Utah Deer News

... Highland elected officials said in 2013 that the hunt was necessary because urban deer were causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in landscaping damage ... Fisher wrote up a petition and began canvassing his neighborhood and surrounding businesses and subdivisions... “People I spoke to are dead set against the archery, they don’t see a problem, and they like the deer,” Fisher said...

Effects of male‐biased harvest on mule deer: Implications for rates of pregnancy, synchrony, and timing of parturition  ED Freeman, RT Larsen, ME Peterson, CR Anderson… - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2014
...  Our objectives were to compare rates of pregnancy, synchrony of parturition, and timing of parturition between exploited mule deer populations with a relatively high (Piceance, CO, USA; 26 males/100 females) and a relatively low (Monroe, UT, USA; 14 males/100 females) male/female ratio. We determined rates of pregnancy via ultrasonography and timing of parturition via vaginal implant transmitters. We found no differences in rates of pregnancy ... timing of parturition ... or synchrony of parturition ... between Monroe Mountain and Piceance Basin, respectively ...

... Tracking roadkill locations around the state was done on paper by many people, making the gathering and analyzation of the data overwhelming. Olson says he recognized then that smartphones have enough functions to be data collection tools, so he teamed up with others to create an app to help the process...

... Currently there is a critical need for accurate and standardized wildlife-vehicle collision data, because it is the underpinning of mitigation projects that protect both drivers and wildlife. Gathering data can be challenging because wildlife-vehicle collisions occur over broad areas, during all seasons of the year, and in large numbers. Collecting data of this magnitude requires an efficient data collection system. Presently there is no widely adopted system that is both efficient and accurate... Our objective was to develop and test an integrated smartphone-based system for reporting wildlife-vehicle collision data. The WVC Reporter system we developed consisted of a mobile web application for data collection, a database for centralized storage of data, and a desktop web application for viewing data ...

...  following the Rockport Fire in Summit County last August ... The project was done in October to grow vegetation and keep the soil together... “This is going to be really great habitat for all the deer in the area,” ...

...  Last year, a partnership of government agencies built 12 miles of fencing and large wildlife underpasses to reduce vehicle collisions with deer on U.S. 89 ... Vehicle collisions with deer have been reduced substantially ... "Studies have shown that it takes roughly three years for the herd to adapt to these new fences," ...

Deer fence started between Blanding, Monticello May 21, 2014 Utah, San Juan Record
... The State of Utah is considering installing miles of wildlife fencing to keep deer off the highway ... San Juan County and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife each donated $25,000 towards the project... With more than 300 wildlife -vehicle accidents occurring each year, UDOT predicts that the completed project could pay for itself between three and five years ...

... On Saturday, May 31 Field & Stream will join volunteers led by the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) to improve wildlife habitat all while enjoying a family-friendly campout near Salt Lake City … The magazine will be filming the project, to highlight the work of the volunteers ..

 ... elk in Utah exceed population goals... 81,000 statewide, 1,000 more than the objective in the state elk management plan approved by the wildlife board in March 2010 ... The state wildlife agency is pushing to increase the mule deer population to 350,000 statewide; it’s currently estimated at 333,000. Deer are considered less significant competitors with cattle.

... Utah taxpayers provide the program with a $500,000 annual budget, offering hunters a $50 bounty to kill coyotes. However, two years later, mule deer populations have not increased.... The DWR provides a chart on its website ...

... this is the second year in a row that the DWR’s population model marks an upturn in the winter survival rate...  The DWR has been using radio collars for three years now in Southern Utah, adding about 60 collared deer each year ... During the winter, it’s typical for 10-20 percent of the deer population in Southern Utah to die, usually more fawns then adults ...

... All of the biologists’ recommendations are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings   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...

Utah's deer buck to doe ratio April 3, 2014 April 3, 2014 Daily Herald
...  For every 100 does they counted, they also counted an average of 19 bucks.  Shannon said biologists manage 14 of Utah's 30 general season units for 15-to-17 bucks per 100 does. The remaining 16 units are managed for 18-to-20 bucks per 100 does....

