News Related to Deer, Wildfire, Horses, and Other Wildlife.  
California's forests are choking June 21, 2018 Sacramento News & Review
 ...there is little debate about what’s causing the problem: The forests are too dense.  The phenomenon is rooted in 150 years of post-European settlement activity. Previously, Native Americans used fire to convert shrubland to promote grassland for deer-hunting, protect themselves from predators and as a tool of intertribal warfare, and lightning started fires throughout the West for many thousands of years, clearing away dense underbrush and unhealthy trees and naturally regenerating the landscape...

Wildfires cause havoc for humans, but not mule deer July 29, 2018 British Columbia, Surrey Now-Leader
... Animals like deer, moose, and big horn sheep like young regrowth... The wildfires are also not large enough to have a severe impact ... “Fire, when it’s away from people and everyone is safe, belongs on this landscape ... Nutrients from burned plants creates the perfect habitat for regrowth, said David Scott, with the department of earth and environmental sciences at UBCO...

Experts say West Texas wildfires bring some ecological benefits March 7, 2017 LubbockOnline.com
... larger mammals, such as mule deer, white tail deer and cattle, are attracted to areas affected by fires because they prefer to graze on the newer shoots of grasses ...fire clears off all that old, dead grass and increases the availability of sunlight and nutrients for new emerging shoots ...

Use Prescribed Fire as a Tool or Wildfire Will Rule, Expert Says December 14, 2015 Washington, Emergency Management
... Prescribed burning alone in shrub-steppe grasslands can reduce the intensity of wildfires and reduce their impact on habitat for critters including prairie grouse and deer ... Many timbered areas can be better protected – and wildlife habitat can be enhanced – by using loggers to thin timber and then by following the work with a prescribed burn ...

... Our objective was to determine whether pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) spatially or temporally altered their use of water to minimize interactions with horses. From 2010 to 2014, we used remote cameras to monitor ungulates at 32 water sources in the Great Basin Desert... both native ungulates used water sources less often where horse activity at water sources was high, indicating that spatial avoidance occurred. Further, we observed significant differences in peak arrival time for pronghorn, but not mule deer at horse-occupied sites versus sites where horses were absent or uncommon, indicating that temporal avoidance may be more important for pronghorn than mule deer... feral horses further constrain access to an already limited resource for native species in a semi-arid environment...

Massive juniper removal project could help Idaho sage grouse February 15, 2018 Idaho, Jackson Hole News&Guide
...  warmer winters combined with fewer wildfires at higher elevations of sagebrush steppe have allowed junipers to expand into areas once filled with sagebrush and native grasses...  the juniper-removal plan,  ...  “It will benefit big game, including mule deer and elk, bighorn sheep and antelope.” ...

... Low intensity fires can help restore some nutrients to the soil. It also clears lanes for deer, and helps suppress the spread of ticks, which can carry Lyme disease ...

Dietary Overlap of Deer and Horses

... In the detailed peer-reviewed study by Hansen, R.M., Clark, R.C., & Lawhorn, W. 1977 titled ‘Foods of Wild Horses, Deer, and Cattle in the Douglas Mountain Area, Colorado‘, we read in the first paragraph that the dietary overlap of Deer and Wild horses is just 1%.
..  I assessed the impacts of common forest management practices (canopy reduction, prescribed fire, and selective herbicide application)   .... Combining canopy reductions with prescribed fire, which closely mimicked historical intermediate disturbance intensities in this vegetation type, led to the greatest invasion resistance due to high abundances of native plants. Both deer and turkey increased use in areas with high levels of understory cover. Coupling canopy reductions with prescribed fire created the most favorable conditions for both species ...

Game & Fish and Federal Partners Burn for Wildlife July 18, 2018 Wyoming, Wyo4News
... This is the third aspen unit burned as part of a string of Wyoming Range mule deer treatments initiated in 2014... 

Thinning project on wildlife management area gets go-ahead June 20, 2018 Montdana, Ravalli Republic
... deer and elk like the forest’s edge... Focused on improving forage production on the winter range, improving aspen stands and reducing the risk of fire and bug infestations, the agency thinned about 370 acres... I would like to see fire reintroduced to keep the underbrush from becoming overgrown...

