Wyoming Deer:  About 425,000 deer in 2017.  An estimated population of 423,000 deer in 2015, up from 400,000 in 2014.  The population was trending higher after three mild winters into 2016, but a very harsh winter for 2016-17 west of the continental divide resulted in very low fawn survival.  Also an EHD die-off.  The mild winter of 2018 has allowed populations to recover.  A total population of about 578,000 in 1991.  Wyoming Game and Fish draft CWD Management Plan 2019.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Wyoming deer hunting data and news archive..
Wyoming Deer News

Mixed bag expected for local hunting seasons October 29, 2020 Wyoming, Sundancetimes
... Mule deer numbers are good in most of the county ... The white-tailed deer population has also been productive and remains high...

...  most of the deer who were attacked “died of their injuries or had to be euthanized because of them.”   “The reports given indicated different dogs attacking deer on different days with all dogs appearing to have homes as they were wearing collars,” ...

3 new CWD-positive deer hunt areas identified October 26, 2020 Wyoming, County 10
... Deer Hunt Area 142, just north of Big Piney, is the sixth positive area West of the Continental Divide. Deer Hunt Area 117 is southwest of Cody, and Deer Hunt area 96 is northwest of Bairoil. All three hunt areas are adjacent to existing CWD positive areas...

... The resolution cites the economic impact of the proposal and requests that the DEC delay the the proposal to allow for alternative proposals that would result in “minimal disruption to businesses, landowners, hunters and the snowmobile community.” ...

Which habitat treatments help mule deer on the Wyoming Range? October 9, 2020 Daily Rocket Miner
...Along with sagebrush, aspen trees are particularly important to mule deer. Prescribed fire, conifer removal and harrowing disturbs old aspen stands and increases the amount of nutritional forage.  Overall, managing plant communities by mimicking natural disturbance Game and Fish is helping habitat for better resources for mule deer and all wildlife...

2 Wyoming cow elk test positive for chronic wasting disease October 6, 2020 Wyoming, Billings Gazette
...   in the Cody and Laramie regions ... CWD was confirmed in Elk Hunt Areas 45 and 114 with positive tests from two hunter-harvested adult cow elk...

... CWD was confirmed in Deer Hunt Area 25 in the Bighorn Mountains with a positive test from an adult doe mule deer that died during a Game and Fish capture operation. Deer Hunt Area 25 is surrounded on three sides by four known CWD positive deer hunt areas...

CWD Samples Focused on Specific Hunt Areas This Year September 8, 2020 Wyoming, laramielive.com
... The Laramie Region’s goal is to collect samples from at least 200 adult mule deer bucks harvested in Hunt Areas 15, 61, and 74-77...

... researchers found that the dynamics of springtime plant growth, specifically whether green-up progresses like a wave or not, explains where migration occurs in many ecosystems ... Migratory behavior emerges as a means for animals to track food in landscapes where pulses of the best forage actually move across the landscape as the spring season unfolds...

Fall Creek Elk Herd a ‘focus’ of CWD surveillance September 6, 2020 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News & Guide
... Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, has been detected in mule deer in the region, but not yet in elk...  just south of Jackson ... approximately 5,000-animal herd ...

... Mule deer populations in the Sheep Mountain, Platte Valley and Shirley Mountain herds are stable or slightly increasing ... Buck ratios remain high across the Platte Valley... Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and poor fawn production have suppressed populations in the Goshen Rim and Laramie Mountains herds ... Elk populations remain above objective ..,

Leasing impacts wildlife migrations August 23, 2020 Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune Online
... the federal government will offer more than 180,000 acres across the state to the oil and gas industry – and 18,000 of those acres are within an important wildlife migration corridor ... mule deer that migrate from the sage brush steppe of the Red Desert to the mountain meadows of the Hoback Basin undertake the longest land migration in the Lower 48...

Wyoming 2020 Deer Season Forecast August 18, 2020 Game and Fish Department
... Casper Region: ... The outlook for mule deer is mixed, with many areas now supporting more mule deer than in much of the past 10 years. Other areas continue to harbor lower than desired mule deer densities, especially in the Laramie Range (hunt areas 65 and 66). Buck ratios remain high in most mule deer herds, and hunter success should be good for those hunters hunting on private lands and in limited quota areas..., [more at link above]

... the Migration Corridor Executive Order 2020-1... supports conservation of mule deer and pronghorn ... plowed new ground for the nation’s efforts to develop an approach for managing corridors and protecting our economy ...

... The Dry Piney area is ranked third out of 42 hot spots for wildlife crashes identified in the state of Wyoming...

Mule deer being captured in Bighorns August 11, 2020 Wyoming, Powell Tribune
... The goals of the study are to identify mule deer seasonal range and habitat use and document fawn production and three-to-six month fawn survival rates.  On March 5, 25 does were captured ... and fitted with radio collars ...

Report of poached deer leads to surprising suspect August 6, 2020 Wyoming, Powell Tribune
... Lentsch noted bobcat tracks near the partially cached carcass and determined a bobcat was responsible for killing the deer, rather than illegal human activity... he captured video footage of the bobcat coming back to feed on its prize ...

Collaborative effort to reduce costly collisions July 29, 2020 Wyoming, Buffalo Bulletin
... In any given year, vehicle collisions can kill up to 4% of Wyoming’s total mule deer population. Local mulies are already struggling... commissioners expressed support for work on all three of the wildlife crossing projects presented ...

Mule deer captures to begin in northern Bighorns July 29, 2020 Wyoming, WGFD News
... The goals of the study are to identify mule deer seasonal range and habitat use and document fawn production and three-to-six month fawn survival rates.  On March 5, 2020, 25 does were captured on winter range on the eastern and western foothills of the Bighorns and fitted with radio collars by a professional wildlife capture crew..,

... Some areas might see expanded hunting harvests, for example, to cull infected animals... In other areas, controversial winter feed lots, viewed as hot spots for the infectious disease, could be limited...

...The number of licenses available for deer and elk remained steady. Resident applications for buck deer rose by 10.6% and 20.41% for doe/fawn deer. Nonresidents applications only rose by a half of a percent for bucks and 4.6% for doe/fawn.  For elk, residents submitted 8.3% more applications for bull licenses and 10.3% more for cow/calf...
... surface disturbance from energy development can hinder mule deer migrations when it exceeds 3 percent.  Researchers from the University of Wyoming and Western Ecosystems Technology used 15 years of movement data collected from GPS-collared mule deer in western Wyoming ...

... Created by Gov. Matt Mead and the Wyoming Legislature in 2013, the Super Tag raffle provides hunters opportunity and raises money for wildlife management in Wyoming. This year, 102,495 tickets were sold, a 15%  increase from last year...

