California Deer Population:    The  California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) estimated roughly 475,000 deer pre-hunt in 2023 and 2022, mule deer and blacktail deer.  Estimates of 460,420 in 2021, 458,000 deer in 2020; 459,450 in 2019; and, 470,000 in 2018. A population estimate from the state of 532,621 in 2017, 621,082 in 2016 and 649,338 in 2015.    Down from a peak of about 2 million around 1960.  The population estimate had been in the mid 400,000 range from about 2006 to 2013.


California Deer News

Catalina island deer-shooting plan is shelved, other solutions sought May 29, 2024 California, CBS News on MSN

... there were concerns about the shooting plan from residents and Supervisor Janice Hahn... "I heard from residents who were terrified at the thought of bullets raining down from helicopters over their beloved island and others who couldn't stand the thought of the deer carcasses that would be left in their wake," ...

     Catalina's invasive mule deer are spared death from above: They still face an uncertain fate May 29, 2024 California, Phys.org

... As the conservancy continues to plot how to hasten their demise, the deer are starving and dying of thirst.  Photos presented at Wednesday's meeting included a young dead deer lying on a paved walkway ... "The island and the deer are both fighting for survival, and neither one is winning," ...


California Has a New Wolf Pack May 28, 2024  Grand View Outdoors

... gray wolves new to the state’s database and confirmed the existence of a new pack, the state’s seventh. The lab identified five individuals — one adult female and her four pups, two males and two females. While they did not find samples from the father, DNA indicated he came from the Lassen pack in Northern California..,


With 2 CWD-positive deer, California becomes 34th state to report fatal disease May 8, 2024 California, cidrap.umn

... The CDFW has been monitoring elk and deer for CWD using lymph node testing of more than 6,500 cervids since 2000 and has been working with hunters, taxidermists, and meat processors to boost disease surveillance since 2018. But given that the affected counties don't share a border and the CWD incubation period can be months to years, officials said CWD has probably been in the state for some time...


Chronic Wasting Disease Confirmed in California Deer Population May 7, 2024 California Department of Fish and Wildlife News

... samples collected from two deer, one in Madera County near Yosemite Lakes and the other in Inyo County, near Bishop. The deer in Madera County was found dead due to unknown causes and the Inyo County deer was found dead after a vehicle collision... CDFW Urges Hunters to be Vigilant and Participate in Disease Surveillance Efforts ..,


LA County tries to stop Catalina Island plans to shoot down invasive deer via helicopters April 30, 2024 California, The Hill on MSN

... the region’s county supervisor, Janice Hahn, to send a letter last week to Fish and Wildlife  ... “Eradicating Catalina Island’s entire population of more than 1,770 mule deer through aerial shooting from helicopters is inhumane and drastic, and potentially dangerous to the public,” ...


Fawning season begins on the Central Coast April 25, 2024 California, KSBW The Central Coast

... people may see some fawns alone, and it may look like their moms have abandoned them. But that's almost never the case, Cann said. Moms will leave their white-spotted babies for long periods of time while they feed...


LA County Supervisors reject plan to shoot Catalina Island deer from helicopter April 23, 2024 California, CBS News

... Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously rejected Catalina Island's plan to shoot and kill their entire deer population from a helicopter on Tuesday... two petitions with nearly 90,000 signatures called on the Catalina Island Conservancy, which manages most of the land, to halt the eradication plan...


‘The definition of poaching’: Conspiracy alleged after group hunted dozens of deer in California April 22, 2024 California, Sacramento Bee on MSN.com

... one California’s largest deer poaching cases in years ... the group drove around at night through populated neighborhoods to poach deer with bows or rifles, using bright flashlights or car headlights to help target the animals...



Catalina Island Deer meeting comments April 19, 2024 California, The Catalina Islander

... As reported last week, in the face of strong public opposition the council took no action on the proposal, essentially stopping it... The proposal, according to the city manager’s staff report, would have required changing the Municipal Code to allow the capture and sterilization of deer within city limits...


Mountain lion kills man, injures another in Northern California March 23, 2024 California, Yahoo

... The attack in El Dorado County is believed to be the first fatal incident involving a mountain lion in California in 20 years... The younger brother was expected to survive ..,


Round Valley mule deer get boost of support March 18, 2024 California, Inyo Register

... Twice each year, the mule deer herd migrates between its winter range on the valley floor to its summer range in the High Sierra meadows and forests. The mule deer herd travels on the same paths each year, forming what biologists call a migration corridor... has unfortunately seen a decline in population due to various factors ...


Diamond Valley applauded for resisting deer cull March 5, 2024 California, Western Wheel

... I applaud Craig Beaton, operations manager for the Town of Diamond Valley, who refuses any idea of a cull for the deer... One can purchase marigold flowers that deter the deer from eating up gardens; also chicken wire can help keep them out if gardens are your concern...