... Utah’s Predator Control Program is an incentive-based initiative intended to eliminate coyotes that prey on young deer... What many people don’t realize is that the bounty program also contains funding for more than a dozen hunting contracts of up to $10,000. These contracts are set aside for coyote hunters who have proved their proficiency ...

Salt Lake Tribune
... Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) officials say surveys after the 2013 hunts estimate a population of 332,900 mule deer. The deer population hasn’t been this high since 322,000 deer were estimated at the turn of the century...

DWR gives deer herd update March 27, 2014 Utah, DWR News
... All of the biologists' recommendations are available online.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.  RAC chairs will share the input they receive with members of the Utah Wildlife Board. The board will meet in Salt Lake City on May 1 to approve permit numbers for Utah's 2014 big game hunts.  Dates, times and locations for the RAC meetings are available at the link above.   
     In 2013, a total of 84,600 hunters harvested more than 25,000 bucks on general season units. In 2007, a total of 97,000 hunters harvested about 28,000 bucks on general season units. After the hunts were over last fall, biologists classified the deer herds to see how many bucks per 100 does were left on general season units. For every 100 does they counted, they also counted an average of 19 bucks.  Shannon says biologists manage 14 of Utah's 30 general season units for 15 to 17 bucks per 100 does. The remaining 16 units are managed for 18 to 20 bucks per 100 does.  "So, to be at 19 bucks per 100 does is great news for Utah's hunters," Shannon says. "It means the herds have plenty of bucks in them."  Based on surveys after last fall's hunts, biologists estimate the total number of deer in Utah at 332,900.

... The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded grants to fund more than 50 on-the-ground projects that will enhance habitat for elk and other wildlife around the state of Utah....

... UDOT is in the preliminary stages of a deer tunnel project in Sanpete County. The next challenge is finding the funding....

... Farmers' fields run along U.S. 89 and attract deer, especially in Sanpete County. With an estimated 400 deer hit by cars along that highway every year, some residents believe a tunnel could help in the worst locations...

Mule Deer mugged from Antelope Island March 7, 2014 Utah, Salt Lake Magazine 
... Deer transplants in Utah are rare. The mule deer population has been struggling since devastating losses back in the 1980's from a particularly severe winter ...  The objective was to net and move 100 mule deer off the island. After three days the tally was 98...

Moose euthanized at Deer Valley March 7, 2014 Utah, Park Record 
...  "What I expect it to be is the animal was probably vitamin deficient," Reich said. "That, on top of the fact that it had a really high tick load," ...

Got antlers? Utah collectors need a permit first March 6, 2014 Salt Lake Tribune 
... ·"We’ve seen signs and heard complaints about shed hunters chasing deer and elk cross-country in hopes the running will cause the animals’ antlers to fall off early," said Randy Scheetz, a DWR conservation officer. "It’s about the worst thing they could do to these bucks and bulls." ...


... Utah's Antler Gathering Ethics course started as a way to reduce wildlife harassment and habitat damage caused by those gathering shed antlers... The mandatory online course, available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/shedantler ...

Bountiful Deer Plan considered March 3, 2014 Utah, Davisclipper
... It would continue a pilot project that has involved non-lethal trapping and relocating of deer ...  goal is to remove 150 deer... That differs from a program a couple of years ago where about 16 deer were removed, by lethal means...

Accused deer poachers arraigned in Brigham City February 25, 2014 Utah, Ogden Standard-Examiner ·
...  A father and daughter ... from out of state ...  charged with one count of wanton destruction of protected wildlife with a value less than $500, a class A misdemeanor ...

Bountiful council favors non-lethal deer control February 22, 2014 Utah, Davisclipper
... This follows a short-lived effort about four years ago where about 16 deer were shot by DWR sharp-shooters ... people spoke in support of using non-lethal means ... conducting a non-lethal deer removal program using traps ... Deer are removed to a site in Tooele County... cost of removing deer averages between $400 and $1,000 ... Mortality averages about 50 percent ...

Deer hunting tag on Antelope Island auctioned for $305,000 February 18, 2014 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune
... Counting the $305,000 he bid during the recent Western Hunting and Conservation Expo in Salt Lake City, Austad has paid $865,000 for the opportunity to kill three deer. He set a record for a deer hunting permit in auction last year with a $310,000 payment.  All told, Austad has likely spent more than $2 million buying hunting conservation tags in Utah...