Wyoming Game and Fish put $500,000 toward protecting wildlife July 18, 2020 Cheyenne-Scottsbluff KGWN-TV
... The Commission voted to put $500,000 on-the-ground to fund the 1-25 Buffalo to Kaycee fence modification project to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions... The Commission challenged community and conservation groups to raise additional dollars ...

Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan Approved July 17, 2020 Wyoming, KTAK
....  Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved the Wyoming Chronic Wasting Disease Management Plan ... CWD is widely distributed across the state...

WY Game and Fish Untangles Lassoed Deer July 15, 2020 Wyoming, mybighornbasin
... While deer becoming entangled isn’t too unusual a call for Game and Fish, this incident was no accident. The deer had been deliberately roped ...

... New donation options to help fund overpasses, underpasses, fencing and signage to prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions went into effect July 1... nearly 6,000 big game animals like deer ... die each year from collisions with vehicles ...

Sublette County rejects Bondurant resort proposal July 10, 2020 Wyoming, Gillette News Record
... The proposed resort would have intersected with the state of Wyoming’s first protected migration route, a path used by mule deer that spend winter in the Red Desert but venture north each summer into the Bridger-Teton National Forest...

... Preliminarily, wolf numbers appear to be a major environmental influence that causes the elk herd to abandon the Gros Ventre in favor of the National Elk Refuge... Wyoming Game and Fish officials said it’s undesirable to have wolves push most of the elk out of the Gros Ventre...

... "Climate change is drastically affecting their food supply during migration," said University of Wyoming researcher Ellen Aikens, who analyzed 19 years of drought records going back to 2001 ... "In dry years, they get only 50 percent of the benefit that they get in an average year," ...

... The draft plan is posted online. Scott Edberg, deputy chief of wildlife for Game and Fish said if approved, the plan will be the starting point for Game and Fish to move forward with deer and elk management in the face of CWD...

Project gains new insights into mule deer declines June 14, 2020 Wyoming, Planet Jackson Hole
... to determine why mule deer populations have declined by 40% even in relatively pristine habitats. Researchers have honed in on key contributing factors—including drought, predation, and food competition ...

UW Study Reveals Impacts of Climate Change on Migrating Mule Deer June 11, 2020 Wyoming, University of Wyoming
... the benefits of migration are likely to decrease for mule deer and other migratory herbivores as drought becomes more common due to ongoing climate change ... the best migration routes that produced the most abundant forage and the longest duration of green-up in wet years also were the most severely impacted by drought...

How Does Energy Development Affect Wildlife Migration Patterns? June 8, 2020 Wyoming, The Pew Charitable Trusts 
... in Wyoming, where mule deer populations have been in decline since the 1990s despite significant interventions to stabilize their numbers... Our study showed that migratory use by deer steeply declined when surface disturbance from energy development, such as access roads and well pads, exceeded 3% of the migration route...

BLM to Conduct 2 Prescribed Fires near La Barge June 8, 2020 Wyoming, SweetwaterNOW.com
... prescribed fires are part of the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Habitat Project which was developed as part of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative that was completed in 2011. The purpose of the project is to improve vegetation conditions in crucial mule deer winter range, transition range, and fawning ranges...

From 1883:  ... ...  the Laramie Boomerang noted three market hunters killed “three ton” of elk in the northern Laramie Range and two others killed an additional “5,000 pounds” in the Medicine Bow Mountain... the Laramie Boomerang issued another call for better game protection laws ...  “It will be but a short time until the bear, the deer and the antelope will disappear ..,

... Pronghorn and mule deer populations have been trending in the wrong direction, plummeting by as much as 40% in certain herds because of habitat loss and fragmentation ... two identified migration corridors—for the Sublette pronghorn and Wyoming Range mule deer herds—are up for potential designation by the state...

Wyoming Acquires Another Large Piece Of Public Land May 4, 2020 Wyoming Public Media
... A 4,350-acre parcel of land on the Wyoming-South Dakota border ... will protect critical winter range for elk, whitetail and mule deer ...

Game and Fish Department adjusts rules on antler hunting April 29, 2020 Wyoming, Gillette News Record
... The updated regulation expands the seasonal closure area to include expanded critical wintering habitat and enact a new opening time of 12 noon on public lands. The annual closure is to protect wintering big game...

Elk feedground litigation rolls on April 28, 2020 Wyoming Gillette News Record
... The complaint, like others recently challenging elk feeding, charges that managers are violating environmental laws by continuing to feed elk while chronic wasting disease spreads throughout western Wyoming and further into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem...

... Monique was two elk, both of whom were outfitted with satellite collars in early 1970 ... belonged to a migratory herd of 7,000 animals that wintered on the National Elk Refuge just south of Yellowstone ... The collar cost $25,000, weighed 23 pounds ... John and Frank Craighead, twin brothers and legendary wildlife researchers ...

Upper Powder River mule deer herd remains low, survey finds April 10, 2020 Wyoming, Billings Gazette
...  Based on surveys this winter the estimated population of the Upper Powder River mule deer herd is 8,500, significantly lower than the herd objective of 18,000.
“We are working really hard to understand the population dynamics of this herd ...” said Cheyenne Stewart, Buffalo wildlife biologist. “Our buck harvest is not impacting our ability to increase the population...

... The study is designed to identify mule deer movements in the northern Bighorns, evaluate seasonal range and habitat use and document fawn production and three-to-six month fawn survival rates.  Mule deer populations in much of Wyoming and the West have been declining for decades...

... shows that Interstate 80 is an almost impenetrable obstacle to movement of pronghorn, mule deer and elk. The highway has severed or truncated migration corridors originating as much as 150 miles away...

Wyoming has some of the longest-distance big game migration corridors in North America, but many of the herds run up against the barrier of Interstate-80, which bisects a vast winter range in the heart of the Rocky Mountain West. We took a road trip to find out just how big this wildlife issue is, and what wildlife experts and highway engineers are doing to solve it.


... Mule deer have seen a decline in total numbers throughout the West ... A majority of the funding will be used to support habitat improvement efforts around the state, like fighting cheatgrass spread to support native plant productivity and reducing the encroachment of conifers into aspen stands, which provide coverage and forage for mule deer...

Mule Deer Migration: One Woman Follows in Its Footsteps March 26, 2020 Wyoming, GearJunkie
... The film opens with one researcher’s mission to track tagged doe No. 139.  The lead researcher, Sam Dwinnell, decides her team will trace the doe’s 6-week, 85-mile migration in just 9 days... [link to video]

New shed antler boundaries now law March 25, 2020 Wyoming, wyomingnewsnow.tv
... “In the winter, big game animals such as mule deer and elk use most of their energy just to survive,” said Rick King, chief game warden. “Limiting disturbance during this critical time of the year may help them hold on to more of their valuable reserves.” ...