Science guns down excuses for hog-dogging & hits rationale for deer culls February 29, 2024 California, Animals 24-7

...  scheduled massacre of about 1,000 mule deer on Catalina Island by sharpshooters ... Robert Kröger,  a Ph.D. restoration ecologist and executive director of the pro-hunting organization Blood Origins,  countered that “The science does not support that to protect native plants,  and meet recovery objectives,  the number of deer––a species that have social and recreational values on the island––should be zero.” ...


CDFW to Conduct Helicopter Surveys to Monitor Big Game Populations, Inform Hunting Regulations February 8, 2024 California Department of Fish and Wildlife news

...  In more forested environments, CDFW employs the use of trail cameras and fecal DNA. In more open habitats, aerial surveys provide an efficient and rapid method of data collection, affording CDFW biologists the ability to cover larger areas in relatively shorter time periods.  CDFW scientists use the survey data in statistical models to estimate the total population size of each species in different hunt zones or management units...


Catalina deer in the crosshairs: Will compromise avert a planned slaughter? February 2, 2024 California, Los Angeles Times on MSN

... After months of intense community outrage over its planned slaughter of thousands of nonnative mule deer, Catalina Island Conservancy officials have indicated that they may be open to considering optional plans, such as relocating the deer and reducing the population through sterilization...


Hornbrook Fire Dept. readies for animal rescues at Iron Gate Reservoir, with ten deer dead January 31, 2024 California, KDRV

...   This week, ten deer reportedly died at Iron Gate's lakebed, stuck in mud... where its dam removal has drained the lake's water this month... people are reporting stranded animals that have left some euthanized, stuck in mud, or muck, of the reservoir...


Genetic structure of California's elk: a legacy of extirpations, reintroductions, population expansions, and admixture BN Sacks, TM Davis, TJ Batter - The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2024

... California, USA, is home to 3 subspecies of North American elk ... we detected admixture between Roosevelt and Rocky Mountain

elk at a contact zone in northern California, and between Roosevelt and tule elk in north‐coastal California and central‐ coastal California... Among tule elk populations, genetic structure revealed several cases of successful and unsuccessful reintroduction or augmentation attempts...


California mountain lion population is thousands fewer than previously estimated January 8, 2024 Phys.org

... The total number of mountain lions is estimated to be between 3,200 and 4,500, which is thousands fewer than previously thought...  the group spent roughly $2.45 million in state funds over seven years to produce three population estimates: One suggests there are 4,511 cougars living in California, and the other two suggest the number is roughly 3,200..,


Residents protest Irvine Company plan to build 1,180 houses in wildlife corridor January 8, 2024 California, Orange County Register on MSN

... Bobcats, mountain lions, deer ... use the V-shaped corridor to cross between the two parks and into the nearby Santa Ana Mountains ... No Orange Heights petition ...


Redding local takes 'deer-ect' action to get warning signs posted January 3, 2024 California, KRCR

... too many dead deer along the roadside ... he came across a buck still struggling for life... it just tore my heart out ... Within the next week, Redding had already posted several signs along the road ...


Redwood Park Rangers Explain Why Not All Elk Lose Their Antlers During the Winter January 4, 2024 California, PetHelpful 

...the elk with antlers are their "bachelor herd" - they tried to compete against other elk but lost and didn't mate during the rut ... they'll continue to hang out together and practice fighting so that hopefully next fall they'll find a mate. Until then, they keep their antlers...


Tell Authorities to Manage Deer Population on Catalina Island with Non-Lethal Methods December 24, 2023 California, OneGreenPlanet

... proposal to eliminate the entire deer population by shooting them from helicopters ... Please sign this petition to urge the authorities to find non-lethal methods ...


Behind the Plan to Eliminate the Deer on Catalina Island December 7, 2023, The New York Times

... Nearly a century ago, 18 deer were brought to the island for sport hunting... their numbers have grown to 2,000... Johnny Machado, who was born on Catalina and learned to hunt deer for meat as a child, said he would be happy to bring the number of deer down ...

     The Plan to Save a California Island? Shoot All of the Deer December 2, 2023 The New York Times

...  Mr. Lopez, who is retired from his job as the head of Avalon’s public works department ...  said the conservancy should do a better job of trimming the flammable plants instead of blaming the deer for their spread. The conservancy said that approach is not sustainable in the long term...

     Offended by New York Times article December 15, 2023 California, TheCatalinaInsider.com

... As a longtime islander and retired journalist, I thought the article was biased, insulting, and poorly sourced... When Wrigley shareholders deeded most of the Island to the Conservancy, it was “to ensure that most of Catalina’s wildlands and wildlife would be protected,” according to the Catalina Islander newspaper in 2013. The current Conservancy is a departure from those values...


Catalina Island deer: Plan to use sharpshooters to eliminate mule deer sparks controversy November 21, 2023 California, Yahoo News

... Residents are allowed permits once a year to hunt the animals, under state guidelines...