Nearly 100 mule deer being transported off Antelope Island February 6, 2014 Utah, Deseret News 
... Wildlife officers are using some careful techniques to help the deer pack up and move. A helicopter is used that can take up to four mule deer per load. The deer are blindfolded with their legs tied together, and they're put in a bag...  the new, careful techniques make Utah's first large-scale mule deer move possible...

Utah hunter trial program gains support February 6, 2014 Utah, El Estándar
... A program intended to help kids give hunting a brief trial, before committing to a required hunting course, cleared a Senate committee with a favorable recommendation ... deer hunting was much different when they were young and reminded his colleague the state is working to rebuild the deer herd....

... The Division of Wildlife Resources is working to move nearly 100 mule deer off of Antelope Island this week in an effort to balance out the population before the food supply runs out... A helicopter can take up to four mule deer per load... The deer will then be driven to parts of Southern Utah that have a much smaller population ...

... Tim Fehr took the lead in mapping deer and elk migration routes in the area...  "There's seasonal migration and then there's almost daily migration. We get impacted by both." ... "We finally were able to convince the city that if we purchased road signs and put flashing lights on them that could be turned on when the animals were actually migrating or crossing, they would actually install them," ...

These deer hanging out, one is not happy with the other two fighting and decides to shut down the horse play!! watch the toss in slo-mo!! - January 16, 2014


Biologists keeping an eye on deer, feeding deer December 12, 2013,  Utah Division of Wildlife 
... Snow and cold temperatures have blanketed the places mule deer live in Utah. And that's brought Division of Wildlife Resources biologists out in force. As they do every winter, biologists will monitor the state's deer herds closely until winter ends. If conditions get too severe, the biologists are ready to feed deer specially designed pellets that will help them get through the winter...

Utah Wildlife Board OKs hunting changes December 6, 2013 Deseret News
... All of the changes the board approved will be available in the 2014 Utah Big Game Field Regulations Guidebook. The free guidebook should be available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks in late December.
... One doe was killed near Brown’s Canyon, another near Camp Jackson and another on Long Canyon... please call the Utah Turn in a Poacher hotline at 1-800-662-3337. Monetary rewards are available ...

Reward offered for information leading to poacher in Utah December 2, 2013 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune
... an $8,000 reward to whomever can lead them to a trophy buck’s poacher ... near Shurtz Canyon, south of Cedar City... The buck was last seen alive Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m... also found a doe..

Cemetary Buck. the 225" Legendary Utah monster mule deer 2013. I've been following this buck since 2011 when my friend Steve discovered him in November a week before the hunt ended while scouting up in the mountains. - November, 2013



...  I estimated that 2-5 % of the statewide deer population was killed in vehicle collisions annually... 65 % of deer killed in vehicle collisions were female and 40 % were adult females ... 

Highland Deer Hunt November 17, 2013 Utah, Daily Herald
... Six city mayors have an eye on Highland, watching and waiting to see if the pilot deer management plan is a failure or success...  team of archers ... "I shoot one and it runs within eyesight just a few feet and tips over. They stand there. Totally weird, that doesn't normally happen. I put another arrow in; I shoot another one. It runs off, they scatter. I said 'that's normal.' Once down, I'm going to stand up and here comes the animals back. I shoot the other one and I shoot the other one ... "

Investigators looking for poacher of doe, her fawn November 11, 2013 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune
... The shooting occurred late last month near Clarkston, a town near the Utah-Idaho border in Cache County ...  northwest of the town on the West Thompson Walk-in Access property ... call the Utah Turn in a Poacher hot line at 1-800-622-3337 ... Reward ...

... issued $380,950 to hunters and collected 7,160 coyotes ... In future years, the DWR will analyze data to determine if there is a correlation between the number of coyotes killed and the fawn-to-doe ratio ...

... "Mule deer are an iconic species in the western U.S. The decline has been quite dramatic, from 20 to 50 percent depending upon where you are," says Brock McMillan, a BYU professor ... The mule deer study is a large-scaled collaboration among BYU, Utah State University, the Utah DWR, and wildlife conservation organizations ...