Managing chronic wasting disease in the Greater Yellowstone March 21, 2020 Wyoming, Explore Big Sky
... The disease infects as many as 50 percent of the animals in some herds, while in others, it stays around 30, 10 or even 5 percent. “I think every herd responds to CWD differently,” Edwards said. “We [don’t yet] understand why some herds are more resilient.”  What we do know is that CWD can remain in the environment for years at a time...

Sheridan representative supports wildlife crossing funding efforts March 20, 2020 The Sheridan Press
... Every year, around 5,000 mule deer die from vehicle collisions in Wyoming... The Wyoming Game and Fish has determined a need for 240 wildlife crossing projects in the state ... about 90% effective at reducing mortality ...

Migratory Disturbance Thresholds with Mule Deer and Energy Development H Sawyer, MS Lambert, JA Merkle - The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2020 Wyoming
... We used global positioning system data from 56 deer across 15 years to evaluate how surface disturbance from natural gas well pads and access roads in western Wyoming, USA, affected habitat selection of mule deer during migration ... migratory use by mule deer declined as surface disturbance increased... migratory use sharply declined when surface disturbance from energy development exceeded 3%...

As many as 6,000 big game animals in Wyoming die each year from collisions with vehicles on Wyoming’s highways and interstates. A new initiative from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Wyoming Department of Transportation aim to change that. - March 4 2020, Wyoming


Big game surveys help set Wyoming hunting guidelines March 3, 2020 Wyoming, Local News 8
... the Jackson elk herd is near its population objective of 11,000 animals... After a devastating winter in 2016-17 ... 

Mule deer counts strong in Sheridan region February 28, 2020 Wyoming, Billings Gazette
... fawn ratios increased about 15% from 2018, which is attributed to improved precipitation and the extended spring green-up associated with abundant rain. High buck ratios were found ... yearling buck ratio decreased due in part to the lower 2018 fawn count...

Wyoming Game And Fish Unveils New Wildlife Crossing Initiative February 21, 2020 Wyoming Public Media
... There are an estimated 6,000 big game animals killed by vehicle collisions each year in the state... Wildlife Crossings: Keeping Wildlife and Drivers on the Go... legislators two years ago that allow you to purchase a license plate where the majority of the funds go to this initiative and go to future projects that will benefit wildlife and roadways...

Governor's Trailblazing Migration Order to Hinge on Local Control February 17, 2020 Wyoming, Public News Service
... Gov. Mark Gordon signed an executive order last week ... establishes how corridors are managed, starting with key routes in southwestern Wyoming, and how other routes should be designated in the future...

Cody, Mule deer numbers down in Cody for fourth year February 7, 2020 Wyoming, Billings Gazette
... “The total number of deer observed in the city limits from 2011 to 2019 overall has been showing a decreasing trend,” ... Deer fawn:doe ratios were 64:100 in the city limits. Total buck ratios were 38:100 in the city limits, with yearling buck ratios of 13:100 and 25:100 for adult bucks in the city limits...

... Winter conditions in the Lander Region ... early onset and continued presence of severe, harsh conditions, increased mortality of fawns and older-age adults is expected for deer ...

Can the National Elk Refuge Survive CWD? January 29, 2020 Wyoming, Outdoor Life Magazine
... For more than 100 years, wildlife authorities have tried to shore up the elk population close to Yellowstone National Park with supplemental feeding ...  they aim to reduce the number of elk on the refuge ... by shortening the feeding season ...  eventually phasing it out ... Helms worries elk will starve without the supplemental feed, and that fears of CWD are overblown...

... Gov. Mark Gordon will travel Saturday to four communities across Wyoming to collect feedback on his proposed migration corridor executive order, now in its draft phase ... protections for three existing mule deer corridors ...

Upper Powder River Mule Deer study January 26, 2020 Wyoming, Casper-Riverton KCWY-DT
 ... In the first year of the study, 18 deer died; causes range from Chronic Wasting Disease, pneumonia, predation, one even falling from a cliff. Researchers also learned a few deer migrated over 30 miles. Nutritional condition of the deer has been less than expected, despite precipitation being above average over the last two years...

CWD spreads slow in parts of Wyoming, fast in others January 22, 2020 Jackson Hole News & Guide
... Deer hunt zone 157 ... is the case in point... Some 70-plus mule deer samples and another 50-plus whitetail deer samples arrived at Edwards’ lab. Unfortunately, over half the animals hunters harvested were coming up positive for CWD — and in a unit that was first confirmed positive as recently as 2012..,

North Fork deer herds are threatened January 15, 2020 Wyoming, Cody Enterprise
... decline of the mule deer and white-tailed deer herds on the North Fork of the Shoshone River... attributed to, the harsh winters of 2016-17, and very healthy wolf, grizzly bear and mountain lion populations... The wolves more than any other predator follow the deer to the Central Plateau ...

... Scientists have come to consider these ancient routes as critical habitat warranting state protection. With mule deer population numbers hovering near historic lows, the state has been debating how to avoid losing this animal ... Wyoming is home to roughly 400,000 mule deer and about half the world’s pronghorn population...

Drivers, wildlife benefit from safer roadways January 4, 2020 Wyoming, Bozeman Daily Chronicle
... By partnering with private landowners and public land managers, and working alongside volunteers, we removed or modified dozens of miles of fences that previously blocked the animals from reaching winter habitat and other herds in the region... in Teton County, residents recently voted overwhelmingly to fund wildlife crossings to the tune of $10 million ...

Pronghorn Routes Improved December 30, 2019 Wyoming, KSGT
... Pronghorn and deer in Western Wyoming will soon be able to cross fences along their winter migration routes more easily thanks to improved fencing along Wyoming Highway 28...

Wyoming governor releases draft executive order on migration corridors December 26, 2019 Wyoming, Trib.com
... A draft executive order issued Monday by Gov. Mark Gordon would establish protections for three existing migration corridors and develop guidelines for identifying additional routes, all while attempting to protect vital energy development ...

Deer Test Positive for CWD December 25, 2019 Wyoming, Sheridan Media 
... recent big batch of test results from animals harvested during the Montana hunting season have turned up 16 new positives for Chronic Wasting Disease... More than 7,000 animals have been sampled statewide and 131 tested positive..,

Deer surveyed in city limits of Cody December 19, 2019 Wyoming Game and Fish - State of Wyoming
... Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel conducted a classification/trend survey of deer within the city limits of Cody.  This annual survey has been conducted since 2011 for the purpose of providing city managers with information related to town deer numbers... The city was broken out into 10 count blocks and all deer encountered by observers were classified into sex/age categories (adult buck, yearling buck, doe, fawn).  Surveys were initiated at approximately 2 p.m. and continued until dark..,

Wyoming officials to use hay trail to lure elk to new ground December 19, 2019 WRAL
... Elk are being moved as a result of recent litigation meant to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease... Flaking off pieces of a hay bale every 50 to 100 feet to move elk is “standard operating procedure” ...