Conservancy biologists say that’s not the answer. Neither is more fencing or the biological birth control used on herd animals like the bison on the island. It’s not feasible, they say, to which residents respond with anger... "Save the Deer" petition  ... Video below

Wildfire Brought Wolves Back to Southern California after150 Years November 21, 2023  Scientific American

... After the smoke cleared on 2021’s Windy Fire, a pack of wild wolves settled in the burned-out area just three hours north of Los Angeles. It’s the first time in about 150 years that gray wolves have roamed this part of the Golden State...When fires kill trees, more sunlight is able to reach the blackened soils; this stimulates dormant plants such as grasses to sprout. The nutritious grasses attract deer and other species, offering wolves a buffet..,


UCLA Experts Illuminate How Light Pollution Impacts Mountain Lions in Southern California November 12, 2023 California, Sierra Sun Times

...A new study analyzed more than a decade of data collected from over 100 Southern California mountain lions fitted with tracking devices.  The findings show most mountain lions scrupulously avoid areas with upward radiance, where light is beamed into the night sky from ground-level sources like houses and commercial development ...


To Restore Catalina Island's Natural Ecosystem, State Weighs Proposal To Kill Off A Deer Species That's Been There For 100 Years November 11, 2023 California, LAist

... "They are an invasive, introduced species and for the long-term health and resiliency of the island, we really are talking about complete removal of the deer [estimated at 2000]," [Whitney Latorre, the president and CEO of Catalina Island Conservancy.] ... "We feel that this approach is inhumane, it's brutal, it's unethical, and it's not necessary," said Dianne Stone, vice president of the Catalina Island Humane Society, and a member of the Coalition Against the Slaughter of Catalina Deer...


Planned deer slaughter on Catalina Island sparks firestorm of protest among residents November 5, 2023 California, Los Angeles Times

... In protests in front of ferry passengers, and in government meetings, residents continue to blast a habitat restoration plan they say would forever change the character and culture of the island. They say they cannot abide the heartless slaughter of countless lovable deer, just to save some "stupid plants" in the island's rugged interior...


Video Below:  The Catalina Island Conservancy says its deer-hunting plan is necessary to replenish the native vegetation on the island. However, as one might expect, the plan is facing criticism. November 1, 2023 California, ABC7

More than Half of Catalina Island's Residents Publicly Oppose Proposed Senseless Slaughter of Its Entire Deer Population October 30, 2023 California, YAHOO!Finance

... plans to slaughter all California mule deer (about 1000) on the island, primarily by sharpshooters in helicopters ... The deer have been an integral part of the 48,000-acre island's culture, history and economy for nearly one hundred years... "Stop the Slaughter of Mule Deer on Catalina Island" petition...


How many mountain lions live in California? New research offers an answer October 19, 2023 Capital Public Radio

... The last time researchers guessed at the state's mountain lion population was in the 1980s. Now, decades later, new research says there’s about 4,500 mountain lions in California... the old number — which estimated there were about 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions in the state — was based on the amount of potential mountain lion habitat in California and an assumption on how many mountain lions would likely live in those areas..,


What roadkill can tell us about California's deer and mountain lion populations October 10, 2023 California, Capital Public Radio

... if you see a change in the number of road-killed deer, it means there's a change in the population. And we're seeing a 10% per year decline in the number of road-killed deer. And the most likely explanation is that it's because there's a decline in the population..,


Future of Catalina mule deer up to state October 6, 2023 California, The Catalina Islander

... The online petition at change.org was put up by Save Our Catalina Mule Deer. The petition disagrees with arguments made in the conservancy’s Private Land Management 118-page report to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The PLM document argues that eliminating the deer population is the most effective option for the Island...


Helicopter Hunt: California residents horrified by plan to curb island's deer population, 'violent and ugly' October 2, 2023 Fox

... Thousands of people signed a petition opposing a plan to use helicopter-mounted sharpshooters to curb the mule deer population ... 


Desperate to rid Catalina of invasive deer, officials propose bold helicopter hunt October 1, 2023 California, YAHOO!News

... Aplan to use helicopter-mounted sharpshooters to kill nearly 2,000 ... mule deer roaming the mountains of Santa Catalina Island has ignited a storm of protest among residents of the popular resort destination and prompted calls for state wildlife officials to block the hunt...


L.A. County search and rescue team saves deer stranded in debris basin September 26, 2023 California, YAHOO!News

...  members of the team used a winch truck to lower the fish and wildlife official into the basin.  The deer was then placed securely in a litter, lifted out of the debris basin and put in the back of a fish and wildlife truck...


California Roadkill Data Shows Decline of Mule Deer, Coyote September 25, 2023 California, ucdavis.edu

     The number of mule deer, coyote and other wildlife getting hit by vehicles on California’s roadways is falling, signaling a decline in some key animal populations in the state, according to an annual report from the Road Ecology Center at University of California, Davis... In the case of mule deer, the reduction in collisions indicate a roughly 10% population decline every year for seven years..,


Conservationists stunned after spotting family of famously endangered animals September 18, 2023 California, The Cool Down

... spotted in the Sequoia National Forest ... the five gray wolves were not previously documented, and they were found hundreds of miles away from the next nearest pack in Lassen Park in the northeast of the state...