... “To me, it looks like someone pushed a 50-gallon drum through her trailer.” ...  I'm thinking, 'Man, how the heck am I going to get this thing out of the trailer? ... doesn't stop running until it reaches the Sevier River ...

Mule Deer watching day is Nov. 16 November 1, 2013 Utah, Deseret News
...  a free Mule Deer Watch on Nov. 16 at the Nash Wash Wildlife Management Area in southeastern Utah.... Depending on the year, the weather and the food supply, as many as 100 deer can be seen in a relatively small area...call Stettler at 435-613-3707..

Wildlife officials propose deer transplants across Utah October 31, 2013 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune
... "In certain situations relocating deer is the best for people and best for wildlife," said Scott McFarlane, private lands/public wildlife coordinator with the DWR... Two locations have been identified as the source for possible deer transplants: the urban herd in the city of Bountiful and the prospering herd on Antelope Island... "There is a 50 to 60 percent survival rate in the first year," ...  Justin Shannon, big game coordinator for the DWR...

Buck Killed Before Hunting Season Open October 30, 2013 Utah, Utah Public Radio
... “For a buck that reaches a 24 inch spread of the antlers, the restitution is $8,000, which makes it a trophy buck in Utah, which equals a felony, ” ...

Two Bucks Poached in Southern Utah October 22, 2013 Utah, KUTV 2News
... the bucks were shot dangerously close to homes in New Harmony before sunrise Monday and then left to waste... Anyone with information is asked to call the UTiP poaching tip line at 1-800-662-DEER.

... Something weird is going on in the the Washington County wilderness ... Ekins has seen two unusual behaviors: deer have migrated en masse, much earlier than usual, to the low elevations; and bucks in particular are showing aroused mating behavior almost a month earlier than they usually do...

Poaching investigation in Box Elder on deer hunt opener October 20, 2013 Utah, El Estándar
... Hunting violations are typically misdemeanor offenses, but if the value of the kill is great enough, it will then become a felony. A trophy buck could be a felony charge.  Still, Kinghorn said he rarely makes arrests... he presents all the evidence to the state attorney, who then decides what the charges will be, if there is enough evidence to prosecute... "They know it's only two of us, for the entire county," 

Annual deer hunt begins in Utah October 18, 2013 St. George Daily Spectrum
... In Southern Utah, DWR officials report the number of deer — and the ratio of bucks to does — is growing, creating good conditions for permit holders. Herds have also been helped by an increased number of highway crossing structures and predator control... “We can place hunters by the condition of a herd. If we have units where the number of deer are down, we can decrease the tags there. Or if we have units that … have too many, we can increase the number there.”....

Utah's big deer hunt begins Saturday October 18, 2013 Deseret News
... Although the mule deer population has been on a steady decline for the past 40 years, wildlife section chief Bill Bates said the number of hunters has dropped as well — making the chances of getting a buck about the same as it was in 1983 ...about a 30 percent success rate ... Each hunter generates anywhere from $60 to $100 per day in the field, contributing money to local economies ...

... The decline of the mule deer population isn’t isolated just to Utah, but over the entire West. Best estimates in California, for example, indicate the population has dropped from around 2 million deer in the 1960s to around 450,000 today... The problem is the number of larger bucks is declining, which is resulting in fewer fawns being born... The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is doing everything it can to revive deer numbers, but with limited success ...

Utah Deer Hunting: By the Numbers October 16, 2013 Salt Lake Magazine (blog)
... Back in 1985, for example, 82,552 deer were harvested by more than 200,000 hunters. In 1961, 132,000 deer were tagged. This year, there were only 84,600 total permits issued .... Estimates are fewer than 20,000 deer will be taken this year ... the number of deer killed by vehicles in a year is around 20,000 ... Estimates are Utah’s current deer population is only about half what it was in the 1970s and 1980s... factors have contributed to the decline ... hunting, road kill, predations, loss of habitat and severe winters...