Following the herd December 18, 2019 Wyoming, Buffalo Bulletin
...  health of the Upper Powder River mule deer herd and the unit’s birthing, feeding and migrating conditions. ... chronic wasting disease and emaciation is the leading cause of death for radio-collared deer, with eight confirmed positives. Two more died from CWD causing emaciation and were killed by predation. Three of the deer were killed from emaciation not attributed to CWD, and predation. Two deer were likely killed by mountain lions. Two of the deer died from pneumonia. One deer fell off a short, steep cliff and died from trauma and one cause of death is unknown...

Cody to cull 50 more deer in 2020 December 18, 2019 Wyoming, Cody Enterprise
... police chief Chuck Baker told the Cody City Council he intends to continue the program developed to cull 50 deer per year under a Game and Fish Chapter 56 Permit – a special urban deer harvesting license issued to government entities...

Wyoming US Senator introduces bill aimed to protect wildlife, combat chronic wasting disease, and help ranchers and farmers December 16, 2019 Wyoming, KULR-TV
...  introduced America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act... helps conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat. It addresses the threats of emerging wildlife diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), protects livestock from predators, and combats invasive species...
... Improvements to Highway 28 for wildlife are a collaborative effort. Sweetwater County Commission Chairman Wally Johnson proposed a meeting to discuss the need for crossing structures or fence modifications...

... Thirteen conservation groups filed six separate protests opposing much of the sale. The groups expressed particular concerns over the expansion of oil and gas activities in critical sage grouse habitats and mule deer migration corridors. Population declines in sage grouse and mule deer populations have sparked a heated effort from conservation groups to uphold wildlife protections...

... recently collared 35 mule deer does in the Rochelle Hills area ... to study Deer Area 10 to better understand why the mule deer population has been low for several years... 

CWD plan targets mule deer bucks, eyes sharpshooters December 4, 2019 Wyoming, WyoFile
... With fatal chronic wasting disease infecting 84% of Wyoming’s mule deer herds, wildlife managers propose to thin buck populations, among other actions, to limit the disease’s spread...  the Wyoming Game and Fish draft CWD Management Plan ...

... Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Brian R. Nesvik told members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works that chronic wasting disease is a national problem... The number of animals tested for CWD nationwide is expected to expand by 32% over the next fiscal year...

Unprecedented sagebrush die-off, recovery reveals threat of weather swings November 28, 2019 Wyoming, Helena Independent Record
... The cause, ironically for a plant known for growing in an arid climate, was a combination of severe drought and then excessive water... with those plants go the iconic species that depend on them, from trophy mule deer to songbirds to sage grouse...

... will go towards constructing wildlife crossing on 19 miles of US 189 between Big Piney and La Barge in southwest Wyoming... "Underpasses, coupled with fencing, can reduce crashes by 80-90% ...

  Chronic Wasting Disease, Wyoming's winter elk feeding could spread 'zombie deer disease,' experts fear November 27, 2019 UPI.com
... The concentration of large numbers of elk over the winter may accelerate the spread of the incurable and fatal "zombie deer" disease to catastrophic levels near the Yellowstone ecosystem and could eventually destroy Wyoming's multimillion-dollar big-game hunting industry...

Money approved for Wyoming mule deer projects November 20, 2019 Billings Gazette
... The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved $560,000 to support mule deer populations across Wyoming through 10 habitat and migration projects...

Ask Game and Fish: What is the outlook for deer hunting in the Black Hills this year? November 15, 2019 Wyoming, Daily Rocket Miner
... both mule deer and white-tailed deer populations have declined. We conduct our annual Black Hills deer surveys during the last two weeks of October. To date, these efforts suggest about a 15% drop in deer numbers..,

WYDOT receives $14.5 million federal grant for wildlife crossing project  November 14, 2019 Wyoming, Northern Wyoming Daily News Worland Wyoming
... will be used for underpasses, fencing and related improvements along a 19-mile stretch of US 189 between La Barge and Big Piney.  “Wyoming has demonstrated leadership in protecting wildlife as they migrate,” Governor Mark Gordon said...

Hunting limited in Colorado, Western US states after tough winter November 11, 2019 Wyoming, Stock Daily Dish
... unusually cold weather and heavy snowfall that blanketed much of the Western U.S. last winter killed off many young deer... In one remote part of Wyoming‘s backcountry where peaks soar to 11,000 feet (3,300 meters), state wildlife managers documented the loss of all fawns they had been monitoring in a mule deer herd...  

Deer near Clark, Wyoming, test positive for CWD November 11, 2019 Billings Gazette
... Several deer killed north and northeast of Clark, Wyoming, in the Badger Basin and Big Sand Coulee areas south of the Montana border have tested positive for chronic wasting disease...

CWD, Searching for fatal disease, Game and Fish pleads for deer samples November 7, 2019 Wyoming, Powell Tribune
... The department is prioritizing 2-year-old or older mule deer bucks. They still want samples from does, and even white-tailed deer are on their sample list ...  for the area’s mule deer herds.  “We feel like were seeing quite a few fawns this year... If we can get a mild winter, we might get a population increase for the first time in five years.”..,

G&F takes steps toward new CWD policy November 7, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... among the recommendations, for example, was a consensus that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department “takes action to reduce artificial points of concentration,” ... other recommendations address topics relating to: disposal of big game carcasses; education and communication ...

$2.5 million for Wyoming wildlife underpasses committed, up to $36.5 million needed November 6, 2019 Oil City News
... the project will benefit the Wyoming Range mule deer herd as well as pronghorn and moose. ... “’This area of Wyoming has one of the highest rates of mule deer vehicle collisions,’ ... new conservation license plates established during the 2018 Legislative session generate funds for wildlife conservation...

... in a move that can only be described as a power grab, the select legislative committee has been crafting a bill to minimize the state’s wildlife professionals’ authority to designate migration corridors and give more of that discretion to energy developers, other state agencies and county commissioners...

Number of moose killed in Teton County collisions rises October 29, 2019 Wyoming, Gillette News Record
... between May 2018 and this past April ... 33 of the long-legged ungulates died in vehicle collisions... “We can’t hit 28 moose every year and expect the population to do well,” he said. “It’s not a big population to begin with.”...

