, KSL 
...  killed with archery equipment in separate incidents between August and November ... call UTiP Hotline at 800-662-3337 ...

Vehicle Collisions Cause Differential Age and Sex-Specific Mortality in Mule Deer [PDF] DD Olson, JA Bissonette, PC Cramer, KD Bunnell… - Advances in Ecology, 2014 Utah
... We found that 65% of mule deer involved in vehicle collisions were female; of those, 40% were adult does ≥2 yrs. When we compared the proportion of bucks, does, and fawns killed in vehicle collisions to surveys of live deer, we found that bucks were killed at rate of 2.1–3.0 times their proportion in the population.  Additionally, when we compared vehicle collision rates for 2010 and 2011, we found that mule deer were 7.4–8.7 times more likely to be involved in collisions than elk and 1.2–2.0 times more likely than moose. However, we were unable to detect a negative correlation (𝑃 = 0.55) between mule deer abundance and increasing traffic volume...

Mule Deer Foundation Banquet November 13, 2014 Utah, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources 
     The Iron County Mule Deer Foundation is looking for dedicated hunters to assist with their upcoming banquet.  Dedicated Hunter Hours are available for assisting with banquets. The MDF banquet is taking place on January, 24th 2015. Call or text McKennan at 435-592-2021 for details or to get signed up.

... “Although everyone is focused on the greater sage-grouse as a species, this habitat really supports incredible wildlife resources like mule deer and pronghorn that are big economic drivers in western states,” Walsh said.  That explains in part why the grouse are under consideration for federal protection...

Conserving multiple species at once November 9, 2014 Utah, Deseret News
... Mule deer continue to struggle across the West for a variety of reasons, but we’ve long known that addressing habitat management and enhancement on a landscape scale is critical ... A recent study in Wyoming demonstrated that sage grouse conservation measures in the state overlapped and will benefit 60-70 percent of migration corridors used by the Green River mule deer herd ...

Utah DWR Recommends hunting changes for 2015 November 6, 2014  Standard-Examiner
... One proposal would allow limited entry deer hunting on six general season units, after the general rifle buck deer hunt on the units is over... To lessen the number of deer that are living in urban areas in Cache County, the DWR is recommending an archery-only urban deer hunt... For more information and how to provide input

Utah authorities looking for hunter who wasted deer carcass November 5, 2014 Utah, Standard-Examiner
... on Oct. 30 or 31 someone left a mule deer carcass along the McMurdie Hollow Road, also known as the Pisgah Road... the Utah Turn In a Poacher hotline at 800-662-3337. All information will be kept confidential ...

Utah's $50 bounty on coyotes may be boosting mule deer November 4, 2014 The Spokesman-Review ·
... credible evidence has suggested that wholesale killing of coyotes ultimately stimulates coyotes to produce more pups ... wildlife managers say habitat restoration has been the key, noting that the state has spent more than $125 million in the effort over the past eight years...

...  the $50 bounty paid for each animal is only one piece of the state's effort to remove the predator... 7,041 coyotes turned in, down from 7,160 animals the previous year... Bounties for the taking of wildlife are often controversial, with critics and many biologists contending the science shows they can actually result in increased numbers...

Recommended hunt changes for 2015 October 24, 2014 Utah, DWR
... By Oct. 28, all of the changes Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are recommending for the 2015 big game hunts should be available online.  Learn more, share your ideas.  After you've reviewed the ideas, you can let your Regional Advisory Council members know your thoughts by attending your upcoming RAC meeting or by sending an email to them.

Utahns flock to the mountains for deer hunt October 24, 2014 Utah,  Universe.byu.edu
... In 2012 the number of hunters reported was 79,066 in Utah, and the number of deer harvested was 29,411 ...The success ratio for 2012 was 37 percent for harvesting a deer ... the price for a general season deer tag is $40 ... For nonresidents... $268 ...

State wildlife managers suggest hunt changes for 2015 October 24, 2014 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune
... The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has proposed allowing limited numbers of permit holders to hunt with muzzleloaders after the rifle season ends if they have not filled their tags...

