U.S. Deer Population


The total U.S. deer population in 2017 was about 33.5 million, up from a recent low of about 32.2 million in 2014, down from the recent peak in 2000 of about 38.1 million deer. Historic estimates. Use the drop down menu above to see the population analysis "By State".

The whitetail population fell from about 33.5 million in 2000 to 28.6 million in 2014, recovering to about 29.5 million in 2017. The mule, blacktail, and other deer populations fell from about 4.6 million in 2000 to about 3.6 million in 2014, recovering to about 4 million in 2017. Less than 4 million in 2020 about 3.5 million in 2021. The recent peak for mule and blacktails was around 1960, illustrated in the graph below for the estimated U.S. deer population from 1450 to 2017.


Deer were nearly hunted to extinction by the early 1900s and were extirpated in many regions. In 1890 the U.S. BIological Survey estimated the whitetail population at 300,000. Conservation and restocking allowed whitetail populations to recover to about pre-colonization levels while blacktails and mule deer are below historic levels. A Wall Street Journal article reports that “The U.S. now has 30 million deer, a hundred times more than a century ago" failing to point out that deer faced a near extinction event 100 years ago and that the white-tail population has approximately returned to its historic population size. [This and other examples in news and research]. The modern decline of mule and blacktail populations has been a major concern of wildlife agencies for decades.

As illustrated in the figure above, the U.S. deer harvest fell by 14.7 percent from 2000 to 2017, from about 7.5 million to 6.4 million. Mild winters in the north and recovery from the Texas drought account for much of the uptick since 2014.


Data for the trend in the whitetail deer population from 2000 and earlier is based on Kert VerCauteren in The Deer Boom, the Wildlife Management Institute's 1984 book "Whitetail Deer: Ecology and Management" and other historic deer data, updated using current harvest data and state population estimates. This information is provided in more detail in this data history page, including sources describing the relatively recent migration of deer into much of Canada. Recent University of Wyoming research puts the white-tailed deer population prior to European settlement in America at 30 to 40 million.


Research published in 2014 and 2018 using data from this site identified the recent change in the total population trend, turning down around the year 2000. Using a sample of populations from 29 states, the U.S. Forest service published a report in 2010 identifying the year 2000 peak for whitetail deer.


Causes for the Decline of the Deer Population

Habitat loss, change, and fragmentation are known to play a role in the decline. Many fear that chronic wasting disease will drive the deer population to low levels over the coming decades. Searching the internet, this site has tracked many of the proposed causes for the declining deer population reported in the column at right and in more detail on for each state on their page, including:

- California: Increased forest density, drought, predation.

- Maine and New England: Changes that have occurred on commercially managed forest lands – based on a new Forest Study

- Connecticut: First decline since early 1900’s, increased predation (Bobcat, Coywolf)

- Western North Carolina: Mature Forests, Cherokee Indians are restocking deer herds

- West Virginia: Aging forests in high mountains

- Georgia: Coyotes

- Minnesota: Severe Winters

- Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota: Overharvest, drought, EHD

- Colorado: Food supply, predation, energy development

- North Dakota: Drought, EHD (severe decline), habitat loss

- Montana: Loss of habitat, severe winter, predation

- Oregon: Reduction in logging related to timber sales

When Europeans first came to settle America, it was estimated that as many as 10 million elk roamed the land. The current population is around one million. An estimated 1 million moose in North America in 2018. The last U.S. caribou was moved to Canada in an effort to save the local herd in 2019.


Mule Deer and Blacktail Deer Populations Have Been in Decline for Many Years

The graph below shows the estimated 1911 to 2016 California deer population, made up of blacktails and mule deer, falling by about 75 percent from 1960. See the California page for an analysis of what appears to be the largest modern decline in the deer population.


California Deer Population Estimate, 1911 to 2016

Read a peer reviewed research article demonstrating how public management decisions in California may have contributed to the long term decline of the deer population.


What Are We Conserving with Conservation?


We have outlawed wilderness — can rewilding bring it back? November 11, 2019 apolitical.com

... Our hunter-gatherer ancestors caused the widespread demise of the large herbivores around leading to a “downgrading” of ecosystems. As the grazers were no longer around to keep woody vegetation in check, trees got the upper hand over grasses and forests became the dominant vegetation ... Today, the realization that biodiversity policy has been protecting the ecological impacts of historic extinctions ...


Are Deer a Threat to Forests?