Large Herbivores Can Help Prevent Massive Wildfires September 9, 2023 Scientific American

... In 2022, California’s black-tail deer and mule deer populations was estimated to be around 475,000 according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, a sharp reduction from about two million back in 1960. This decline has contributed significantly to an accumulation of flammable vegetation since one deer can consume about seven pounds of vegetation per day, about 2,555 pounds annually...


US 101 in Northern California adopts tech system to offset wildlife-vehicle collisions August 28, 2023 California, SFGate

... A multiagency effort to help prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions, expected to go live in 2024, requires placing transmitting collars on elk, which will activate signage to warn drivers that an elk is nearby. Researchers are targeting female elk, called cows, for the collars because they are philopatric and remain in one area ...


New Gray Wolf Pack Confirmed in Tulare County August 11, 2022 California Department of Fish and Wildlife

... California has a new gray wolf pack in Tulare County, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced today. This is the Golden State’s southernmost pack and it is at least 200 air miles from the nearest known pack in northeastern California...


Notice of Proposed Changes in Regulations On Cervides to mitigate Chronic Wasting Disease Risk August 4, 2023 California Department of Fish and Game Commission

   A notice of proposed changes in regulations pertaining to mitigating risks for cervid importation and movement has been posted to the  Commission's website. The notice and associated documents can be accessed at: https://fgc.ca.gov/Regulations/2023-New-and-Proposed#257.5


L.A. looks to tighten rules for single-family homes in part of Santa Monica Mountains July 30, 2023 California, Los Angeles Times

... The rules would make it harder to build mansions and additions, as well as bigger homes on steep hillsides. It would add regulations to limit development near open space, protect soil and trees, and consider the pathways of wildlife, such as deer, bobcats or mountain lions...


Man tries to stop deer poaching problem on American River Parkway June 20, 2023 California, YAHOO!News

...“There is a beautiful, healthy deer herd. It has been this way for decades, but there has been a consistent poaching threat on that deer herd right here in the American River Parkway,” said Capt. Patrick Foy, of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife... Youtube Video


San Jose Firefighters Rescue Fawn After a ‘Concerned Citizen’ Brought the Animal In April 30, 2023 California, Yahoo

... According to the Red Creek Wildlife Center, there are a few signs which can tell you when a fawn is dehydrated or malnourished. Most obviously, the fawn may be found with injuries, or alongside a deceased mother. In these cases, immediate rescue is ideal. If a fawn appears healthy but alone, the wildlife center recommends observing from a distance for about a day...


First Case Of SARS-CoV-2 In California Wildlife Confirmed In A Mule Deer April 26, 2023 CDFW News

... One hunter-harvested mule deer, a buck from El Dorado County, was confirmed to be infected with SARS-CoV-2... In California, SARS-CoV-2 has been confirmed in pets and zoo animals, but never in free-ranging wildlife...


Video Below:  SPCA Monterey County asks community to leave deer alone after three reported fawn deaths | Read more: https://kion546.com - April 17, 2023 California

Unprecedented wolf attacks in California lead to dramatic helicopter capture April 3, 2023 SFGate

... Since September, wolves in the Whaleback Pack have killed more than 20 cows and injured another half-dozen across Siskiyou County ... The uptick in depredations is likely happening both because the pack has extra mouths to feed and because the region has few elk and deer, which are usually gray wolves' preferred food source ...


Project 1555: Improving Forest Resilience on Modoc National Forest, March 2023, Environmental Compliance Documents | Sierra Nevada Conservancy

...Funding for the California Deer Association to partner with Modoc National Forest to implement conifer thinning, fuels reduction, and the creation of fuels management zones in Modoc County:


Belvedere considering use of federal snipers to kill all coyotes in city March 4, 2023 California, ABC7 News

... The residents say the predator population is exploding and as a result, deer, raccoons and squirrels have all but disappeared. And, so are the pets... [Just a few years ago the city was investigating deer population control]


California snowpack hits highest level this century for March, could soon become biggest ever March 3, 2023 San Francisco Chronicle

... California water officials on Friday recorded the biggest accumulation of statewide snow this century for the start of March, a bounty that is likely to grow with coming storms – and further ease the state’s drought-time water shortages... [very hard on deer populaions unable to move through the snow] ... 


Mule Deer Fights Off A Mountain Lion In Wild Vintage Footage February 17, 2023 California, Whiskey Riff

... an estimate of 4,000 to 6,000 ... mountain lions ...according to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.   ... Each mountain lion eats around 48 “deer sized animals” per year, which puts the total number of deer consumed by mountain lions ... at around 192,000 to 288,000 per year...


