Washington Deer Population:   An estimated 330,000 deer in 2015, up from about 310,000 in 2014.  The hard winter of 2015-16 reduced deer and elk populations.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Washington deer hunting statistics and news archive.

Washington Deer News

Volunteers install fencing to keep elk off I-90 near Vantage January 17, 2017 Washington, Daily Record-News
... olunteers with the Mule Deer Foundation, and staff with the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Transportation worked to put up new fencing over the weekend. The fencing will cover close to six miles of the interstate...

Lots of deer at Steamboat Rock State Park this winter. - January 17, 2017


Update On Washington Winter Range Conditions For Deer, Elk January 16, 2017 nwsportsmanmag.com
... In late December, WDFW reported over 1150 elk at the Cowiche and more than 700 elk at feeding stations in western Yakima Counties ...

This video shows some deer that I suspect are hybrids between whitetails and mule deer. This video is from the Yakima River Bottoms in Eastern Washington - January 1, 2017



  Hockinson man raises Eurasian fallow deer December 26, 2016 Washington, 
The Columbian
... Unlike the deer of North America, the Eurasian fallow deer can keep their white spots throughout their lives and have a color range from white to brown to black... at least four other hobby herds of fallow deer in the county. In fact, he trades animals with them and a few other nearby farms from time-to-time to keep the gene pool in his herd deep ...

Forest slaughterhouse December 6, 2016 Washington, Castanet
... A disturbing video sent to Castanet shows what appears to be the slaughter of dozens of deer and moose in an Okanagan forest...

Warning, raw video: A large number of deer and moose carcasses found several kms up oyama lake road.


Reward offered for tips on deer poaching in Pend Oreille County November 9, 2016 Washington, 
The Spokesman-Review
... buck was shot Nov. 1 or 2 near milepost 3 on Forest Service Road 5015-020 near Cooks Lake and Mystic Lake ...

Columbian white-tails have been delisted to threatened species October 27, 2016 Washington, The Wahkiakum County Eagle
... The deer population of the lower Columbian floodplain has experienced significant recovery, increasing from about 400 deer in the early 1970s to almost 1,000 individuals in 2015... Columbian white-tailed deer are unique to southwest Washington and western Oregon. The successes in translocations and management have been invaluable in promoting the recovery of the deer ...

Big year for wildlife overpasses in West October 25, 2016 Washington, Mountain Town News
... Two were completed in Colorado; one is taking shape in Washington state and another in Nevada. More are being planned in British Columbia ...  “Elk like open. They don’t like stuff above their head,” ... he Snoqualmie project “by far the most ecologically comprehensive mitigation project I’m aware of in North America ...

... The deer population of the Lower Columbia floodplain has experienced significant recovery, increasing from about 400 deer in the early 1970s to almost 1,000 individuals in 2015. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its state and tribal partners have utilized translocation as a management technique ...

USFWS Pacific Region - Tumblr
... The recovery was enhanced by the establishment of the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for the Columbian White-tailed Deer in 1971. The refuge was established to protect and manage the endangered deer. Now, there are three viable subpopulations at or near the refuge ...

Fish and Wildlife to downlist Columbian white-tailed deer October 12, 2016 Washington, Longview Daily News
... Federal wildlife officials ... will downlist the Columbian white-tailed deer from endangered to threatened ... The deer were declared endangered in 1967 due to habitat loss and modification by farming, logging, and commercial and residential development...

Growers say elk damaging Wenatchee orchards October 7, 2016 Washington, Capital Press
... Joseph Bridges, WDFW wildlife conflict specialist, is trying to help him get fencing wire ... WDFW increased antlerless elk hunting permits in the Malaga area to 170 over seven time periods versus 90 over four time periods last year ... The Colockum herd numbers about 6,000 ...

2016 District 7 and 8 deer and elk hunting prospects October 6, 2016 Washington, Columbia Basin Herald
... The increased harvest in 2015 was part of a larger trend that included not only eastern Washington, but portions of Idaho and Oregon as well. We have had a series of mild winters ...

One of favorite moments from the Pacific Northwest Trail. A deer came up to us while in the backcountry of the Pasaten Wilderness and licked Oakdale's back! He's desperately trying not to laugh. - October 3, 2016


2016 Washington Deer Prospects A Mixed Bag September 30, 2016
nwsportsmanmag.com
...  See 2016 deer outlook  ... last year’s seasons, the state was a mess, what with massive wildfires, extreme drought and large-scale land closures, as well as bluetongue ravaging whitetails... some good things going in our favor in 2015: fantastic buck ratios in Okanogan and Chelan Counties; a late-starting and -ending 11-day rifle muley season; the end of the four-point minimum for whitetails in two super-popular units north of Spokane ...
Southeastern Washington deer herds are stable and could be increasing September 22, 2016 Lewiston Morning Tribune 
... Deer populations in the southeastern corner of Washington appear to be stable and possibly climbing, according to a hunting outlook compiled by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Like those in neighboring Idaho, deer herds in Washington have taken advantage of mild to moderate winters ...

King County, Limited deer hunt set for Oct. 15-31 at King County's Island Center Forest September 9, 2016 Washington, King County (press release)
... King County began a limited hunt at Island Center Forest in 2011, when more than 60 hunters registered and eight deer were harvested. In 2015, an estimated 60 hunters harvested four deer...


Washington State Legalizes Roadkill Salvage, Oregon Still Firmly Forbids September 2, 2016 KUOW News and Information
... Oregon still firmly forbids people from collecting roadkill, but Washington state has now joined Idaho and Montana in allowing individuals to salvage dead deer and elk from the roadside...