WGFD biologist presents updates on mule deer study October 25, 2019 Wyoming, The Sheridan Press
... From 1985 to 2018, biologists have seen a decreasing trend of mule deer populations ...  Of the 70 adult, female mule deer who were initially collared as part of the initiative in 2018, 12% tested positive for CWD...

Mule Deer Tests Positive for Wasting Disease October 24, 2019 Wyoming, Sheridan Media
... a buck mule deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease in Deer Hunt Area 50 in the Bighorn Mountains...  has been previously documented in deer in three adjacent hunt areas ...

... Vehicles are involved in over 6,000 wildlife collisions in Wyoming each year and 80-85% of those cases involve mule deer.  There are likely more incidents since drivers tend to report collisions only when there is damage to vehicles ...

Wyoming man sentenced for poaching more than 100 deer October 19, 2019 KTVQ Billings News
...  62-year-old Sheridan County man was will spend nine months in jail for killing more than 100 deer and leaving them to waste on his property... $254,000 in fines ...

Rawlins, Shooting deer in city limits called into question October 19, 2019 Wyoming, Rawlins Times.com
... have police officers equipped with night vision goggles and bolt-action rifles shoot them dead within city limits was called into question ... “You’re live firing in town ... All it needs is one accident.” ... when some does are exterminated, “the remaining female deer will often respond to greater food abundance by giving birth to twins or triplets...

... two elk with their antlers locked together north of Rock Springs ... were able to get the elk separated.  Unfortunately, one of the elk was already dead ... a few hours later dragged an elk calf stuck in deep mud ...

... In the spring of 2016 ... Deer 255 ... She traveled a whopping 242 miles from southwest Wyoming to eastern Idaho in the greatest migration in recorded mule deer history... [map below from University of Oregon]

... On the recommendation of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the BLM is deferring two whole parcels and portions of another that cross a state-designated mule deer migration corridor. The BLM will include a special lease notice on the one remaining parcel that intersects a designated big game migration corridor...

Game and Fish to eliminate elk feedground October 8, 2019 Wyoming,Gillette News Record
... Wyoming Game and Fish Department will eliminate the legally embattled Alkali Creek elk feedground in coming years as the threat of chronic wasting disease looms... will allow emergency elk feeding at Alkali for five years ... plan is now being “scoped” and is open for public comment...

Local deer cull fills freezers, divides community October 5, 2019 Wyoming, Rawlins Times.com
... Before the plan was implemented, Game and Fish conducted a population assessment, then issued the governing authority a Chapter 56 permit, allowing Rawlins to cull a set number of animals from the herd...  residents are still divided about whether it’s needed...

Diseased deer found near elk winter feeding grounds October 2, 2019 Wyoming, Oil City News
... “’Seeing a deer test positive for CWD west of the continental divide again is concerning,’ ... The disease has not previously been detected in elk winter feeding grounds or the National Elk Refuge...

Wanted: Backcountry elk lymph nodes October 2, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... The Pinedale and Afton elk herds are western Wyoming’s two first “priority herds” that will be exhaustively tested for chronic wasting disease, and wildlife managers want a little help from hunters...

National Elk Refuge Environmental Assessment Open For Public Comment October 1, 2019 Wyoming, Wyoming Public Media
... The environmental assessment goes through the process of reducing elk reliance on supplemental feeding... public comment period will close on October 30 ...

Bighorn Basin Hosting CWD Sampling Trainings September 20, 2019 Wyoming, Wyoming Public Media
... Wyoming Game and Fish Department will host trainings throughout the Bighorn Basin to teach hunters how to collect samples from mule deer for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing...
Elk hunting outlook good, deer hunting 'mixed bag,' says G&F report September 13, 2019 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily
... Although a successful hunting season is expected for the Big Horn Basin, most deer populations in Wyoming are down due to the severe winter of 2016-17. However, the Pinedale and Cody regions are seeing large populations and high quality hunting opportunities, with Cody herds expanding into new areas and habitats..,

Wyoming DNR Deer Hunting Forecast September, 2019 WGFD News
... Throughout the Casper Region, mule deer populations have rebounded some over the past four years following long term gradual decline since the 1990s... White-tailed deer numbers have improved in many areas of the Bighorn Basin ... mule deer in the Green River Region ...  Winter losses were very high in the Uinta and Wyoming Range Herd units ...

Shifts in Wyoming migration corridors on the horizon September 10, 2019 Casper Star-Tribune Online
... the Migration Corridor Advisory Group announced Monday it had reached some consensus. In a set of recommendations offered to the governor, the team called for changes in state-led management of migration corridors that stretch like veins across Wyoming. If accepted, the ideas could be enshrined into a new executive order...

Mule deer hunting near Cody expected to be 'not as good' September 6, 2019 Wyoming, Powell Tribune
... herds have undergone severe population declines due to tough winters and poor fawn production and recruitment over the last five years...  Game and Fish began implementing changes to the seasons last year by reducing doe harvest opportunity to maximize the ability of the herd to rebound and implementing four-point antler restrictions to reduce buck harvest..,

Fire will help butte's wildlife September 4, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
...  mule deer and elk  ... stand to benefit from the flames ... “Usually if you have a fire come through, you end up with a bunch of new green vegetation that has a pretty high protein content — higher than the older vegetation,” ...

 ...a mix of fuels-reduction work designed to prevent wildfire ...  mimic wildfire's natural role of invigorating browse for elk and mule deer...

Migrating mule deer don't need directions, study finds August 23, 2019 Wyoming, Science Daily
... research from the University of Wyoming has found that memory explains much of deer behavior during migration: Mule deer navigate in spring and fall mostly by using their knowledge of past migration routes and seasonal ranges... Scientists had long presumed that migratory behavior was dictated by availability of food resources ...

... For every acre of mule deer habitat taken by roads, well pads and other oil and gas development infrastructure in Wyoming’s Green River Basin, an average of 4.6 other acres of available forage is lost ... because deer avoid areas close to such human disturbance, even when there’s quality forage in those areas, says the research published in the journal Ecological Applications...

Proposed bike trail moved out of migration bottleneck August 16, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... Plans that originated with a cycling group were considered by the Bridger-Teton National Forest, but the project didn’t pass muster when it was being vetted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and others...

... “The fact that she was able to walk almost 60 miles in one direction and turn around and walk that same path back shows that something neat is going on here,” Jakopak said. “And calls attention to how smart mule deer are and how much we don’t know about them.” ... a multi-year study looking at fawn survival  in the Wyoming Range...

Ungulate migration group asks Gov. Gordon for protective executive order August 14, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... A diverse committee charged with shaping Wyoming’s policies for safeguarding ungulate migration is asking Gov. Mark Gordon for an executive order that will keep designated routes largely unscathed...