Caltrans, California Department Of Fish And Wildlife And Brightline Agree To Build Wildlife Overcrossings For Rail Project February 15, 2023 California, CDFW News

.... The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Brightline West have entered into an agreement to design and construct three wildlife overcrossings across Interstate 15 (I-15) and the future Brightline West high-speed rail system connecting Las Vegas and Southern California...


The end of an era: The long, lonely days of Mount Madonna’s last white deer February 4, 2023 California, Mercury News

... The small white doe is the sole survivor of a large and cherished herd of fallow deer created by famed publisher William Randolph Hearst, gifted to cattle baron Henry Miller, bought by Santa Clara County and then expanded by the addition of a smaller herd seized during a raid of an illegal farm in Morgan Hill...


Presidio of Monterey assessing deer population on post January 27, 2023 California, The United States Army

... a vehicle driving at speeds of between 5 and 10 mph on the Presidio’s main roads. At night, personnel used high-lumen spotlights to see the ungulates... Officials plan to hold two more later this year and hope to repeat the process for another four years.  “That’s how you can get a baseline understanding and statistically significant understanding of your population,” Parish said. “It takes about five years.”...


California Mountain Lion Slaughters 27 Lambs but Did Not Eat a Single One January 13, 2023  Newsweek

... A farmer living in Lower Lake, in Lake County, noticed the dead lambs last week and notified the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The lion had killed the livestock but had not eaten them...


Is it Safe? UCLA-led Research on Why Some Animals Fear Using Wildlife Crossings December 27, 2022 California, Sierra Sun Times

... Their study, published in the journal PLOS One, shows that these animals were less likely to use the undercrossing after they had displayed a “vigilant,” or fear-based, response to passing vehicles on the road over the crossing... wildlife managers should focus closely on animals’ perceptions of their environment when designing wildlife under- and overcrossing structures ...


Mountain Lion P-22 Compassionately Euthanized Following Complete Health Evaluation Results December 17, 2022 California, CDFW News

... After receiving a comprehensive medical evaluation, CDFW has received a clear picture of the mountain lion P-22’s medical condition and overall health. He had several severe injuries and chronic health problems. Based on these factors, compassionate euthanasia under general anesthesia was unanimously recommended by the medical team at San Diego Zoo Safari Park ...


There Is Good News for California's Endangered Gray Wolves December 12, 2022 Inside Edition

... Congratulations to two endangered gray wolves in California on the birth of eight pups, the largest litter in 100 years, according to the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife...


Video shows mountain lion drag border collie from Northern California home December 8, 2022 KTLA

... The dog was eventually rescued and survived... But the cougar remained outside the house and continued staring through the glass door for several hours...


California Department of Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service Team Up to Evaluate P-22 December 8, 2022 CDFW News

... P-22 has been reported near human dwellings close to his habitat in Griffith Park. Reports include sightings, video camera recordings and physical encounters with the lion. P-22 is a remarkably old cat in the wild and, after being deemed responsible for killing a leashed pet last month, may be exhibiting signs of distress..,


Coordinated animal poaching crew in Ventura County busted by Fish and Wildlife December 6, 2022 California, KTLA

...  Fish and Wildlife officials allege that the group was responsible for an undetermined amount of illegal kills over the years, including dozens of deer and several bears, and either simply didn’t report the kills or used fraudulent tags in an attempt to cover their tracks...


Rare footage captured of 4 mountain lions together in Santa Cruz County December 5, 2022 California, SFGate

...  A trail camera captured a group of four mountain lions following behind a deer in Soquel... The department isn’t seeing an increase in mountain lion spotting in the Santa Cruz area, but they say they are in other parts of the state...


Large and probably in charge November 27, 2022 California, tehachapinews.com

... The deer in the Tehachapi Mountains carry the genes of both California Mule Deer [generally have a white tail that ends in a black tip] and Black-tailed Deer [entire tail black]  in a process known as intergradation... 


Wildlife to have year-round access to water November 13, 2022 California, Times Chronicle

... The Southern Interior Land Trust has purchased 16.6 hectares of slope on Anarchist Mountain to help wildlife with year-round access to water ... provide spring range for mule deer, and habitat for many species-at-risk, such as badger ...


Unintended consequences of species translocations: changes in distribution and habitat selection of mule deer following introduction of elk - California Fish and Wildlife Journal, 2022

... Our results indicated that mule deer exhibited a shift in their core distribution by approximately 5.72 km after the introduction of elk. Mule deer changed their use of habitat by selecting shallower slopes, more north-facing aspects, and areas farther from the elk release site, where most of the elk congregated. Mule deer selected habitats with more pinyon-juniper tree cover and mixed shrublands prior to the elk translocation, indicating a potential tradeoff in thermal cover and forage quality...


SPCA offering free deer whistles to drivers in Monterey County November 4, 2022 California, KSBW

... According to the SPCA, "when mounted to a vehicle, car, truck or motorcycle moving at 35 mph or faster, the deer whistle makes a sound that alerts deer of the approaching vehicle." ...