Outrage in Washington: the Slaughter of the Profanity Wolf Pack August 12, 2016 Washington, CounterPunch
...   recent decision by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to kill members of the Profanity wolf pack because they have killed a few cattle grazing public lands... when domestic animals are released on public lands, it socially displaces wild ungulates like elk...

We happened to see this albino deer on Whidbey Island in Washington State grazing in an open field. At first glance I thought it must have been a goat or other farm animal. - August 31, 2016


Hazing deer a nighttime affair August 4, 2016 Washington, Columbia Basin Herald
... When a deer is spotted, the vehicle is stopped and the deer convinced to leave the field...  alfalfa fields more enticing as the surrounding sagebrush ... At our disposal for hazing are whistles, a paint gun, air signals, spotlights and 12 gauge rubber buckshot...

... roughly 3,000 deer and elk are hit and killed by drivers... as of July 1, you can harvest that deer or elk meat...
... On Friday, Washington residents can legally pick up ... deer and elk accidentally hit and killed ...

Klickitat deer habitat to be purchased June 23, 2016 Washington, The Columbian
... more than 3,600 acres of prime deer habitat in the Simcoe Mountains of Klickitat County ... “WDFW wants to reopen this area of Game Management Unit 382 to public hunting through land purchases from Western Pacific Timber,’’ ...

     Columbian White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus) is the westernmost subspecies of whitetailed deer. Although widespread and numerous across much of its North American range, this subspecies occurs in relatively low numbers in a highly restricted range. Once Columbian White-tailed Deer (CWTD) ranged widely across much of western Washington and Oregon, however; habitat loss and degradation as well as overhunting led to a significant range contraction as well as a commensurate decline in their numbers. This led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to include the Columbian Whitetailed Deer as an Endangered Species immediately upon adoption of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973.... Submit written comments on this report by e-mail by 9 July 2016 to: T&Epubliccom@dfw.wa.gov

Reductions in 2016 antlerless deer hunting approved June 13, 2016 Washington, The Spokesman Review 
... The number of hunting days for antlerless deer hunting this season in northeastern Washington has been reduced because of concerns that a 2015 blue tongue outbreak severely reduced whitetail numbers in certain areas. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted on the proposed season changes ...

Washington Data:  About 330,000 deer in 2015 based on hunting data.  See 2016 deer outlook.  Total deer population estimated at 300,000 to 320,000 in 2014 according to the Game Management Plan, p. 62 [PDF]. For 2015, an estimated 90,000 to 100,000 blacktails and about the same 90,000 to 100,000 mule deer.  The hard winter of 2015-16 reduced deer and elk populations.  An outbreak of bluetonuge in 2015 also reduced deer populations.  Whitetail deer in Northeast Washington are still recovering from major winters kills in the winters of '07 and '08.  White-tails predominate in the northeast, mule deer in the southeast. With the decline of logging and new forest management practices, the deer population has declined by about 40 percent in some parts of the Southwest since 2002, mostly blacktails; numbers are stronger in the interior Southwest.   Another major factor reducing deer habitat is the conversion of farm and forest lands into residential development and reduced alfalfa and cereal production [Deer Status Report, 2014, PDF].  Efforts are ongoing to support the few remaining Columbian white-tailed deer, once thought to be extinct.  2015 Draft Mule Deer Management Plan
     The 2013 total deer harvest was 33,657 with 27,448 antlered deer and 6,209 antlerless deer taken with a hunter success rate of 27.2 percent.The antlerless harvest rose from 15.7% of the total in 1998 to 25.6 percent in 2012.  Harvest Statistics   The total deer harvest in 2012 was similar to 1997, with a recent peak in the early 2000's at around 40,000.  Whitetail deer are about 35 percent of the harvest and are more numerous in the northeast, mule deer are found in the higher elevations, blacktails found along the coast are about 32 percent of the harvest.  The management goal for mule deer is 15 to 19 bucks per 100 does after hunting (Plan, see p. 3).  The low buck to doe ratio has been suspected as a factor in their decline.
    White-tail deer numbers were plentiful in in the 1800's, but were reduced by over hunting by the early 1900's.  Deer hunter numbers and also probably deer population peaked in 1979, with a recent peak in the 1990s.  From the 2015 Draft Mule Deer Plan:  "Although records of historic mule deer population trends are limited, Julander and Low  reported a marked decline in populations due to severe weather during the winter of 1889. They also reported an increase in population between 1935 and 1968. Mule deer populations apparently reached very low numbers in eastern Washington during 1969, 1971, and 1972, during unseasonably harsh winters. Mule deer populations increased from 1973 until the mid-1980s. Drought conditions developed in eastern Washington starting in 1986, and then eased somewhat in the mid-1990s, and became more pronounced in the early 2000s."
    Moose were not thought to be in the state until 1920 when some moved into northeastern areas.      
    Cougar population estimated at 2,500 in 2015 and 2008.
    Wolf population estimated at a minimum of 68 in 2014, up from 24 in 2010.

Report Poaching:  Information can be submitted anonymously:  Call the state Poaching Hotline, (877) 933-9847,  Email the tip to reportpoaching@dfw.wa.gov

Other useful links:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife  - 2016 Season Regulations
Mule deer Geodatabase     - Predator Ecology Lab
Blacktail Deer Society — IslandWood an outdoor education center on the 255 acres on Bainbridge Island 
I-90 Wildlife Watch is a citizen-based wildlife monitoring project that invites motorists to report wildlife sightings along Interstate 90 (I-90) in the Snoqualmie Pass region of Washington.
- List of Wildlife Rehabilitators, contact for information on injured deer
- Washington Prescribed Fire Council      - Washington Fish and Wildlife News

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