... There will be roughly, 16,000 hunters wandering around in the Southern Utah wilderness ... All Zion Unit hunters with tags who don’t use Condor-poisoning lead bullets, or who clean up their deer’s entrails – which are typically left behind after a kill – could win a fourwheeler or one of five high powered hunting rifles that have been donated to the cause ...

Hunters, non-hunters alike decry poaching October 11, 2013 Utah, WRAL.com
... For years, Lucy Peterson Watkins and her husband watched two bucks in North Logan from the comfort of their home.  "They grew up here and spent a lot of time on our 11 acres," ... In September, one of those bucks, nicknamed "Narrows," was found with an arrow wound on a North Logan porch and had to be put down... estimations of wildlife populations around 1900 were 25 elk, zero moose, and about 10,000 deer statewide...

Animals finding niche as Utah changes October 11, 2013 Utah, St. George Daily Spectrum
...  in the past few decades. Elk populations are increasing but we see fewer moose these days. We also have fewer mule deer... How much the increase of elk has affected decrease of deer is still being studied. Big game biologists have warned us deer numbers will never again reach the hey-day numbers of 1950-70. Even though number of hunters afield has diminished, loss of key winter range to development and conflicts with agriculture are hurting the deer picture...

Highland, Urban deer hunts likely to spread quickly October 11, 2013 Utah, Daily Herald
Highland will soon be the first city in Utah history to allow urban deer hunting ... 

... Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, and Don Peay, founder of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, often said it would lead to at least 20,000 predators turned in for the cash... Predator program to protect mule deer  ...During the first year of the program, participants who contracted with the Division of Wildlife Resources turned in 7,160 coyotes and $380,950 was paid to program participants and contractors.... 7,160 were turned in and $380,950 was awarded in bounties...

... Covy Jones of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources told the Daily Herald that the state has given final approval for the state's first-ever urban deer hunt... "If you are not close enough to see whether or not it's a deer, you are not close enough to kill it with a bow," ...

... State wildlife officers say they've found the person accused of killing a well-known trophy buck in North Logan city limits... known to locals as The Greenville Buck ... 

Hunting in Northern Utah October 1, 2013 StandardNet
... The elk population has exploded in Northern Utah ... Deer hunting ... has been dropping in Northern Utah ...  According to the National Shooting Sports Association, nearly 193,000 people hunt in Utah every year and spend $550 million...

Could neighbors be accidental targets in Highland hunt? September 24, 2013 Utah, Daily Herald
... With Highland days or weeks away from hosting Utah's first ever urban deer hunt, Mayor Lynn Ritchie told the Daily Herald that the hunt will not spill over to surrounding cities... A fee of $150 provides each hunter with an identification card, tags and training...

Monticello's deer population to be culled September 18, 2013 Utah, San Juan Record
... City Council asked the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) to cull the population of deer in city limits.  DWR officials will begin the process in coming weeks. It is anticipated that they will harvest up to 50 deer... 

Controversial predator control leaves questions September 13, 2013 Utah, Eatonville Dispatch
... the Mule Deer Protection Act .... Program participants can receive $50 for each properly documented coyote they kill ... Camilla Fox, executive director of Project Coyote ... asserts decades of research show systematic killing of coyotes increases reproduction, immigration and survival. In the long term, no scientific study has demonstrated bounty programs are effective in reducing coyote populations... Dr. Robert Crabtree, founder of Yellowstone Ecological Research Center, agrees ...

Deer numbers surge in Pleasant View August 31, 2013 Utah, Ogden Standard-Examiner · 
...  resident and orchard owner Ron Jensen received complaints from neighbors about an agricultural fence he put up around his orchards to keep out the deer...  In the end the council did allow Jensen to build the fence with some modifications... “What do you think the deer are saying?” asked Councilman Toby Mileski, “They (people) are showing up everywhere.” ... 

Highland, Urban bow and arrow deer hunting August 12, 2013 Utah, Daily Herald
... The 2-year pilot program will allow a select group of experienced bow hunters to help thin the number of mule deer in the city... Comments: This is just wrong on so many levels. Deer were driven from the lowlands and now have no where to go.   Come on Highland people, You built there knowing the deer come down in the winter. Did you think they would go away after you have feed them. Highland should put in a law requiring you all to put up a tall fence to keep them out of your back yard...