Does white-tailed deer density affect tree stocking in forests of the Eastern United States? August, 2019 Ecological Processes

... Despite deer pressure, a major transition in eastern forests has resulted in increased tree densities. Methods To reconcile conflicting trends, we applied generalized linear mixed models to compare deer densities during 1982 and then 1996 to tree stocking after about 30 years and 15 years of potential reductions of small trees by deer, for the entire eastern US and 11 ecological provinces... Deer densities and tree stocking were not related significantly for the entire eastern US... Furthermore, major tree species trends did not match tree browse preferences. Conclusions Rather than too few trees, too many trees is an ecological problem where historical open oak and pine forests had herbaceous understories, and currently, trees have captured growing space. We attribute other drivers than deer to explain this transition...


Regaining the History of Deer Populations and Densities in the Southeastern United States BB Hanberry, P Hanberry - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2020

... Deer population sizes declined to a minimum of <215,000 during the early 1900s. Population sizes and mean deer densities were 304,000 and 0.22 deer/km2 by 1940, 476,000 and 0.35 deer/km2 by 1950, 2.9 million to 4.1 million and 2.2 to 3.1 deer/km2 by approximately 1970, 6.2 million and 4.6 deer/km2 by 1982, and 10.8 million to 12 million and 8 to 9 deer/km2 by about 2003... the current population may be within the bounds of mid to high historical deer densities ... deer may be considered a natural disturbance helpful in controlling increased tree densities during the past century ...


Maybe deer aren't the forest-killers we thought they were October 6, 2020 Concord Monitor

... A report from the U.S. Forest Service (read it here) says: ... using current tree surveys and historical records they examined trends in tree species preferred by deer. Researchers found white-tail deer have not reduced tree densities at landscape scales across the Eastern U.S. In fact, they propose other management influences and fire exclusion have had bigger impacts...


Are Forests a Threat to Deer?


"Factors Related to Larger but Fewer Wildfires and Fewer Deer in California: A Google Sites Knowledge Base," [PDF] (2019) Issues in Information Systems. 20(1), pp. 22-31.

... Large wildfires have been a recent focus of public concern in California and other western states... Data from 1987 show that total acres burned increased and were correlated to increased maximum temperature, and that that wildfires have become larger but less frequent. A decline in logging activity was strongly correlated to increased fire size and reduced deer populations. [Forest density in California has increased as a result of forest management practices and reduced logging, reducing deer habitat and dramatically reducing the deer population]. Drought was also correlated to increased fire size and fewer deer. ...


Habitat Use of Female Columbian Black-tailed Deer in Western Oregon TJ Schrautemeier - 2017

... Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) observed declines in black-tailed deer populations since the late 1980’s and attributes these declines to reduction in quality and availability of habitat, following the decline of timber harvest on federal lands... my results support the hypothesis that food and cover are more readily available and used by female black-tailed deer on industrial forestlands than federal forestlands in western Oregon...


‘There’s good fire and bad fire.’ An Indigenous practice may be key to preventing wildfires December 18, 2020 California, National Geographic

... The Indigenous Peoples Burn Network focused on a single goal: setting forests on fire.... [ancestors] burned young trees and brush to create and maintain meadows that would attract deer and elk... As these flames ceased, a new kind of forest emerged: a nearly fire-free ecosystem that was unlike anything that had existed since the end of the Ice Age...


Chronic Wasting Disease is Expected to Dramatically Reduce Future Deer Populations


Biologist ponders: What happens when every deer has chronic wasting disease? February 13, 2020 Minnesota, StarTribune

... As the environmental reservoir of toxic prions continues to grow, deer can be infected irrespective of whether there are many or few deer in the immediate area. That is why culling works only in the very early stages of a CWD outbreak ... Deer with Gene A live for two years after infection; Gene B two to three years: Gene C up to four years...


Widely used neonic insecticides may be a threat to mammals, too February 5, 2021 Food & Environment Reporting Network

... Chemically related to nicotine, neonics, as they’re known, were developed in the 1990s as a safer alternative to more toxic, longer-lasting farm chemicals... data suggesting that a significant number of wild deer in the upper Midwest have neonics in their spleens... “Neonics could have a catastrophic effect on white-tailed deer populations,” ...


The End of Caribou in the U.S.

The Quiet Extinction February 19, 2020 Montana, Montana Kaimin

... Caribou herds once abundantly thrived from

General Information

The California Deer Decline and Possibilities for Restoration Cal-Nevada Wildlife Transactions, 1976


Decline of Mule Deer Populations in Colorado: Reasons and Responses. 1999.


North American Mule Deer Conservation Plan - MULE DEER ... From Alaska, down the Pacific Coast of California to southern Baja Mexico and from the extreme ..... decline of mule deer populations over large portions ..