Use of aerial distance sampling to estimate abundance of tule elk across a gradient of canopy cover and comparison to a concurrent fecal DNA spatial capture-recapture survey  2022 California

... Here, we evaluated the utility of aerial multiple

covariate distance sampling (MCDS) to estimate abundance of three populations of tule elk

(Cervus canadensis nannodes) in northern California... While SCR efforts were more precise and less expensive overall, our MCDS approach reduced staff time by 64% (587 person-hours) and the number of survey days by 87% (64 days). Our results suggest MCDS methods can produce reliable abundance estimates across a gradient of canopy cover, particularly when observations can be pooled across populations to decrease variance...


USAG Presidio of Monterey advises wildlife caution October 14, 2022 California, U.S. Army

... Of the 22 documented mountain lion attacks in California since 1986, half of them have been on children ages 10 and younger, according to California Department of Fish and Wildlife statistics...


SPCA Monterey County advises caution on roads during deer mating season October 6, 2022 California, The Monterey County Herald 

... SPCA is also offering free Save-A-Deer whistles ... mounted to a vehicle ...Though not a fool-proof safety measure, deer usually react to the whistle by stopping, looking and listening to determine if they are being threatened ...


New Law To Make Roads Safer For Wildlife Crossings October 2, 2022 California, SFGate

... The bill, labeled the Safe Roads and Wildlife Protection Act, recognizes how building roads in the middle of habitats and animal migration patterns can make essential species like mountain lions, elk and deer roadkill. It received bipartisan support in the legislature...


Deer takes 2 mile swim in Pacific Ocean, then rests in backyard of gated community September 19, 2022 California, East Bay Times

... A deer swam an estimated two miles in the Pacific Ocean off Laguna Beach on Sunday, through surf as high as 4 feet and over submerged rocks, before eventually finding a safe haven in an Emerald Bay backyard...


Mosquito Fire: Man stays behind to feed deer and protect home from looters September 14, 2022 California, CBS News

... "If you spend enough time with them, you become attached, and I just had to make sure," Heller said. "I see them in a panic mode you can read 'em." ...


Animal crossings to protect wildlife could be coming to these Northern California highways August 31, 2022 California, Record Searchlight

... Future projects include a $10-$15 million overcrossing on Highway 97 in Siskiyou County... Raccoons, squirrels, elk and deer fare worst on North State highways ...


Two deer rescued from Coachella Canal in Indio Monday morning August 1, 2022 California, YAHOO!News

... A passerby reported two deer in the canal ... multiple agencies worked together to pull the wayward animals to safety...


California Legislature Approves State Senator Bill Dodd's Big Game Conservation Bill July 3, 2022 Sierra Sun Times

... Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, announced last Friday the Legislature has approved his proposal to help ensure the conservation of big game habitats in California through public-private partnerships with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife...


Karuk ecological fire management practices promote elk habitat in northern California. 2022 - Journal of Applied Ecology

... After a century of fire suppression and accumulating fuel loads in North American forests, prescribed burns are increasingly used to prevent conditions leading to catastrophic megafire. There is widespread evidence that prescribed fire was used by Indigenous communities to manage natural and cultural resources for thousands of years...  Our results suggest that transitioning to prescribed burns that more closely follow Karuk traditional ecological knowledge will promote elk habitat in the region...


 A New Preserve Secures California's Crossroad May 26, 2022 The Nature Conservancy

... dozens of deer that biologists will track across California’s Tehachapi and Southern Sierra Nevada region. The information gathered will help the state estimate population numbers, track home range and movement patterns, and log birth and mortality rates—all crucial drivers for managing deer ...


Video Below:  Black-tailed Deer foraging in Yosemite Valley, CA.  Yosemite lies near the transition zone between two mule-deer subspecies: the Columbian black-tailed deer, which is really a Pacific Northwest creature, and the California mule deer. - May 24, 2022

Animal Crossing Over Busy California Freeway to Break Ground March 25, 2022 Bill McEwen

... billed as the world’s largest wildlife crossing ...stretching 200 feet above 10 highway lanes ... The bridge will give big cats, coyotes, deer, lizards, snakes and other creatures a safe route to open space in the Santa Monica Mountains ...


When wolves returned to California, so did ‘crazy’ rumors March 14, 2022 Seattle Times

... There are an estimated 6,000 wolves in the lower 48 states. California’s current wolves dispersed from three modern populations: Yellowstone, Idaho and northwest Montana... The last of the state’s original wild wolves was killed by a hunter in Lassen County in Northern California in 1924...


New Camera Study Tracks Wildlife Migration to Reduce Collisions Along I 395 March 10, 2022 Public News Service

... he road cuts off the migration pattern for many different species.  "The mule deer, coyotes, pronghorn, elk, black bears, mountain lions," ...  from 2016 to 2021 there were almost 350 large wildlife collisions - mostly mule deer - on a 60-mile stretch ...