Spring burning May 27, 2018 Minnesota, Herald Review
... reason many settlers burned around their buildings was the threat of larger uncontrolled forest and ground fires... It kept the tick population down since it destroyed the tick’s natural habitat; dead grass ... The risk of ground fires getting out of control is the primary concern of the DNR. So all the dead grass remains ...

The impact of wildfires on wildlife July 3, 2018 California, Record Bee
... a week after the fire, and they were surprised to find very few bones or carcasses of deer ... Much of the county is woodland or covered in brush. As the brush and trees age, they provide very little forage for animals. Streams that have been dry for years will have water flowing after a fire because the fire burned up the excess brush that sucked up the water...

Goats help clear brush to reduce wildfire fuel June 14, 2018 California, WHSV-TV
... we have about 180 boar, spanish and nubian goats that are out here, that are assisting with brush clearance."  The goats are part of the city's plan to clear thick, dangerous fuels that could ignite...

... Conservationists and researchers say wildfire control efforts in B.C. may be causing mule deer numbers to decline... mule deer are very choosy eaters, and fire creates open canopies, so it opens up the forest and then you get the flush of green growth in the understory ... We think that is the single most important factor affecting mule deer abundance in B.C

... Montana has lost 64 percent of its aspen trees over the last century ... it’s common for deer, elk and moose to graze on aspen, and because of their high moisture content they can act as natural barriers during wildfires...

Prescribed fires useful to prevent future tragedy February 2, 2018 Alabama, Montgomery Advertiser
... While there has been some increase in the use of fire in woodlands in the last decade (more than 1 million acres in Alabama in 2009), there are many more millions of acres that need burning and are not getting it...

A history lesson on early hunters February 5, 2018 Ohio, Bucyrus Telegraph Forum
... Ohio was mostly heavy forest, but there were prairies here and there with rich grasses and reeds that deer, buffalo, and elk loved, and the Indians burned them frequently to remove growing seedlings and saplings of brush and trees and fertilize new growth of prairie grasses...

South Carolina DNR Official Sees Smokey Bear as Threat to Prescribed Burns March 23, 2016 Firefighter Nation 
... The use of prescribed fire as a land management tool has deep and ancient roots in South Carolina's heritage... Prescribed fires help restore and maintain vital habitat for wildlife, including bobwhite quail and other grassland birds, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, gopher tortoises and red-cockaded woodpeckers...

Prescribed burn to benefit wildlife habitat at Perryville Battlefield March 23, 2016 Kentucky, Central Kentucky News
... Burning fields may not sound like a good thing, but it makes for a high-quality habitat, stimulating the growth of valuable grasses and wildflowers, Brunjes said, and it benefits birds and game, including quail, rabbits, deer, turkeys, bluebirds, grasshopper sparrows, meadowlarks and more...

Fire and Grazing in the Prairie National Park Service
... Two factors of prairie maintenance are fire and grazing. Grazing animals play an important role in maintaining the ecosystem by stimulating plants to grow. This triggers biological activity and nutrient exchanges. Bison, deer, and cattle compact the soil with their hooves and open new areas for seeds and the generation of plants to take root...

... “Select state park properties have overmatured to the point that we are in even greater danger due to the accumulation of fuel on the forest floor,” ... 

Nevada Appeal
... The numbers of free-roaming horses on the range are small in comparison to livestock across the American West. Dr. Perryman of the University of Nevada, Reno ... Over the years NDA has claimed horses are starving, blaming shortages as the reason horses come into the valleys at certain times of the year. The truth is the animals have seasonal rounds...

Navajo Nation Cancels Horse Hunt March 5, 2018  TheHorse.com
... In 2016 an independent survey revealed that 48,000 unbranded, so-called feral horses resided on the Nation’s 18-million-acre reservation located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah... , the Navajo Nation DNR has developed a multipronged horse management plan using trapping, castration, birth control, and adoptions ...

Setting Fires and Restoring an American Landscape April 23, 2018 Illinois, New York Times
... For thousands of years, indigenous Americans ignited the landscape. Fire, they knew, brought bison and deer to hunt, and berries and tubers to harvest.  European colonizers took these strategies and practiced them for centuries — but things changed in the early 20th century... The United States Forest Service started the Smokey Bear campaign, which portrayed all fire as destructive...