Estimated whitetail populations. Published by Deer and Deer Hunting in the 1998 Almanac: Texas 3,748,000, Michigan 1,900,000, Mississippi 1,750,000, Wisconsin 1,600,000, Alabama 1,500,000

Statistical Abstract, 1957: 454,000 deer killed by hunters in the United States


Deer Population in the South ... The deer population increased from about 303,500 in the mid-forties to about 2,405,000 at the present time [1969] and the kill increased from about 60,133 in 1950 to 274,184 in 1967 in the 11 Southern States on which data are available...


An estimated 1 million moose in North America in 2018.


When Europeans first came to settle America, it was estimated that as many as 10 million elk roamed the land [Kathy Funk, the Virginia volunteer state chair for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation] ...


The elk are coming! The elk are coming! December 17, 2017 California, Oroville Mercury Register

... Prior to Europeans, there were about 10 million elk in all of the USA. Due to excessive hunting the population dropped to about 50,000, and through restocking it’s up to about 1 million...


Early humans hunted the largest available animals to extinction for 1.5 million years December 21, 2021

Phys.org

... "Starting about 400,000 years ago, the humans who lived in our region—early ancestors of the Neandertals and Homo sapiens, appear to have hunted mainly deer, along with some larger animals weighing almost a ton, such as wild cattle and horses...

The population estimates are the total of estimates from state wildlife agencies and other published sources. Hunting and other data is used to fill in missing years. This peer reviewed paper explains the method. Use the drop down menu above "By State" to go each state for a detailed population analysis and news.


Population trends vary considerably by state. Western deer, mule deer and blacktails, have been in a long decline. Some whitetail populations are near or at recent highs such as in Wisconsin and Texas. Each state page has a link to an archive of "Population and Management" information in the upper right corner used in analyzing the populations.


Why does this page at Cornell extension estimate 25 million deer? Check the math.


Reports of Deer Populations in Decline

Majestic moose; more reclusive than their deer friends September 18, 2022 British Columbia, Columbia Valley Pioneer

... for reasons unknown, over the last decade there has been a significant decline in their population in the central interior region of British Columbia. Studies show that the population of moose in this region have declined by approximately 27,500 since 2011...


Mule deer numbers find new normal as CPW works to address challenges September 18, 2022 Colordado, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

... in the Meeker area, that herd alone was estimated to have more than 100,000 deer in the early 1980s, but in the decade before the new plan’s approval hadn’t exceeded 40,000 animals... they have biologically and ecologically stabilized at a lower population level ...


Mule Deer Palooza Planned In Wyoming To Raise Money For Mule Deer Conservation Projects August 22, 2022 Wyoming, Cowboy State Daily

... Habitat fragmentation and disruption of mule deer migration routes between summer and winter ranges have been among the biggest challenges facing mule deer in Wyoming and across the West. Disease, particularly chronic wasting disease, has also been a factor in mule deer decline ...


CPW may cut mule deer population goal in Glade Park herd, keep status quo for others August 16, 2022 Colorado, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

... the Glade Park herd is a “very small herd” that takes in the Glade Park/Piñon Mesa/McInnis Canyons area, reaching the Utah border... the herd has been consistently below population objectives for about 25 years. “We have not been able to get that population up,” ...


The tangled web of wildlife management June 25, 2022 Ohio, The Courier

... there were no whitetail deer in Ohio. Extirpated by 1911 by lack of both seasonal limits and restraint ... In 1922, wildlife officials began restocking wild deer from neighboring states ... Deer populations are down all over the place on national forest land as an artifact of restricted active forest management, and research ..,


Caribou threatened: the forestry industry proposes to bet on hunting predators June 3, 2022 Quebec, The Bobr Times

... The caribou are in decline in Quebec... “The CIFQ recommends prioritizing predator management measures to reduce early caribou mortality, before considering costly and highly disadvantageous road dismantling measures.” ...


A Wilder View: Wolves impacting deer and moose behaviors in important way May 26, 2022 Montana, KPAX

... "We began researching moose population decline over a decade ago and discovered that brain worm is the primary driver of adult mortality,” said Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Director of Biology and Environment Seth Moore. About 25% of moose die from this parasite...


Efforts Intensify to Save the Huemul, South America’s Endangered Deer May 26, 2022 Field & Stream

... the real danger is that no one will ever see one again if something isn’t done. Which is why efforts to save the huemul are now intensifying in Chile and Argentina, in response to the species’ decline to dangerously low population levels ...


Efficacy and ethics of intensive predator management to save endangered caribou - Conservation Science and Practice, 2022

... in Canada. Across multiple jurisdictions, large numbers of wolves (Canis lupus), and to a lesser extent bears (Ursus

americanus) and coyotes (C. latrans), are killed through trapping, poisoning or aerial shooting to halt or reverse continued declines of woodland caribou ...