Parowan, Nieghbors upset over Parowan deer poaching October 24, 2014 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune 
... About 3 a.m. Sunday, a Parowan resident heard a single gunshot ... near several homes and a school...  1-800-662-3337. Rewards ... confidentiality...

... A citizen saw a pickup truck and heard a single gunshot in a rural area near Sulpherdale ... The man told police he had a deer permit for a different unit and he eventually confessed to killing the buck  ...
Deer poached night before Utah hunt October 22, 2014 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune
... poached a deer in Sanpete County ... On Friday ... along C Canyon Ridge Road, near Skyline Drive ...  1-800-662-3337. A reward ...

Archers may be called in to thin deer herd of 500 in NSL October 22, 2014 Utah, Standard-Examiner
... City Manager Barry Edwards met recently with an official with the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources ... Initial discussions seem to be leaning towards a limited kill, using archers ... In the meantime, officials voted earlier in September to amend fencing regulations, allowing people to have eight-foot-fencing along the side and back yards of their properties in an effort to keep deer and wildlife out...

... the number of bucks taken was similar to, or higher, than it was last fall ... the number of deer taken included a higher percentage of mature bucks ...  two mild winters in northeastern Utah have led to good deer survival and more fawns being born ...

Utah bounty hunters kill 7041 coyotes in a year October 20, 2014 Salt Lake Tribune
... Utahns killed slightly fewer coyotes in the second year of the Mule Deer Preservation Act, but the $50 bounty paid for each animal is only one piece of the state’s effort to remove the predator... "It may take several years of implementation of this program before improvements in fawn/doe ratios statewide may be observed ...

Wildlife officials, hunters out and about for Utah’s deer hunt October 19, 20014 Fox 13 Now - Salt Lake City 
... About 95,000 deer permits went out this year, but only about a quarter of those will be harvested... “Up here in the north we’ve had some good winters, so the fawn survival has been great ...

... Biologists for Western states say there are plenty of reasons why mule deer populations are generally shrinking, but most agree there are two things that maintain and grow stable herds: Mother Nature and a robust salad bar.  In Utah, wildlife managers have focused on rebuilding mule deer habitat, spending more than $125 million over the past eight years...

... The 12 mile stretch of U.S. 89 is part of a long-term study to find the best way of accommodating both wildlife and traffic.  “What we’re doing is putting in some deer fencing to funnel the animals a safe place to cross,” ...

... more than 60,000 hunters ... the deer population is at its highest since 2000. Officials estimate there are about 333,000 ... the buck to doe ratio is estimated to be at 19 bucks to every 100 does. ...

Urban deer survey begun in Brigham City October 11, 2014 Utah, Standard-Examiner
... An "Urban Deer Survey" has been posted to the city's website ... to assess the level of deer depredation of shrubbery, orchards and gardens and any other damage... the steps the city would need to follow, such as ordinances to ban feeding the animals, or to allow their "lethal removal" by DWR-supervised hunters, or non-lethal trapping, as Bountiful and Highland have ...

Buck deer illegally killed near Moon Lake October 9, 2014 Utah Division of Wildlife Resources - Utah.gov
   ...  the illegal killing of a buck deer on October 5, 2014...  near Moon Lake in Duchesne County on October 5, 2014.  The animal was located near the Farnsworth Canal, which is just south of Moon Lake. It had been shot with a small caliber firearm. The antlers and carcass were removed and the hide and head were discarded at the scene.  DWR conservation officers are looking for two men in a dull gray/white Ford pick up truck, who were in the area on October 5 and may have information related to the incident.  A reward is being offered ... contact DWR Investigator Sean Davis at 435-790-2261. You may also call the UTIP hotline at 800-662-3337

Number of bucks as good or better than last season October 9, 2014 Utah, The Davis Clipper 
... in Box Elder and Cache counties, respectfully—the number of bucks per 100 doe is down from last year’s numbers. In unit 1, the number is 12 per 100. Unit 2 is reportedly at 13 per 100 doe... In Unit 7 (Kamas), for example, the ratio is 22 per 100...