...  last winter the environmental advocacy law-firm Earthjustice sued, asking a federal judge to compel the refuge to release a feeding-reduction plan... In the Wyoming Game and Fish director’s view, a fatal flaw of the plan is a lack of flexibility...
     Weaning Jackson elk off refuge feed may start this winter August 12, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... In a worst-case scenario, the refuge’s prized winter range will become an infected area where wildlife congregate, leading to the long-term decline of a diseased Jackson Elk Herd. But the fate of the refuge still remains uncertain since CWD and wild, fed elk have never before mixed...

Interior plan sells out sagebrush habitat August 2, 2019 Wyoming, Casper Star-Tribune Online
... changes proposed to the plans will imperil this iconic western bird and other wild game that depend upon undisturbed sagebrush habitat... the plan also protected mule deer, antelope, elk and the 350 wildlife species that rely on undisturbed sagebrush habitat ...

Winter predation patterns of wolves in northwestern wyoming SP Woodruff, MD Jimenez - The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2019
... remains of 289 wolf kills on 3 state‐managed feedgrounds and adjacent winter range near Jackson, Wyoming...  Thirty‐seven percent (n = 106) of kills were located on elk feedgrounds where elk composition included 49% calves, 42% adult females, 5% adult males, and 5% unknown. Sixty‐three percent (n = 183) of kills were located on winter range adjacent to feedgrounds and prey species consisted of 90% elk (38% calves, 35% adult females, 24% adult males, 2% unknown), 9% moose (Alces alces; 13% calves, 69% adult females, 6% adult males, 1% unknown), 1% mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus; 1 fawn, 1 adult female), and 0.5% adult female bison (Bison bison)...

Pinedale Anticline Wildlife Monitoring Goes Infrared July 24, 2019 Wyoming, SweetwaterNOW.com
... The past two winters, the decision was made to contract with Owhyee Air, LLC to conduct the surveys using infrared technology from an aircraft.  Benefits to using the infrared technology include increased safety, less disturbance to wildlife (flights are conducted at approximately 2,000 feet and it is far less expensive ...

Reducing wildlife-related accidents within grasp July 24, 2019 Wyoming, Bozeman Daily Chronicle
... local, state, federal and tribal governments, along with non-governmental organizations, came together for the first Montana Wildlife and Transportation Summit in an effort to better understand challenges and opportunities for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions...  the report

... The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved $1.25 million for underpasses to reduce mule deer-vehicle collisions along Highway 189, north of LaBarge ...one of the highest wildlife collision rates in Wyoming...

... install several miles of wildlife-friendly fence within a key big game migration corridor near Pinedale... old, traditional barbed-wire fences, that can often entangle big game animals, are being converted to pipe fence thanks to significant donations ...

... results from a new poll published by the University of Wyoming ... The poll cited a number of potential policy changes that could protect the state’s mule deer populations from the threats of highways, private properties and expanding industries cutting through the natural landscape...

Researching diverse migration strategies July 11, 2019 Wyoming,  Post Register
... Over the course of the eight years of the study, the researchers found that this herd of 20,000 deer exhibits three distinct migration patterns ... short-distance migrants that migrate only a few miles...  mid-range migrants that might travel up to 50 miles. The long-distance migrants travel much further...

... published in late June in the Journal of Applied Ecology might eventually help with those decisions. In a paper titled “All routes are not created equal: an ungulate’s choice of migration route can influence its survival,” wildlife biologists explain that mortality rates on some routes can, in fact, be as much as three times higher than on others...

WY Game and Fish Hears Public Concerns Regarding CWD July 1, 2019 Wyoming, laramielive.com
... “Right now, the big concern is whether or not CWD will get into the feed grounds and what the dynamics of the disease will be when that happens... we have CWD endemically in deer and elk in southeastern Wyoming, and the populations do grow a little less robustly because of the Chronic Wasting Disease, but there are still viable populations ...

Wildlife corridor talks begin June 30, 2019 Wyoming, Gillette News Record
... Game and Fish is working with Research Biologist Hall Sawyer to evaluate the migration ecology and potential impacts of energy on mule deer, elk and pronghorn. He is expected to come back with findings in a few weeks. In the meantime, Game and Fish wants to limit surface disturbance in the corridor until it conducts more research...

... Over the last year, additional parcels of land in the oil-rich sands of the Red Desert – which contains a number of long-established migration corridors for numerous species of ungulates – have been targeted for development by oil and gas interests in spite of a declaration by the U.S. Department of the Interior ...

... Mule deer populations around the West are down — 31 percent since 1991 ... some studies show that if you kill off a lot of coyotes, they breed even more.  "Oftentimes, coyote control programs have been implemented, and in some, or many, instances the effects were negligible," ...

CWD panel won't consider closing elk feedgrounds June 11, 2019 Wyoming, WyoFile
... Instead, Game and Fish is considering forming a separate, more localized group that would address elk feedgrounds. That would occur “after this [statewide] process,”... The agency recognizes feedgrounds “will likely exacerbate the disease problem,” because they concentrate animals artificially to the point diseases can be transmitted more easily...

... Every year, more than 6,000 deer, pronghorn, elk and moose are reportedly hit by vehicles on Wyoming’s roads... The best solution is over- and underpasses, Riginos said.  They are more than 80 percent effective in reducing collisions,” ... more than a dozen underpasses and two overpasses already built in the state ...

... There are places in the state that have up to 60 percent prevalence in deer herds... CWD is predominantly here in the southeast corner of Wyoming. It’s starting to move up toward the Big Horn Basin, the Black Hills, and only a few confirmed cases in western Wyoming ...

G&F approves reduced deer tags May 20, 2019 Wyoming, Cody Enterprise
... Upper Shoshone mule deer herd in areas 110-115 and the Clarks Fork mule deer herd in areas 105, 106 and 109, will see seasons close a week earlier ... herd populations have been declining...

... deer in the North Fork, South Fork and Sunlight areas ... have undergone severe population declines due to tough winters and poor fawn production and recruitment... reducing doe harvest ... and four-point antler restrictions to reduce buck harvest..,

Study Examines Role Of Coyotes In Declining Mule Deer Numbers May 10, 2019 Wyoming, Wyoming Public Media
...  Statewide, mule deer have declined by 31 percent since 1991. As part of the project, researchers put tracking collars on 30 coyotes and have been watching their behavior to see if their behavior changes during peak times when fawns are born..,

Gordon forms migration group Map May 8, 2019 Wyoming, Gillette News Record
... “As the NGO community, we want some regulatory certainty that our deer herds are going to keep going, because we like to hunt and fish and enjoy the outdoors. I think that’s where we’re all at ...