Wildlife officers: Watch for poachers August 12, 2013 Utah, davisclipper.com
... Rick Olsen, a Captain for the division in Utah, said ... “It’s crucial that we get hunters to help us out in this cause ... Many more violators are being caught, however, because hunters are calling us and have called us in the past.”  ...  it’s vital to report any suspicious activity to the agency....  Utah’s Turn in a Poacher (UTiP) hotline at 1-800-662-3337

New group highlights hunting economics August 11, 2013 Utah, Davisclipper
... Hunting Works For Utah is partnering with many local and state organizations in Utah to “highlight the major impact hunting has on Utah’s economy,” according to a press release from the company... According to a recent study conducted by the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, hunters spend approximately $550 million each year for hunting in Utah. That brings in $62.5 million in state and local tax revenue, according to the study report...

Highland council OKs urban bow and arrow deer hunt August 8, 2013 Utah, Daily Herald
... Mule deer along the Wasatch Mountain Range used to migrate down from the foothills and mountains during wintertime. However, eight years prior there was a particularly harsh winter and the deer decided to remain in the valley.  Three years ago, the deer became a serious issue.... A fee of $150 provides each hunter with an identification card, tags and training... Brian Cook of Humphries Archery has been asked to be the program coordinator...

... Both Bountiful and Highland have partnered with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to implement a two-year pilot program to discover the best way to address a decade-long problem of growing deer-resident conflicts in urban areas. Bountiful began the program in 2011 but has discontinued its hunts, citing conflict with residents and insufficient resources and manpower to manage the program with DWR...

Highland urban deer hunt could begin within a month July 17, 2013 Utah, Daily Herald
... we are going to try an archery hunt," Highland Mayor Lynn Ritchie said. "We've had numerous residents who have said 'please send them over to our house,' ... "I've got at least six cities that are interested in the program." ...

Video of deer and squirrel that we saw at Zion National Park. A mother and two baby deer were next to and in the parking lot. The squirrel was waiting for us to give food, but it is prohibited to feed the animals in the wildlife. You will be fined if you get caught. - July, 2013



Baby Deer, Owl and Critters June 16, 2013 Utah, KCSG
... Long before sunrise he was up tube feeding a critically injured two day old orphaned mule deer fawn. The baby deer was found yesterday caught in a barbed wire fence, its left leg and shoulder were severely injured. The fawn is badly dehydrated and tremendously week, so a little extra prayer for the fawn would help... our website www.gowildlife.org ...
... 

Deer Crossing Stream at Zion National Park - June 2, 2013



...  An estimated 6,000 dee are killed on Utah roads each year ... crews are installing massive culverts and 8-foot fences along 11 miles of Highway 89 just east of Kanab... The new fencing along the roadway will have posts designed to funnel deer into culverts ...

Salt Lake Tribune
... Automobiles strike about 100 mule deer each year on a lovely stretch of U.S. Highway 89 in Kane County, killing up to 10 percent of the Paunsaugunt herd... officials hope a $2.6 million system of fencing and underpasses under construction will slash next fall’s roadside carcass count ... Utah installed the first wildlife crossing in North America in 1971 ...

... Twice a year, nearly 2,000 deer try to cross Highway 89 ...  UDOT contract crews have installed 8 foot-high fences on both sides of the highway along that 11-mile stretch. They've also built three large tunnels to supplement four small culverts that were installed previously. Instead of crossing over the highway, deer will be encouraged to go under it...

Fewer deer hunting permits available this year May 7, 2013 Utah, Deseret News
... the number of bucks per 100 does is still below the management objective on some of the state’s hunting units...  after the hunts in 2011 ... Utah had about 286,000 deer. Despite hunters taking more bucks in 2012, about 318,000 deer were in the state ...

... Anis Aoude, big-game coordinator of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, told the board the overall population of mule deer in the state is increasing, but management objectives for male-to-female ratios on many of the 30 hunting units remain unmet. Reducing hunting permits on those units should increase the buck-to-doe ratios at levels set in the statewide deer management plan...