Animals abound on Great Salt Lake's Antelope Island October 5, 2014 Utah, Pueblo Chieftain
... there are no antelope on Antelope Island. And there never were ... pronghorn ... In addition to some 230 pronghorn, the 15-mile-long island park is home to an estimated 500 mule deer and 120 bighorn sheep, along with coyotes ...

Mule Deer Habitat in Western United States Improves Based on Restoration Efforts with Partners October 1, 2014 Utah, United States Department of Agriculture
... the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah ... “During the past three years, our forest along with partners have thinned the pinyon-juniper landscape to allow these woody shrubs and types of vegetation to grow, thus restoring 4,000 acres of grassland and sagebrush-steppe habitat that supplies the kind of diet needed for mule deer,” ... The Million Bucks initiative

Bountiful, Deer complaints remain high in Bountiful September 26, 2014 Utah, Ogden Standard-Examiner 
... In an ongoing effort to reduce the number of domestic mule deer within city boundaries, local leaders are finalizing an agreement with the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources, in which the state will help catch, transport and relocate deer... Approximately 30 deer were relocated earlier this year in a similar effort ...

DWR seeks information about 2 poached fawns September 26, 2014 Utah, KSL 
... on Sept. 1 ...  The fawns were located in Kane County about two miles east of the Highway 89 and Highway 14 junction...  hotline at 1-800-662-3337

Data shows declining odds of Utah drivers vs. deer September 16, 2014 Utah, St George Utah 
... The data indicates the odds drivers will hit a deer in Utah in the coming year are one out of 226, compared to the national odds of one in 169...

North Salt Lake homeowners freaking out over deer September 8, 2014 Utah, Ogden Standard-Examiner 
.... the city council has approved eight-foot-high fences, insuring that only the most athletic of deer can compete for your garden vegetables... Besides, this is as it should have been from the beginning — not fencing in the animals, like at that depressing “zoo” at Lagoon, but fencing in the humans instead...

... Highland staff and city leaders developed a two-year pilot plan to decrease the mule deer population living permanently in the city through a strictly run archery program, killing 74 deer in 2013 ... Alpine will begin discussing its options at Tuesday's City Council meeting and will continue its discussions during the next few months...

North Salt Lake, Deer to face taller fences in NSL backyards September 4 2014 Utah, Ogden Standard-Examiner 
... City leaders voted Tuesday to amend fencing regulations in residential zones, allowing some people the ability to construct eight-foot fencing along the side and back yards of their properties, in an effort to keep the deer and wildlife out...

...  a 2,000-acre vegetation improvement project on public and selected private lands ... This project is being supported and funded by a variety of private, state, and federal cooperators, including Mule Deer Foundation ...

DWR offers reward for poached deer in Beaver County August 26, 2014 Utah, Fox 13 Now 
... August 15 ... an area south of Milford where the deer was found to have been shot and left... call 800-662-3337...

Herriman city officials to consider urban deer hunt August 26, 2014 Utah, Fox 13 Now 
... the city will hold a public hearing on Thursday... some residents have expressed their support to mitigate the deer population while others say killing the deer is not the solution...

Brigham City's urban deer herd growing August 19, 2014 Utah, Ogden Standard-Examiner 
... These are city deer. A herd of at least 60 or more ... likely second-generation, even third-generation removed from the mountainous hillsides to the east their forebears fled after the particularly harsh winters of the mid-1980s drove them into residential developments for food ... residents have complained to the city, as gardens, shrubs and peach trees are getting nibbled ...

Lots of bucks for Utah's first hunt of season, buck to doe  August 14, 2014 Utah, Ogden Standard-Examiner 
... biologists found 12 bucks per 100 does on Unit 1 in Box Elder County. On Unit 2 in Cache County, the ratio was 13 bucks per 100 does... “deer populations in north-central Utah are doing really well.” ... West of I-15 ... biologists found 20 bucks per 100 does in the herds... East of I-15 ... success during the rifle hunt was 37 percent. ... Unit 8 (North Slope): After last fall’s hunts, the unit’s buck-to-doe ratio was 15 bucks per 100 does...