Wyoming Wildlife Task Force recommends splitting white-tailed, mule deer licenses May 20, 2022 The Sheridan Press

... Commenters also expressed concern about how the change could put more hunting pressure on mule deer populations, which have been in decline statewide... As of the 2020 job completion report, mule deer population in the Powder River region in Sheridan County was estimated at 34,050, which was slightly below the previous five-year average of 36,533...


Deschutes County Community Development proposes land rezoning to protect Mule deer population May 17, 2022 Oregon, KTVZ

... According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the mule deer population decreased about 40% near Metolius and about 30% near Paulina in a recent three-year testing period... recommends that certain uses be prohibited or limited to protect the mule deer winter range habitats...


Deer disease in North Dakota cuts into hunter success, license numbers May 13, 2022 The Bismarck Tribune

... The impact of the disease stretched over most of western and central North Dakota ... North Dakota has experienced a loss of wildlife habitat in recent years due to oil development and reduced grassland areas resulting from changes in farming practices. That has resulted in annual license numbers essentially being cut in half from the heyday of deer populations in the mid-2000s..,


Utah, Wyoming, and Oregon Are Cutting Big Game Tags Due to Drought Conditions. Will Other States Follow? May 8, 2022 Outdoor Life

... One of the biggest reasons behind these decreasing populations and lower allotment of tags is the growing presence of drought throughout the American West. The latest maps show roughly 70 percent of lands in the West are facing severe to extreme drought conditions, according to the U.S Drought Monitor...


Mule Deer in New Mexico 2022. College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University

... In general, mule deer have been declining in numbers in New Mexico since populations peaked around the 1960s, similar to declines seen throughout the West (Heffelfinger and Messmer, 2003). Because of population declines, harvests of mule deer have also declined; deer harvests (mostly mule deer), estimated to be as high as 55,000 in 1960, declined to <10,000 in 2013. Despite declines, mule deer are still present in all 33 counties in New Mexico...


Drought Leads to Fewer Pronghorn and Mule Deer Tags April 29, 2022 Wyoming, Field & Stream

... The worsening drought comes on top of outbreaks of CWD and EHD in the state ... Last year’s [2021] post-hunt ... estimate of 291,700 mule deer was 61 percent of the statewide goal..,


Utah Wildlife Board approves decrease in general-season deer permits for 2022 April 29, 2022 Utah Division of Wildlife Resources News

... The current management plan includes an objective to have just over 400,000 deer across Utah — there are currently an estimated 305,700 deer in the state. “We’ve had several years of drought and are still facing ongoing extreme drought conditions statewide, which has a significant impact on the survival rates of deer,” DWR Big Game Coordinator Covy Jones said..,


Whitetail hunting in jeopardy April 7, 2022 Washington, Whitman County Gazette

... The Northeast Washington Wildlife Group believes that our whitetail deer are in trouble and their numbers have dropped to the point that recovery is impossible given the direction state. Region 1 game managers and the Fish and Wildlife Commission has taken...


Wyo to target elk, large carnivores to aid reeling mule deer April 5, 2022 Wyoming, WyoFile

... doesn’t see large-scale predator control as a silver bullet to turning the corner on mule deer numbers, which have fallen statewide from a high of over 500,000 in the early 2000s to just over 300,000 today ... pilot projects will target elk, which have thrived and trended in the opposite direction as mule deer, growing from about 90,000 animals in the early 2000s to 110,000-plus today ..,


Report: Habitat Loss Causing Significant Impact on Game Species April 1, 2022 New York, Public News Service

... New York's game species are literally losing ground, as human development and climate change is restricting their native habitats. A new report from the National Wildlife Federation found ... Mule deer have lost more than 7.3 million acres of habitat ...


Memoirs of a Mule Deer Hunter March 28, 2022 Outdoor Life

... “A few dozen [new homes being built] in critical winter range may not make much of a difference but when you get hundreds or thousands of homes, there’s a big impact on wildlife. Former feeding areas are gone, and there are problems with dogs, fences, more vehicle collisions, and other factors.” Mong also cites weather as an important factor. “[Fawn survival is] tied to moisture levels ... it’s death by a thousand cuts." ...


Utah DWR proposes fewer general-season deer permits for 2022 March 24, 2022 KUTV Salt Lake City

... The current management plan includes an objective to have just over 400,000 deer across Utah — there are currently an estimated 305,700 deer in the state... “We’ve had several years of drought and are still facing ongoing extreme drought conditions in the state, which has a significant impact on the survival rates of deer,” ...