Mountain Lion Sighting in Silver Lake Stuns the Neighborhood March 8, 2022 California, NBC Los Angeles

... north of downtown Los Angeles ... The mountain lion, likely famed P-22, was wearing a tracking collar. ...  about 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions in California, but wildlife officials call that a crude estimate ..,


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...


Boeing donates $1 million towards California wildlife crossing February 4, 2022  TheHill

... will be the largest in the world, stretching over Liberty Canyon and spanning 1,600 feet. The goal is to re-establish a key connectivity path, inspired by a mountain lion known as P-22 that miraculously crossed two of the busiest freeways in the country in order to make a home for itself in the middle of Los Angeles...


Californians probably won’t be eating roadkill this year, despite a much-hyped state law February 1, 2022 Janesville Gazette

... Despite headlines in 2019 that made it seem like roadkill dinners would soon be legal, the bill itself never formally made it so ... funding never materialized ...


Big Game Hunting (Petition 2021-017) Workshop January 14, 2022 California, CDFW News

    The California Fish and Game Commission invites you to a workshop to discuss a petition (2021-017) that proposes a number of regulation changes related to big game mammal hunting.  When:  January 27, 2022 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Where:  Webinar using the Zoom platform - Instructions for joining

     Materials for the workshop are the same as those for the January 13, 2022 Wildlife Resources Committee meeting, and also will be posted with the workshop agenda on the Commission’s 2022 meetings page.


Acrobatic Mountain Lion Balances on Fence at Hollywood Hills Home January 7, 2022 NBC Los Angeles, NBC Los Angeles

... There are about 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions in California, but wildlife officials call that a crude estimate without an ongoing statewide study...


Conservationists create a vast home on the eco-range for wildlife north of L.A. December 24, 2021 California,  Los Angeles Times

... Bear Mountain is among the latest additions to ... the nonprofit Nature Conservancy ...  6,805 feet above sea level is a refuge for mountain lions, mule deer and bobcats ...


How wildlife experts say you can prevent poaching on the American River Parkway December 16, 2021 California, KCRA

... Under a 2017 law, poachers now face fines of up to $40,000 for killing trophy deer... To report any suspicious activity, call 888-334-CALTIP ...


Memorial to the White Deer of Mission Hills December 9, 2021  San Diego, California - Atlas Obscura

...  a memorial to a white fallow deer named Lucy... Lucy roamed Presidio Park and the Mission Hills neighborhood for more than a decade, becoming a beloved local celebrity...


What Will a Wildlife Crossing in Gaviota Look Like? December 7, 2021 California, The Santa Barbara Independent

... the Gaviota study showed that cars took their toll on amphibians, reptiles, birds, and insects, but it was mammals that were either recorded or killed the most. Mule deer led the list, followed by the California vole, gray fox, raccoon, and mountain lion...


Pacific Grove group looks to spread deer safety awareness December 4, 2021 California, The Monterey County Herald

... the Pacific Grove Deer Awareness  [Facebook page]...  work to spread awareness of how to protect deer in Monterey County... this group primarily works to educate the public through the distribution of informational rack cards explaining how to prevent harm to local deer...


Roadkill runs rampant on 280 November 29, 2021 California, Scot Scoop News

... According to a new report by the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Davis, the Peninsula I-280 was named the deadliest highway for wildlife in all of California... Fencing off the highways, wildlife overpasses, and underpasses are proposed solutions ...


Drivers in Bear Valley Springs advised to beware of elk, deer currently in mating season November 19, 2020 California, KGET.com

... Officials said an elk needed to be euthanized after it was hit by a driver in the area of Arroyo Court and Bear Valley Road...


Mountain Lion Leisurely Strolls on Sidewalk Past Hollywood Hills Home November 15, 2021 California, NBC Los Angeles

... was wearing a tracking collar ... There are about 4,000 to 6,000 mountain lions in California, but wildlife officials call that a crude estimate without an ongoing statewide study. More than half of the state is considered prime habitat ...


UC Davis Study Says Animal Crossings Could Save California Billions  November 11, 2021California, Good Day Sacramento

... “Recently, I saw a deer running across the road that had a broken leg,” said Sacramento resident Derek Bratton, who can’t shake the image...“Wildlife crossings are bridges or roads, across highways that allow wildlife to walk from their summer home to their winter home, fencing the highways to keep wildlife off the roads,” ...


Video below:  California firefighters rescue deer from canal November 8, 2021 UPI.com

...  the exhausted deer was unable to climb the steep walls of the canal...

After California's 3rd-largest wildfire, deer returned home while trees were 'still smoldering'  October 28, 2021 Phys.org

... researchers ... were able to track a group of black-tailed deer during and after California's third-largest wildfire ...  Of the 18 deer studied, all survived... all of the deer returned soon after the fire. Deer from burned areas had to work harder and travel farther to find green vegetation, and researchers noticed a decline in body condition in some of these animals ...  [the research was published in the journal Ecology and Evolution]


4 deer mysteriously found dead in a California yard after storm. What killed them? Octobet 28, 2021 Sacramento Bee

... The deer had burn marks on their bodies ... and all four deer were lying next to Lobo’s metal fence ... “Lightning or some kind of electrical discharged seemed to be the cause of death there,” Swanson said. “They were all touching the metal fence when I found them...


