Washington Deer News

... WDFW Game Division Manager Dave Ware said wildlife managers have not seen a decline in deer and elk populations in northeast Washington, where the state’s 52 wolves are concentrated.  The state projected in 2011 that once the population reached 50, wolves would take up to 630 elk and 1,500 deer a year, a fraction of the 7,900 elk and 38,600 deer killed by hunters annually...

WDFW provided with three metal detectors October 26, 2014 Washington, The Spokesman Review
... The Mule Deer Foundation donated three metal detectors ... “If the bullet is still in the animal, we can quickly detect whether a bowhunter is telling the truth or whether he jammed an arrow into a bullet hole (during an archery-only season),” ... 

Volunteers restore mule deer habitat October 24, 2014 Washington, Daily Record-News
... A Kittitas Valley workday Oct. 4 to restore plant habitat hard hit by wildfires brought out about 30 volunteers working under the leadership of the local chapter of the nonprofit Mule Deer Foundation ... The primary goal of the national MDF organization is to “Ensure the Conservation of Mule Deer, Black-tailed Deer and their Habitat,”  ...

Translocated deer survive on Ridgfield October 23, 2014 Washington, waheagle.com 
... we have seen remarkable strides toward the recovery of the Columbian white-tailed deer, mainly as a result of translocations ... 58 deer were moved, and a total of seven deer died as a result of the move. These deaths could be attributed to direct (capture stress known as myopathy) or indirect (predation, vehicle strikes, etc., soon after release) ... A sustainable deer herd is considered 50 deer or greater ...

Spokane woman shoots 'Unicorn Deer' October 22, 2014 Washington, KHQ Right Now
... a doe, with one large horn stemming from the middle of its head, coining the name “Unicorn Deer”. Although this sighting is extremely rare, it has been seen before. Amy found that the horn occurs from a hormone imbalance in the deer...

No more buckskin gloves for deer hides at Pacific October 19, 2014 Washington, The Spokesman Review
... A decades-old tradition of trading a deer skin for a pair of buckskin gloves is just a memory ...  It got to where we weren’t getting enough hides to make much return on it...

Questionable deer opener provides early season answers October 17, 2014 Washington, Methow Valley News
... On the heels of the state’s worst wildfire ... “There’s a hunting ranch there, 15,000 acres,” Thomson said, “and in years past I would see 300-400 deer a day. We didn’t see one.”  Fire has now denuded much of that land, Thomson added, and left lots of dead deer as testament to its passing.  “That fire was moving at 50 miles an hour,” ... 

Renton, Washington



... High on the Olympic Peninsula, deer numbers are lower than in other parts of the state, but Clallam County does have areas of higher deer densities, especially at lower elevations.  Population surveys in Thurston and Pierce counties indicate a stable to increasing herd...

Eastside Firefighters Engine 81 responded to SE 20th and 208th Place in Sammamish Monday afternoon to find a deer who had been stuck between a metal fence for several minutes, according to bystanders. - October 14, 2014



Number of deer and hunters on the decline October 2, 2014 Washington, Longview Daily News
... Deer population declining -- According to WDFW’s annual Deer Status and Trend Report, “information compiled from hunting activity suggests a slow decline of the deer population” in Southwest Washington. Hunter success rates have declined from about 20 percent to 15 percent in the past 12 years.  The reasons for the declining number of deer include a reduction in logging on federal land and subdivision of private property, according to WDFW...

Washington and Oregon Deer Hunting Forecast for 2014 October 1, 2014  gameandfishmag.com
... Douglas, Post-hunt deer surveys were up dramatically following the 2012 hunting season. Surveys after the 2013 season were more along the lines of the long-term average  ... Columbia Basin, ... Post-hunt buck to doe ratios are at objective levels, with at least one unit hitting the highest since 1996 (29 bucks per 100 does)... Blue Mountains, Post-season buck ratios increased this past winter to 26 bucks per 100 does with an average fawn ratio of 51:100...

... Blacktail populations appear stable in the Washougal, Battle Ground, West Klickitat and Grayback units... While there’s lot of national forest land in hunt in the Lewis River, Wind River and Siouxon units, deer populations are generally low in the southern Cascade Mountains...