... Recent decades have seen Northwest Nevada’s mule deer herds decline, resulting in fewer tags issued and low-quality hunt experiences. Several factors may be contributing, including predation, drought, wildland fire, invasive plant species, and competition from feral horses. A combination of these factors are likely at play, it is the Department’s desire to better understand the situation...


North Dakota Game and Fish completes aerial winter deer surveys March 13, 2022 KFYR TV

...“Compared to 2019, it’s about the same for the most part, it’s kind of a mixed bag, some units are up, some are down, and most of them are about the same. However, when you look back to the early 2000s, 2000 to 2005 we are considerably lower than those years, primarily due to habitat loss,” ...


Impressive displays at Deer Classic Times March 12, 2022 Iowa, Republican

... Regarding carrying capacity, the biologist noted that Iowa land could support a total population of four times as many deer as we now have ... From high deer population numbers of twenty years ago, the DNR now tries to manage hunters and hunting to keep the post hunt surviving breeding population of deer at about 300,000...


Survival of white‐tailed deer fawns on Marine Corps Base Quantico March, 2022 Virginia, Journal Wildlife Management

... Some jurisdictions in the eastern United States have reduced harvest of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) because of perceived declines in recruitment and population size over the last decade. Although the restoration of American black bears (Ursus americanus) and the colonization of coyotes (Canis latrans) have increased fawn predation in some areas, limited information exists on how temporally dynamic resources and weather influence fawn survival... Our results highlight the importance of oak mast in eastern deciduous forests ...


Local Deer Herd Numbers Decline in Face of Climate Change, Wildfire February 22, 2022 California, Mammoth Times

... The Round Valley Mule Deer Herd, moving from the low valley floor in Round Valley to the high Sierra meadows, has decreased by at least one-third – and possibly by as much as 60 percent – since the 1980s. “It’s a concerning decline and one that generally mirrors the decline of mule deer populations throughout much of the western United States,” ...


Protecting the Hub of the Mule Deer Herd's Winter Range February 18, 2022 Sierra Wave

... Mule Deer populations in the Eastern Sierra have declined in recent decades... Wildlife biologists’ research has documented that migration patterns are learned behavior; a doe teaches her fawns ...Their survival is increasingly under threat due to more extreme weather, wildfires, and development shrinking the habitat for these iconic mule deer...


Tribal knowledge could rescue Great Lakes ‘ghost species’ from extinction, book says February 16, 2022 Michigan, MLive

... the plight of the last 15 remaining genetically distinct Lake Superior woodland caribou which in January 2018 ... nstead of being witnesses to the extinction of the species, both tribal and provincial officials intervened; wildlife specialists netted and helicoptered the large, deer-family animals to two “wolf-free islands” to foster their recovery...


Why experts say the West's deer population is at 'inflection point' after another drop in 2021 February 13, 2021 Utah, KSL News

... Utah wildlife biologists fear there was another 10% drop in the statewide mule deer population in 2021 as mostly dry conditions reigned through the first half of the year... That would put the 2021 count on track to be somewhere in the range of 285,000 ...


Commission adopts shorter mule deer season for parts of western Montana February 8, 2022 Montana, Missoulian

... Mule deer bucks become particularly vulnerable to hunters during the rut ... wildlife managers say that mule deer in northwest Montana’s Region 1 and west-central Region 2 have declined, with habitat a prevailing issue. Other factors driving populations include predation, weather and competition with elk ...


SC offers lifetime hunting license for killing tagged coyote February 6, 2022 South Carolina, Clay Center Dispatch

... Coyotes attack deer and have caused a 30% decrease in the deer population in South Carolina in the past two decades ...


Deer in Aroostook County are getting help to survive the winter January 27, 2022 Maine, Bangor Daily News

... The number of deer in northern Maine has been significantly reduced over the last 50 years due in part to commercial forestry operations... the state is ramping up its efforts to rebuild the deer population through the development of wintering areas ...


Helicopters over county capturing mule deer January 26, 2022 Washington, Goldendale Sentinel

... captures are taking place in Klickitat and Chelan counties along the east slope of the Cascade Mountains ... “In recent years, mule deer have lost winter habitat in the study areas to human development and remaining habitat has declined in quality due to factors such as drought, wildfire, and invasive plant species,” ...


Draft management plans reflect falling deer numbers January 25, 2022 Colorado, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

... Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking public comment on local mule deer and elk herd management plans that propose reduced population objectives for deer and reflect habitat changes over the years that include fire and persistent drought... Higher buck-to-doe ratios increase the number of trophy animals available for harvest by hunters, but evidence indicates they contribute to lower deer herd performance in Colorado, according to CPW...