... The research is clear, wildlife crossings help reduce vehicle accidents and save countless animals. In addition to safety, the long-term positive impact on migratory patterns is extremely encouraging. The number of species benefiting is also impressive. Mule deer, pronghorn, moose and elk along with a variety of small mammals and carnivores utilize the crossings ...

... An influential cattlemen’s group is trying to rescind a U.S. Interior Department big game migration route protection ... Secretarial Order 3362...

... Gov. Gordon prefers small groups that work over short time periods so he is asking for a representative of oil, gas mining; agriculture; county commissioners; conservation groups; and sportsmen groups ... Nominations are due by May 20...

.... U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced the award of $2.1 million in grants to state and local partners in Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming for habitat conservation activities in migration corridors and winter range for elk, mule deer ...

... highways can interrupt migration corridors. Game and Fish estimates there are over 6,000 wildlife collisions each year...

Members of Wyoming CWD Working Group Announced April 26, 2019 laramielive.com
... the Chronic Wasting Disease working group, composed of 32 people from a diverse range of backgrounds, professions, and interests from across Wyoming. This group will develop recommendations to revise Game and Fish’s CWD management plan...

Rock Springs backs management plan for Greater Little Mountain April 22, 2019 Wyoming, Gillette News Record
... “Hunting, fishing, hiking and other recreational activities depend on abundant, healthy populations of elk, mule deer, antelope, moose, trout and numerous other species that need intact ecosystems to thrive ... the GLMA can continue to nourish a sustainable outdoor economy with diverse recreation opportunities. Recreation creates jobs, fills freezers, pays salaries ... [letter from Rock Springs]

More than 23000 apply for elk licenses April 23, 2019 Wyoming, Gillette News Record
... Nonresidents submitted 23,750 applications, a 2.9 percent increase from 2018 ... Nonresident hunters take a chance at 7,250 licenses in the draw...

WILD Act will spark wildlife conservation innovation April 17, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver Act — or WILD Act... will promote technological innovation to protect threatened wildlife and control invasive species...

Find dead deer for science April 17, 2019 Wyoming, Ecowatch
... Wyoming wildlife managers are inviting the public to participate in the annual deer mortality surveys of the Wyoming Range and Uinta mule deer herds... Wyoming Range survey is scheduled for 9 a.m. May 4 in Cokeville ...

Lead kills 1st Yellowstone golden eagle fitted with tracker April 15, 2019 Wyoming, Washington Post
... likely after consuming bullet fragments while scavenging ... Wearing a GPS unit like a backpack, the adult, female eagle had flown outside Yellowstone into areas where hunters pursue game such as elk and deer...

Chronic Wasting Disease, Could A Mysterious Animal Epidemic Become The Next Mad Cow? April 12, 2019 Wyoming, Wyoming Public Media
... She concluded this version of the disease was not the same as the one circulating in North America. And upon closer inspection, the disease in reindeer was different, too.  Then last year, a moose in neighboring Finland tested positive as well, way over by the Russian border, and in March 2019, the illness showed up in Sweden...

G&F Commission increases CWD testing funds April 9, 2019 Wyoming,
The Torrington Telegram
... Dube called to increase the budget for testing for the disease by 50 percent, from $100,000 to $150,000. He didn’t get any argument from his fellow commissioners, with the motion passing by a unanimous vote...

Chronic wasting disease April 3, 2019 Wyoming, Aitkin Independent Age
... Less than four decades after Wyoming’s first case, CWD’s effects are widespread and devastating in the state.  Rothstein quoted a recent study that took place in Wyoming where researchers found that 20 percent of the wild mule deer population now had CWD. Over the five-year study period, their population declined by 21 percent annually...

Application Deadline for CWD Group Membership is Friday April 2, 2019 Wyoming, laramielive.com
... The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is addressing increased concerns about Chronic Wasting Disease through a new public working group and is asking for membership applications... the CWD working group website ...

Deer and Elk Research Project Meetings on Wind River Reservation April 8-9 April 1, 2019 Wyoming, University of Wyoming News
...  The finding shows that the Wind River Indian Reservation is connected to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem through big-game migration corridors. ... The finding shows that the Wind River Indian Reservation is connected to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem through big-game migration corridors...

Lasting winter challenges wildlife March 29, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
...  snow depth at the National Weather Service monitoring plot in Jackson on Thursday was still 18 inches — deeper than all but four other March 28 dates documented during the last century. .. In some places, death rates are climbing... watched a struggling, mangy cow moose suffer an excruciatingly slow death..,

The project is part of the statewide Mule Deer Initiative ... The Upper Powder River mule deer herd ... has been below population objective (18,000) since the early 2000s, with the 2017 postseason population estimated at approximately 11,000 deer. - March 28, 2019


... with storms dropping record snowfall across the state and ushering in frigid temperatures, the state’s wild herds are beginning to struggle ... The harsh weather is doubling down on the 2016 and 2017 summers, which both registered drought conditions near the Black Hills. Poor food in the summer means skinnier females going into winter ..,

Big Blizzards Tough On Mule Deer March 15, 2019 Wyoming Public Media
..."Down south . . . probably three-quarters of the fawns that entered winter have died, and the leading cause of death has been starvation or malnutrition," ... LaSharr said the herd in southwestern Wyoming close to Idaho and Utah was hit especially hard..,

Shorter, more limited mule deer hunts proposed March 14, 2019 Wyoming, Powell Tribune
... Seeking to protect migrating mule deer herds, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is proposing some new restrictions for the 2019 hunting season in Upper Shoshone and Clark’s Fork areas... The reduced number of tags represents a large drop in revenue for the department ...

... Preliminary field visits to assess habitat quality found that many aspen forests and shrub communities are in late successional stages exhibiting reduced vigor and a lack of recruitment. In order to reverse this trend, vegetation manipulation techniques such as mechanical and chemical treatments, as well as prescribed fire will be used to rehabilitate degraded habitats. Implementation of this project across the landscape, with proper pre- and post-management, will enhance the quality of habitat for the iconic mule deer as well as for all animals...

Elk, horses shack up together March 13, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... An on-again, off-again unofficial elk feedground in Buffalo Valley has been decommissioned for now. The result: dozens of elk scrapping for hay amid 80 horses... From the 1930s until 1973 a permanent Game and Fish feedground occupied the valley, and in its earliest days “deer, elk and moose” used it ...

Big sagebrush may weather climate change March 6, 2019 Wyoming, Post Register
... Particularly in cooler portions of the study region, climate change appeared unlikely to harm big sagebrush directly ... “Managing Big Sagebrush in a Changing Climate,” ... sagebrush made up 78 percent of the annual diet for antelope in Wyoming and 59 percent of the winter diet of deer and elk near Gardiner, Montana ...