Utah Data: DWR estimates 332,900 mule deer in Utah after the hunts in 2013, about the same in 2014,   318,000 in 2012, 286,000 in 2011, and 322,000 in 2000 - post hunt. Recent mild winters have brought the population back during the last few years after a long downward trend of over 40 years.  the current population is about equal to the year 2000 population.   DWR suggests that "better habitat and other efforts like highway fencing, wildlife underpasses and predator control have also played a role in the rebound." Harvest data  Hunter success about 30 percent.  About 19 bucks for every 100 does. The state issued 84,800 deer permits in 2014, 84,600 in 2013, and 79,066 in 2012 for a success ratio of 37 percent with 29,411 deer harvested.
     Although many state deer management strategies include the goal of balancing demographics to maintain good herd health, age and sex distributions similar to a wild herd, the DWR is targeting a buck-to-doe ratio of 15 to 20 bucks per 100 does. In 2013, the ratio was estimated at 19 bucks per 100 does.  The target is designed to maximize short-term herd growth, allowing hunters to take as many bucks as possible, assuming that one buck can impregnate multiple does.  Recent research indicates this strategy may be unsustainable.  Buck-to-doe ratios were below state objectives in many areas in 2013.  Fall 2012 fawn survival was 65 per 100 does. 
     In 1908 the deer season was closed to protect the herd from over hunting. The season reopened in 1913 with a bucks only regulation to help increase the population. Although the rule remained in effect until the 1950's, limited harvest of does began in 1934.  The deer harvest peaked at 132,000 in 1961.  In 1975 the state reinstated the bucks only rule to bolster the declining population.  A devastating winter in the 1980's significantly reduced the herd.  "Following several years of drought and an unusually hard winter in 1992–1993, it was evident that Utah’s deer herd could no longer sustain unlimited hunting opportunity, and in 1994, buck deer permits were capped for the first time."  Fom State Management Plan [PDF]  The loss of key winter range has contributed to the decline of the mule deer population.  Also see Mule Deer: A Handbook for Utah Hunters and Landowners
     Utah build the first wildlife crossing in North America in 1971.
About 81,000 elk, fast growing population in Northern Utah.  A rough estimate of 3,000 mountain lions.

Report poaching:   Call the poaching hotline at 800-662-3337. callers can remain anonymous.  Email turninapoacher@utah.gov

Other useful links: 

- Utah Department of Natural Resources
- Utah efforts to help declining mule deer herds
- Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Discussion Forum on Declining Mule Deer Population, Utah wildlife Network
- WildAware, Mule Deer:  Information on living with deer
- The Mule Deer Foundation
- Antler Gathering Ethics Course  If gathering deer antlers between February 1st and April 15th, a certificate is required showing completion of this course.

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Tweets about deer in Utah


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Mule Deer: Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), WAFWA is particularly concerned about mule deer, a species that lives in every North American habitat except for the tropics, arctic and extreme deserts. Mule deer numbers and distribution have been declining throughout the West since the latter third of the 20th century. To address this concern, the Mule Deer Working Group was established at the midwinter meeting of WAFWA in 1998. The group was charged with finding “solutions to our common mule deer management problems,” expanding “cooperative research and management in the Western states and provinces,” and sharing information with agency directors and administrators on mule deer issues."

Image below shows hunters afield and deer harvest for Utah from 1925 to 2011, data from 2011 Big Game Report [PDF].  Double click on image to enlarge.



"Mule deer thrive in early successional habitats, where forbs, grassy plants and shrubs dominate. These environments are not as stable as forest habitats, and they rely on fire or some other type of disturbance to return them to an early successional stage. If they are not disturbed, they eventually become more stable plant communities dominated by trees and large shrubs. Tree-dominated habitats offer mule deer a place to retreat from severe weather, but these areas offer very little in the way of food. That is why it is important to provide mule deer with a mosaic or pattern of habitats that can provide food, cover and water."




Time Lapse Photography of Deer Using Crossing Structure -- Double click for full screen