Why Is Deer Hunting in the Northwoods on the Decline? And Will It Ever Rebound? -January 24, 2022 Outdoor Life

... Whitetail numbers are down in the Northwoods of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Here’s how wolves, winter, and habitat all play a complex role in the decline ...


Declines in deer population may point to larger issues January 10, 2022 Georgia. UGA Today

... Deer populations in the North Georgia mountains have dropped by almost two-thirds over the past few decades, according to new research by the University of Georgia... In older forests, shade from towering trees provides little opportunity for new growth on the forest floor—the majority of forests across North Georgia...


Sunshine, but dark days for deer? January 4, 2022 Oregon, La Grande Observer

... The winter of 1992-93 was especially hard on deer when the snow crusted over. Thousands of deer were winter-killed... deer numbers have not bounced back... the primary limiter is winter range ... We are losing winter range fast...


Game and Fish wraps up three-year mule deer study December 30, 2021 Wyoming, Gillette News Record

... a declining Upper Powder River mule deer herd near Kaycee ... “Part of this study is to try to get to the bottom of why that is, what is taking these deer out of the population so quickly,” Malmberg said. “So far, we found a lot of chronic wasting disease, some winter kills, some starvation type of issues. And then this year, we also had viral hemorrhagic disease.”...


Iowa deer harvest down 6% from last year December 28, 2021 Iowa Capital Dispatch

... The state’s deer population declined significantly in the first decade of this century when hunters killed deer at about double the current rate. The estimated deer harvest in 2005, for example, was more than 211,000 ... The state’s deer population was mostly stable from 2013 to 2017 and has been slightly increasing in recent years ..,


Declines in Alaska's Western Arctic Caribou Herd Could Prompt Management Changes December 24, 2021 Field & Stream

... Alaska’s Western Arctic Caribou Herd is one of the largest caribou herds in the world—and it’s shrinking fast. Between 2019 and 2021, the herd’s population fell by nearly a quarter, dropping from 244,000 animals to 188,000...


Shorter mule deer seasons advanced for parts of western Montana December 15, 2021 Billings Gazette

... “I don’t think it’s any secret that we’ve seen a decline in the overall mule deer population over the last decade, probably the last two decades, all across northwest Montana and I think that would apply to other states with similar habitat,” Neil Anderson, Region 1’s wildlife program manager told the commission...


Readers agree: NE Minnesota deer are scarce — or worse December 12, 2021 Star Tribune

... Considered a crisis by many who live Up North, the deer scarcity is adversely affecting the region's economy and culture... intermittent tough winters. But their low numbers also reflect the region's intensified timber cuttings, which too rarely consider wildlife's welfare in their designs...


Advocates hope Caribou, now absent from the Lower 48, make a comeback December 12, 2021 Washington, Walla Walla Union Bulletin

... several reasons for the animal’s decline... during fall 2020, the Arrow Lakes Caribou Society (ALCS) of Nakusp, British Columbia, finished construction of a maternity pen,.. In March or April, pregnant female caribou are captured by helicopter and placed in the forested enclosure where they are monitored 24/7...


Starkey researchers consider reasons for the decline of mule deer December 9, 2021 Oregon, East Oregonian

... A series of analyses and publications indicated elk used the landscape in a way that met their needs while mule deer were avoiding elk. Over time, elk changed their use of the landscape, and mule deer moved to other areas elk were not using. “It became a concern in the fact that mule deer are declining in large areas ...


C.O. sees deer and elk decline; population growth, weather seen as key factors December 8, 2021 Oregon, KTVZ

... in Central Oregon ... Officials with the Deschutes National Forest reported local mule deer populations have declined 56% between 2004 and 2021Population growth [human], a resulting l lack of habitat, predators and poaching are all responsible...


ough winters, hungry wolves, habitat losses: Why deer numbers in the northeast remain low December 4, 2021 Minnesota, StarTribune

... several consecutive mild winters might be needed to increase northern Minnesota deer populations "above the point where they outproduce what predators can consume.'' ... We need 40 to 60 percent canopy closure for deer yards and other areas that winter deer. That's hard to get when the majority of aspen stands are being harvested at 45 years.'' ...


Study aims to provide helping hands to deer, elk and bighorn sheep in Roaring Fork Valley December 3, 2021 Colorado, The Aspen Times

... The number of deer, elk and bighorn sheep is falling in the Roaring Fork Valley ... Once the maps and study data are released, it is his dream that the community gets together and determines through give and take what properties should be preserved...