... The new plate features a mule deer design as a way to raise awareness about wildlife conservation and to help protect wildlife migration routes...

... The department is assembling public comment from a series of meetings at which it presented its case for the Sublette Pronghorn and Wyoming Range Mule Deer paths. The goal, according to department personnel, is to add the corridors to the department’s catalog of designated vital habitat ...

... The mule deer population in Wyoming has dropped 31 percent since 1991... Now the BLM is considering and granting leases for oil and gas wells in mule deer migration corridors including the Red Desert to Hoback..,

Wildlife is low and visible, but so far OK February 27, 2019 Wyoming, 
Jackson Hole News&Guide
... There are “severe” conditions on winter ranges throughout the Pinedale Region, Regional Supervisor John Lund said in a statement.  “We will likely see above-average mortality in some areas,” Lund said, “mostly among mule deer and pronghorn fawns if conditions do not improve quickly.” ...

Scoping meeting targets shrinking mule deer herds February 26, 2019 Wyoming, Powell Tribune
... Mule deer population trends in the area are down, with no immediate hope of a rebound... n the Upper Shoshone and Clark’s Fork herds ...  For the past few years, harsh winter weather — particularly hard on fawns — has been the largest factor in population declines ...

Winter conditions in the Casper Region February 21, 2019 Wyoming Game and Fish - State of Wyoming
... big game were observed on winter ranges much earlier than normal due to significant snowfall and cold temperatures during the late fall... This could result in above average winter mortality for mule deer and pronghorn in some areas if late winter and early spring conditions become harsher than normal..

A lost migration route is gone forever February 20, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide
... the second time the Bureau of Land Management will lease public land parcels for oil and gas development inside the Red Desert to Hoback mule deer migration corridor...


Wyoming data:  About 425,000 deer in 2017 based on harvest data.  2020 Forecast.  2019 Forecast.  A hard 2018-19 late winter with three-quarters of the fawns dying from starvation in the southwest.    In 2019 populations hadn't recovered from the 2016-17 winter.  An estimated 353,000 mule deer and about 70,000 white-tails in 2015, total population of 423,000.  A mild winter and wet spring is allowing the deer herd to recover into 2018 after the severe winter of 2016-17 west of the continental divide reduced deer populations, mortality rates close to 25 percent in the Wyoming Range.   Good deer survival in other areas, but an outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease.  Applications for deer hunting far exceeded available licenses in 2018.  From about 1988 to 2019 the mule deer population fell by 31 percent.
      An estimated 353,000 mule deer and about 70,000 white-tails in 2015, total population of 423,000.  About 340,000 mule deer and 60,000 white-tails in 2014, total population of 400,000. The 2016 Hunting Forecast provides details. Deer populations were generally somewhat up in 2015 and 2016 after three mild winters that resulted in good fawn survival.  Good rainfall in 2016.   Low fawn survival going into 2017 from a harsh winter.
      Deer populations are in fair shape in the north. Mule deer populations are up in the central part of the state but down in the west.  White-tails numbers are up in the Black Hills, but still down in some other areas from the 2014 EHD outbreak.  Mule deer antler restrictions were lifted in many regions. Mule deer populations are up in the Green River area and the northern Big Horn. Populations down in the southern Bighorn Basin from habitat decline, weather, and disease.  Follow the Wyoming Migration Study
     In 2013 the state had an estimated 63,000 white-tails and 374,000 mule deer, 369,000 mule deer in 2012.  The harsh winter of 2013-14 reduced the herd.  A total population of about 578,000 in 1991. Mule deer populations in Wyoming have been on the decline since the late 1980s. According to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies mule deer populations "declined by an estimated 168,000 (31 percent) since 2000. After the 2011 hunting seasons, it was estimated there were 376,000 mule deer in the state."  About 544,000 mule deer in the year 2000. Harsh winters in 1978-79, 1983-84 (resulting in a population crash), and 1992-93, reduced populations, also a severe outbreak of EHD in 2012 reduced white-tail populations.  Few fawns survived harsh winters in 2010 and 2011.  
     A study as part of the Mule Deer Initiative has explored why mule deer are not reaching their population goals. Reasons include drought, development, chronic wasting disease, and poor fawn production which has declined by about 20 percent in the last 25 years. To sustain hunting the herd needs about 66 fawns per 100 does, but the ratio has been below that since 1990. In 2012 it was at 63. The state is about 35 percent below objective.  Reduced stands of mahogany, a crucial winter food supply, has contributed to the mule deer population decline.
      Some deer migrate 170 miles in the Wyoming range. Over hunting on public land, habitat loss and fragmentation, and energy development are all thought to be contributing causes of the decline. Mule deer populations are generally in better shape on private land. Antelope populations have been on a steady decline over the last few years.  Hunting statistics
     Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was first identified in 1978 in deer at the Wyoming Fish and Game Department’s Sybille wildlife research facility.  In 2016 CWD was moving west toward Yellowstone.  A recent study concludes that "diseased whitetail east of Casper are declining 10 percent a year, and face extinction within half a century."  In 2019 there were 16 new positives for Chronic Wasting Disease and 131 testing positive out of 7,000.
     History:  Deer and elk were abundant in Wyoming but excessive, unregulated hunting dramatically reduced their numbers as well as those of other big game. 
The mule deer population was about 50,000 in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but a series of bad winters and hunting pressure reduced the population to about 30,000.

     Wolves  At least 544 in 2015.  The last wolves in Yellowstone were killed in the 1920's then reintroduced starting in 1995.
     Moose populations are generally in decline with an exception of the Snowy Range herd.

The Stop Poaching Tip Line is 877-WGFD-TIP.  Or report online.

Other useful links:
- Wyoming Mule Deer Plan  - 2014 Mule Deer Migration on Pinedale Anticline 
- MuleyFanatic.com Mule deer organization in southwestern Wyoming
Platte Valley Habitat Partnership's (PVHP) Mule Deer Habitat Plan April, 2013
- Citizens for the Wyoming Range    - BLM Mule Deer Habitat Program
- Wyoming Game and Fish Department    - Facebook page
Wyoming Migration InitiativeAdvancing the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of Wyoming's migratory ungulates by conducting innovative research and sharing scientific information through public outreach. 


The mule deer has been the most abundant big game animal in the west for nearly a decade. Now the species is in crisis and the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit is conducting a study to find out why. Deer Project leader Matt Hayes of the University of Wyoming sees that mule deer populations in an area south of Rock Springs are declining while elk populations are rising and investigates this dynamic. - June 21, 2016