Bird, deer, elk hunting prospects looking good October 2, 2014 Washington, The Herald of Everett
... Okanogan County boasts the largest mule deer herd in Washington, and biologists say prospects are rosy, despite this summer's wildfires. The buck-to-doe ratio is excellent, there has been a good carryover of older bucks (if winter weather comes soon enough to push them down from the high country) and fawn survival has been at or above average for five years in a row...

Fire may require deer reduction September 29, 2014 Washington, Eatonville Dispatch
... the Carlton Complex wildfire burned more than 25,000 acres ... “We will be conservative in reducing the size of the herd because we are still assessing the amount of regrowth that is occurring, and we can not predict winter conditions... Washington chapters of the Mule Deer Foundation are contributing funds for post-fire habitat restoration efforts...

Influence of hair loss syndrome on black‐tailed deer fawn survival RH McCoy, SL Murphie, M Szykman Gunther… - The Journal of Wildlife …, 2014
... Recent declines in black-tailed deer populations in Washington have been attributed partly to low recruitment... we recorded 129 mortalities; predation was the leading cause (74%). Mountain lions (Puma concolor) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) were the most common predators. The survival rate to 50 weeks was 0.33 ...  We conclude that fawn mortality during the first 9 weeks followed by a significant increase in winter mortality, exacerbated by HLS [hair loss syndrome], combine to limit black-tailed deer population growth. Inherent nutritional limitations in summer forage may have influenced survival of many fawns, pre-disposing them to mortality during the summer and winter. 

... The Carlton Complex Fire burned more than 250,000 acres ... natural regeneration of the burned wildlife habitat has already begun, but the area will not be able to support the usual number of deer this winter. WDFW wildlife biologists estimate reducing the population by 7 percent will improve long-term range restoration as well as the herd's overall vitality...

Eastern Washington hunting prospects bright September 18, 2014 The Spokesman Review
... prospects for both white-tailed and mule deer are relatively good throughout the region, with more whitetails in the northeast and central districts and more mule deer in the southeast district....

No such thing as unanimous approval of hunting regulations September 18, 2014 Washington, The Spokesman-Review 
...  Some big-game hunters would never consider sitting over a pile of grain, apples or other bait to fill their tags. Others don’t know how to hunt any other way.  
Washington, Oregon and Utah are the only Western states that allow bait to be used for hunting deer and elk...

Fires destroy winter deer range September 13, 2014 Washington,  KING5.com
... With most of those plants consumed by fire there will be a massive shortage of available food...  the department is preparing by opening an antlerless hunting season this Fall ... they are also preparing to supply food to the herds if it gets to the point where a massive die off is possible....

Fires destroy winter grazing range for thousands of deer September 4, 2014 Washington, Methow Valley News
... The Carlton Complex Fire that charred more than one-quarter-million acres in the Methow Valley and surrounding areas destroyed thousands of acres of winter range essential to the survival of mule deer and white tail deer... “Recovery time is going to be highly variable; as little as five years, but in other places it may be two to three times that long,” ...

Congress should do more to protect the country from wildfires August 28, 2014 Washington, Washington Post, Peter Goldmark is the Washington state commissioner of public lands
... I’ll never forget the herd of panicked, bloody-faced deer that died head-butting a fence that blocked their only escape route. Despite the scale of disasters such as the Carlton Complex, Congress still pays for federal wildland firefighting as though it were lawn mowing or picnic-table painting ... In 1991, firefighting accounted for only 13 percent of the Forest Service’s budget; today, it consumes half, creating an enormous gap in funding for maintaining the health and fire resiliency of our public forests ...

Deer problems expected on charred Methow winter range August 27, 2014 Washington, The Spokesman-Review 
... The Carlton Complex fires burned and leaped across more than 256,000 acres in July and August, the largest fire covering recorded in Washington. ... significant portions of mule deer winter range have been burned. Some has been burned badly ...

Hunter Hired by Washington State Kills 1 Wolf August 25, 2014, ABC News 
... Wolves were driven to extinction in Washington in the early 1900s by a government-sponsored eradication program on behalf of the livestock industry. Their population has grown to at least 52 wolves today.  Some ranchers and hunters vehemently oppose the return of the wolves, saying the animals prey on livestock and deer populations... 

... In central Washington, the burned landscape will leave one of the state’s largest deer herds without a place to go this winter ... many fawns and some adult deer could starve this winter. Wildlife managers are going to issue more antlerless hunting permits ...