Support habitat for deer herds December 2, 2021 Nevada, Elko Daily Free Press

... It’s no secret Nevada’s mule deer population has been declining over the last two decades due to a multitude of factors ... The Habitat Framework and Connectivity Plans also encourages — but does not require — private landowners to work with NDOW and land management agencies to improve habitat and make sure roads, fences, and other structures are not restricting the historic travel routes used by Nevada’s deer herds...


2021 Difficult Year for ND Mule Deer December 1, 2021 North Dakota, News Dakota

... drought ... lack of forage, lack of cover and a spike in EHD mortality for the state’s muleys ... in the western portion of the state ... 60 fawns per 100 does represented a more than 25 percent drop over the 82-to-100 observed last year and nearly a third less than the long-term average of 88-to-100...


Deschutes National Forest wildlife winter range closures set to begin amid deer population plunge November 20, 2021 Oregon, KTVZ

... Local mule deer populations have declined 56% between 2004 and 2021, the agency said. Human disturbance of deer and elk during the winter can cause the animals to flee, which expends energy from the reserves they’re relying on to survive through winter...


The Ecology of the First Thanksgiving -November 22, 2021 Scientific America

... After millennia of ostensibly sustainable hunting by Native peoples, evidence suggests that New England’s deer population crashed within a few years of European colonization... In the mid-17th century, the colonies of southern New England began restricting deer hunting to only certain months ... the Dutch colonist Adriaen Van Der Donck was told by Native interlocutors in the New York area that “before the arrival of the Christians, many more deer were killed than there are now ..,


Warmer summers worsen tick infestations for US moose November 22, 2021 Maine, Bangor Daily News

... moose have more ticks during winters following particularly warm summers, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution... In the state’s northeast, the population is down from more than 8,000 in the mid-2000s to 3,000-4,000 today.


Watch now: No bucks but woods were alive on the opener of Wisconsin's traditional gun-deer season November 21, 2021 Madison.com

... “There’s still a lot of deer up north, but it’s not what it used to be in the good old days. And that mostly relates to the general age of the forest. The forest had been logged off heavily and as that forest was regrowing, the young forests supported a lot of deer,” Pritzl said...


Fall Mule Deer Survey Completed November 4, 2021, North Dakota, North Dakota Game and Fish Department News

... drought had a big influence on fawn production... The ratio of 60 fawns per 100 does was significantly lower than last year (82/100) and the long-term average (88/100), while 38 bucks per 100 does was similar to 2020 (36/100) and long-term (43/100)..,


Deer numbers could challenge hunters November 3, 2021 Wyoming, Sundance Times

... "White-tailed deer numbers are down about 25% area-wide from last year and the long-term average,...The biggest declines have been in the northern part of Crook County." ... mule deer numbers are also down around 30% from last year...


Putting a bounty on coyotes: Will it help Nevada's mule deer? October 30, 2021 Elko Daily Free Press

... throughout Nevada, mule deer populations have fallen way down from the 1980s numbers. Brough said he is looking at several steps the county could take, including starting a coyote bounty program, to help get the deer numbers back up...


Deer-harvest totals drop significantly during early archery season October 28, 2021 Illinois, The News-Gazette

... Illinois has seen the number of killed drop in the last decade and a half — from 200,000 in 2005 to 120,000 in 2019. Correspondingly, the number of deer-vehicle wrecks has dropped from 174.5 to 150.7 per billion miles traveled during the same period. “In the mid-2000s, we were at a peak of deer population and deer accidents,” ..,


BLM bringing back deferred parcels for new lease sale September 7, 2021 Sublette Examiner, Wyoming

... Wyoming Game and Fish reported that all but one High Desert District herd unit have fallen below population objectives, with the Sublette mule deer herd negatively affected by harsh winters of 2016-2017 and 2010-2011. The population goal is 32,000 for the Sublette herd, estimated in 2019 at 20,846 deer...


Declining Deer Population Likely Due to Natural Regulation 2021 Japan, Global S&T Development Trend Analysis Platform of Resources and Environment

... the yakushika has not been hunted in the past 50 years; however, since 2014, their population has been decreasing. This phenomenon is especially curious, as Japanese researchers believed that sika deer populations in Japan would not decrease without human intervention...


How drought impacts deer and elk; tips for hunters during the 2021 hunts August 13, 2021 Utah, DWR News

... The current deer population in Utah is roughly 320,000 deer, which is the lowest total number of deer in the state in several years (although not as low as 2010 or the early 2000s)... Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has decreased the total hunting permit numbers for the last several years ... "Deer numbers have decreased roughly 60,000 from about four years ago due to climatic effects and drought," ..,


Zone A deer season opens Saturday August 10, 2021 California, Lake County Record-Bee

... the county’s deer herd continues to slowly decline. The reason for this decline is a continuing loss of habitat and predation by coyotes and mountain lions ... The deer herd population reached its maximum number in the late 1950s when deer kills in the county often exceeded 2,000 bucks. Compare that to last year when fewer than 300 bucks were taken...