... Utah’s Mule Deer Protection Act... a $50 bounty for coyotes that might otherwise kill mule deer fawns... enough money to pay the bounty on 10,000 coyotes...  Dr. John Shivik ... and other biologists’ estimate, hunters would have to bring down the numbers of coyotes by 50 to 70 percent per year for an extended period of time to permanently decrease the population... The mule deer population in Utah is relatively stable at around 320,000 animals ..

Utah Game Management Plans [PDF] April, 2013 Utah DNR
Includes new rules for urban deer management and details of the deer management plan for the state.

Deer hunting permits going down April 8, 2013 Utah, Davisclipper
... “Two years ago after the hunts in 2011, the statewide deer population was about 286,000 deer,” he said. “Despite hunters taking more bucks in 2012, about 318,000 deer were still in the state after the hunts were over last fall. That’s encouraging. It shows the overall deer population is growing.”   ...

Coyote Gulch Deer Herd - April 15, 2013


Monitoring big game, data collected from hunters April 4, 2013 Utah, Price Sun Advocate
... Division of Wildlife Resources Big Game Coordinator Anis Aoude says two factors determine how many buck deer permits can be offered on a unit in the fall: The average number of bucks per 100 does on the unit over the past three years and whether that number has increased, decreased or stayed the same during the three-year period...  "the statewide deer population was about 286,000 deer...

DWR recommends slight decrease in buck deer permits April 3, 2013 Utah, Dixie Press Online
... You can see the biologists’ recommendations at www.wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/hunting/board-rac.html. Some of the recommendations are:  Decrease the number of general buck deer hunting permits from 86,500 in 2012 to 84,600 for this fall’s hunts ... plan on sharing your ideas at your upcoming Regional Advisory Council meeting.  RAC chairs will take the input they receive and share it with members of the Utah Wildlife Board ... You can also provide your comments to your RAC via email.  Email addresses for your RAC members are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/rac-members.html...

... Officially, the aim of the program is to protect the mule deer, a symbol of Utah. Larger than white-tailed deer, with distinctive oversize ears and impressive antlers, the mule deer is a favorite of hunters and hikers here. Coyotes prey on the fawns, so the Mule Deer Protection Act allots $500,000 for bounties... But environmentalists argue that there is little scientific evidence that curbing the number of coyotes actually helps mule deer rebound. (A six-year study published in 2011 found that coyote removal did not effectively increase the mule deer population in neighboring southeastern Idaho.) ...

Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife about wrong kind of bucks March 18, 2013 Utah, Salt Lake Tribune
... Don Peay founded Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife in 1993 ...  as Utah mule deer populations were crashing... It has spent money to purchase or improve wildlife habitat and raised $7.2 million for conservation over the past 10 years... Some of SFW’s fundraising efforts, especially those taking advantage of hunters’ mythical fears that the main reason for the decline in big game herds, especially mule deer, is predation...


Search for deer news and information by keyword above or find links to state news stories organized by topic.

Utah Data: DWR estimates 332,900 mule deer in Utah in 2014,  318,000 in 2012, 286,000 in 2011, and 322,000 in 2000. Recent mild winters have brought the population back during the last few years after a long downward trend of over 40 years.   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
     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.  This 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.  No other predator behaves this way, taking mostly bucks.  Deer managers in the Western United States are studying the long term decline of mule deer populations. There is evidence that the practice of maintaining an artificially low buck-to-doe ratio over a long period is an unsustainable management strategy as it disrupts natural evolutionary processes. Also, young bucks rely on herd elders to teach them the migratory routes, but with few elder bucks available, the information on migratory routes can be lost to the herd.
     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.  "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."  More at State Management Plan [PDF]
     About 81,000 elk. 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 Game Management Plans [PDF] April, 2013 Utah DNR
- Utah Department of Environmental Quality
- 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
- Utah's Predator-Control Incentive program 
- 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.

Tweet on the timeline below using #deer #Utah

Tweets about deer in Utah


Tweet on the timeline below using @UtahDWR

Tweets about Utah DWR



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."



Footage from the Mule Deer Foundation's Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience (YWCE) - February 21, 2013


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