Massive Washington Wildfire Causes Woes for Mule Deer Herd August 11, 2014 Washington, outdoorhub.com
... thousands of newly-evicted mule deer. Forced out of the forest by the fire, the deer are struggling to find food and cover ... The WDFW is considering a supplemental feeding program for the deer, although biologists are reluctant to approve such a measure... “Winter feeding is not a long term solution,” ...

Fires char 256,000 acres, leave little food for deer August 10, 2014 Washington, The Spokesman Review
... The burned area includes 100,000 acres of winter range that’s critical to the local deer and the 10,000 mule deer that will be migrating from the Cascades to the valley in a few months.... “We know we need to take steps to reduce the size of the herd,” ... 

Wildfires damaged mule deer habitat July 27, 2014 Washington, The Wenatchee World Online 
... Most of the 250,000 acres burned in Methow Valley wildfires are prime winter habitat for mule deer... Monda estimated that 80 percent of the mule deer habitat has been affected by the wildfires. Okanogan County is home to the biggest mule deer herd in the state...

... much of the 250-thousand acres razed by the Carlton Complex Fire is critical mule deer habitat ...  considering a number of measures including thinning deer herds through hunting and creating winter feed stations for the deer...

Whidbey, Survey may steer how state handles deer population June 28, 2014 Washington, Whidbey News Times 
... The main concern with the deer population is the pervasiveness of car crashes ... Whidbey Island technically isn’t overpopulated with deer because the deer population hasn’t resulted in any adverse health effects ... Ruth Milner, a biologist with Fish and Wildlife ...

Whidbey, Columbian black-tailed deer and deer hunting on Whidbey June 26, 2014 Washington, Examiner 
... The University of Montana (Missoula) is helping the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife “Better understand the relationship between Columbian black-tailed deer and humans on Whidbey Island.” ... This survey involves twenty-two questions based upon the opinions of Islanders in order to assist the Department in deer management...

Washington game animals plan focus of meeting tonight June 19, 2014 The Spokesman Review
... In August, the agency will hold meetings on possible changes to Washington’s hunting rules for the 2015-17 seasons. Meantime, proposals for hunting rules also can be filed on the agency’s website....

Wildlife orphans: PAWS maxed out with fawns June 11, 2014 Washington, KOMO News
... PAWS Wildlife Center quickly maxed out on fawns, with six of them sharing the space. Every year, well meaning people scoop fawns out of the wild after seeing them alone. But it's normal for a mother deer to leave her babies for hours at a time. "They're supposed to lay there and be quiet...

A pair of deer swim from Caterpillar Island to the Washington mainland near Frenchman's Bar at Vancouver Washington. - June 1, 2014



White-tail deer on road to recovery May 28, 2014 Washington, The Wahkiakum County Eagle
...  still listed as endangered ...  The Fish and Wildlife Service has successfully utilized translocation as a management technique in concert with successes in habitat restoration and habitat enhancement to ensure continuing stability and security for Columbian white-tailed deer...  unique to southwestern Washington and western Oregon ...

Deer in Yakima area struggling to survive May 13, 2014 Washington, Longview Daily News
... About 15 years ago ... All the deer were dead on the islands... deaths were eventually attributed to a mutated and particularly virulent form of Adenovirus, a hemorrhagic disease known to cause tuberculosis in cattle... It, along with a potentially deadly louse that emerged in the mid-1990s, sent Central Washington's deer population into a steep decline with no rebound in sight...

New hunting pamphlet requires study May 2, 2014 Washington, Columbia Basin Herald
... An increase in the antlerless elk permits for the Colockum hunt has been rumored, but it is significant... The cost of a second deer tag for a Washington resident dropped from $68 to $43.40... The modern firearm general deer season for mule deer remains the same length ...

... In December of 2012, Elsberg posted a photo to Facebook of him hoisting the head of a trophy mule deer buck while wearing a shirt that read “DAMN I’M GOOD.” The buck was known by local hunters as the “Pitchfork Buck” ...

... Northeast white-tailed deer: Buck harvest levels have increased as the herd starts to rebound from harsh winters of 2007-08...

Elk hunting permits reduced for Mount St. Helens April 17, 2014 Washington, The Columbian 
... The Mount St. Helens elk herd has been reduced by 25 percent to 30 percent, largely through elevated permit levels started in 2007...