This hardy deer species is being pushed to its limits by the megadrought out West August 10, 2021 Popular Science

...From 1985 to 1991, a mule deer herd in California’s Sierra Nevada range plummeted from almost 6,000 animals to fewer than 1,000. Fawns died...The cause? Drought... states across the Southwest in 2020 were either the driest (Utah and Nevada) or second driest they’ve been since records began in 1895,..


Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) avoid wellsite activity during winter, Alberta, Global Ecology and Conservation, 2021

... Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are threatened in Alberta in part due to the development of oil and gas resources... Caribou may benefit from management practices that include i) seasonal timing restrictions on drilling, ii) reductions of human activity at wellsites, whether in duration or intensity, iii) land-use planning to coordinate the placement of wellsites to minimize impacts to caribou and their habitat, and iv) prompt and effective restoration of wellsites to match original habitat conditions once production has stopped...


The Western Megadrought Is Killing Mule Deer August 5, 2021 Colorado, Outdoor Life... For many years, Colorado has housed about 600,000 mule deer. Those numbers have dropped by a third to around 400,000 and have now stabilized for the last 11 years around 420,000 ...


Sask. professor studies how boom in moth population threatens caribou July 23, 2021 Canada, CTV Toronto

... spruce budworm outbreaks happen every 30 years and have similar effects on disruptions such as logging and forest fires. The results of the moths killing forests leads to a “flush of vegetation of benefit to moose.” McLoughlin says more moose means more wolves which in turn, will threaten caribou...


Whitetail Fawn Recruitment Is Declining at an Alarming Rate, and No One's Quite Sure Why July 21, 2021 Outdoor Life Magazine

... According to the National Deer Association’s 2021 Deer Report, Kentucky is the only state with a fawn recruitment over 1.0. (The fawn recruitment rate is the number of fawns per adult doe, so 1.0 translates to an average of 1 fawn recruited per doe.) ... Almost every reporting state in the Southeast and Northeast has seen a major decline since 2000....


Mule deer study raises red flags July 1, 2021 Wyoming News

... Statewide, mule deer populations have been on the decline ... the Upper Powder River mule deer herd is in decline ... Overall poor body condition... primary causes of deaths including chronic wasting disease and mountain lion mortality ...


Study Urges Feds to Prioritize NV Wildlife Migration Corridors June 10, 2021 Nevada, Public News Service

... The mule deer population in Nevada has dropped 15% over the last decade - and now a new study is urging the feds to better protect migration corridors. Researchers from the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership say new Global Positioning System technology has led to detailed migration maps..,


State wildlife commission concerned about turkey, deer populations June 8, 2021 Kentucky, WTVQ

... Extensive research presented to the state Fish and Wildlife Commission said the state’s deer and turkey populations are in danger in some areas of the state. It means fewer hunters ..,


Deer yards: landmark legislation May 18, 2021 Maine, observer-me.com

... deer biologist Gerry Lavigne, told the legislators recently that lack of deer wintering areas are the main cause in the decline of whitetail deer, particularly in Western, Eastern and Northern Maine. Predation on deer by coyotes and bears is the number two cause of dwindling deer numbers...


Senate Joint Resolution 3 (SJR3): Postscript and Sayonara May 17, 2021 Nevada, The Sierra Nevada Ally

... Mule deer numbers are well below historic high levels in Nevada (and around the West) due to habitat and climate conditions. No one is postulating that wild horses and burros are the cause. Mule deer are browsers (bitterbrush being a favorite shrub); wild horses and burros are grazers, consuming grasses, and other vegetation not used by deer...


Coalition calls on BC to invest in wildlife stewardship May 14, 2021 British Columbia, Wildsight

... We now have several red-listed species, record low salmon and moose populations, and declining mountain sheep and mule deer populations in parts of the province...


Migration maps help protect the corridors herds need May 12, 2021 Oregon, Futurity: Research News

...Ungulates are running into barriers from a variety of sources along their migration routes, almost all linked by a common thread: how humans are changing the natural landscape. Some of the hurdles include oil and gas leasing, highways, housing developments, and the impacts of climate change...


Habitat protection alone won't save endangered caribou in BC, recovery program director says May 2, 2021 British Columbia, CBC.ca

... A report published earlier this week said the province's approach of preserving caribou habitat has been failing and the caribou population will become extinct if changes aren't made soon...


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