Washington increases elk tags, cuts deer permit fees April 14, 2014 The Spokesman-Review
...  “After a five-year stretch of mild winters, surveys show that most big game populations are stable or growing,” ...  Elk hunting permits will be increased in the Colockum and Yakima areas along with antlerless deer permits in northeastern Washington ...

Wildlife trafficker gets minimal sentence April 13, 2014 Washington, The Spokesman-Review 
... A Tacoma man described as “one of the largest illegal wildlife traffickers in Washington state history” was sentenced last week to 30 days of community service and 60 days’ home detention for selling deer, elk and sturgeon in violation of state law ...

Endangered cousins of local deer April 5, 2014 Washington, The Islands' Sounder
...  the beautiful Columbian white-tailed deer. Named for the Columbia River, herds of these deer tend to congregate near this river in the states of Washington and Oregon. The Columbian white-tailed deer was federally listed as an endangered species in Washington and Oregon in 1967. Thanks to immense effort by conservationists, the Douglas County, Oregon population of deer was removed from the Endangered Species Act in 2003...

Commission will consider adopting new hunting rules at April meeting March 27, 2014 Washington, Access Washington
     The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will consider adopting proposed changes to state hunting rules for deer, elk, moose and other game species during a public meeting April 11-12 in Olympia. The commission, which sets policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene at 8:30 a.m. each day in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building on the state capitol campus at 1111 Washington St. S.E.
     An agenda for the meeting is available on the commission's website at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/. On Friday, April 11, the commission will consider adopting new rules for hunting in 2014 that would: Reduce fees for multi-season deer permit holders; master hunters with special permits for deer or elk damage tags; special permit holders who purchase a second deer tag; and hunters who are issued damage prevention or kill permits for second deer tags... Those and other proposed changes in state hunting rules are available online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regulations/development.html

Unlocking the needs and habits of our mule deer March 28, 2014 Washington, The Wenatchee World
... As has happened in the Wenatchee area over the past 50 years, traditional mule deer wintering grounds have been converted to human settlement. Mule deer populations have decreased since 1940 throughout the western U.S... As homeowners, it is frustrating to find tulips and ornamental shrubs consumed, but it helps to realize that we’ve displaced the original mule deer locals...

Four plead guilty in Washington County wildlife killing spree March 25, 2014 Washington, Bellingham Herald
...  In Unit 70 south of Pocatello near Mink Creek and Arbon Valley, the commission voted to eliminate the general archery hunt and replace it with an unlimited control hunt for mule deer...

Fish-game cops need help with poaching cases March 5, 2014 Washington,  The Spokesman Review 
... Two mule deer bucks were shot from Mud Creek Road in the Entiat Valley during the first two weeks of January 2014... A $2,000 reward ... Contact Officer Oswald, (509) 630.0536, or email eric.oswald@dfw.wa.gov ...

     Among the accomplishments highlighted in the report, DNR:   Partnered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in creating Washington's first state-managed community forest, the Teanaway Community Forest.  Committed resources to suppress 742 wildfires in one of the most challenging wildfire seasons we have seen in recent years.  Adopted the Green Mountain and Tahuya State Forest Recreation Plan, a plan developed through an extensive community engagement process including a citizen-based advisory committee.

Federal biologists will relocate endangered deer despite outcry March 1, 2014 Washington, Longview Daily News 
... Despite some public objections, federal biologists have begun moving Columbian white-tailed deer from Puget Island to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge ... The deer are native to the bottomlands of the Columbia River, and their numbers dwindled as those lands were drained and developed...

Washington Data: Whitetail deer in Northeast Washington are still recovering from major winters kills in the winters of '07 and '08.  White-tails are doing better 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; black-tail numbers are stronger in the interior Southwest.  The foothills of GMU 621 have good abundance of black-tails. Even with harsh winters, white-tail populations are increasing in Northeast Washington. Efforts are ongoing to support the few Columbian white-tailed deer, once thought to be extinct. The total 2012 deer harvest in 2012 was 33,917 with 27,003 antlered and 6,914 antlerless with a hunter success rate of 28.2 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.
    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.
    An estimated 2,500 cougars in 2008.

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
Mule deer Geodatabase
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.
- Washington Prescribed Fire Council 

Tweet on this timeline using #deer #Washington


Tweets for Washington Fish and Wildlife