Bear incidents are rising in the North Bay. Biologists sent in a wildlife tracker to find out why October 4, 2021 California, San Francisco Chronicle

... Estimates from Fish and Wildlife put the state black bear population at 30,000 to 40,000 in 2016, up from 10,000 to 15,000 in 1992... “The fires are often creating more food forage-ability for bears,” Walla-Murphy said. “We see deer and foxes and bobcats come back right away as well. The animals know how to live with fire.” ...


Fawn rescued after being shot with arrow in California  September 29, 2021 KMOV.com

... An arrow pierced through a fawn in a California forest.  “It’s a violation, Fish and Game code ... taken to Sierra Wildlife Rescue...


California Drivers Reminded to Watch out for Wildlife September 29, 2021 CDFW News

     After yet another serious fire season, about 2 million acres of forest have burned, and many of the animals who live there have been temporarily displaced. They may be crossing roads and highways in search of suitable habitat, often with their young in tow.  According to the California Highway Patrol, there were 1,791 traffic collisions with animals in 2020, which – perhaps due to fewer people commuting to work during the pandemic – is an improvement from the 2,204 accidents from the year before.


When It comes to wildlife crossings, California must catch up September 14, 2021 Capitol Weekly

...There were more than 25,000 reported vehicle collisions with large mammals like deer between 2015 to 2018, according to the UC Davis Road Ecology Center... The California Department of Fish and Wildlife published a report that identifies priority wildlife movement barrier locations throughout the state...


Wildlife Conservation Board Grants $20 Million To Construction Of Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Overpass Crossing, 26 Other Projects August 30, 2021 California, CDFW News

... The Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) approved an augmented grant of $20 million for construction of the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Overpass Crossing over U.S. Highway 101 in the Liberty Canyon area of Los Angeles County... 


Mountain Lion Dispatched After Attack Near Calabasas August 28, 2021 California, CDFW News

...The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) confirmed that a mountain lion shot and killed by a wildlife officer was the one responsible for injuring a five-year-old boy Thursday near Calabasas in Los Angeles County. The boy is in stable condition...


Information Received Regarding Gray Wolf in Kern County August 28, 2021 California, CDFW News

...Earlier this week, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) received trail camera video from May 15, 2021 showing a collared gray wolf in southwest Kern County...


  Deer Pierced By Arrow In Nevada City August 23, 2021 California, CBS Sacramento

.....  a deer with an arrow through its side Saturday night out her window—and two coyotes closing in...


Hungry deer, shrinking ponds, speeding golf balls: the drought's toll around Berkeley August 15, 2021 California, Berkeleyside

... ll of us are seeing the results of the drought and many neighborhoods are seeing deer, turkeys, foxes, coyotes and crows, descending from the hills in search of water and food...


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,..


More 'good fire' could help California control future catastrophes July 27, 2021 

National Geographic 

... Prescribed burns are one of the essential tools of modern fire prevention, and researchers at the Berkeley forest have spent decades experimenting with them ... setting intentional fires frequently. Some fires cleared out underbrush so deer and other animals could move freely...


No Time To Waste: Keep CWD Away July 23, 2021 California, CDFW

... “Our big game hunters have been incredible partners in this effort and should be proud,” said Dr. Brandon Munk, CDFW wildlife veterinarian. “The potential for this deadly disease to spread to California remains very real. We all need to remain vigilant and adhere to CWD best practices. That includes testing harvested animals, following safety recommendations when cleaning and handling game, knowing and abiding by state regulations when transporting harvested deer or elk meat into California from out of state.” ...


What's a guzzler, and how does it help Siskiyou County's wildlife in a drought? July 21, 2021 Califorhia,Siskiyou Daily News

... These large plastic or aluminum water collection devices – 240 of them – are scattered throughout the Klamath and Shasta-Trinity national forests in Siskiyou County.... slightly below ground level ... $5,000 to repair guzzlers and pay for the fuel necessary for water trucks  ...


An Effort to Expand Chino Hills State Park Moves Forward July 16, 2021 California, VoiceofOC

... California’s largest urban area state park is set to become even bigger... The money came from California’s Wildlife Conservation Board, which provided around $3 million from a fund designated to conserve deer and mountain lion habitats...


California game wardens used DNA evidence to prove man illegally killed eight deer July 14, 2021 Sacramento Bee

... lab determined that the meat came from eight separate deer, seven of them does ...  wasted meat from some of the carcasses. He carved off the "good cuts," Naylor said. "The rest were just dumped." ...


AHD, Disease outbreak found in deer in counties including Kern July 13, 2021 California, KGET.com

... outbreaks of adenovirus hemorrhagic disease ... Anyone who sees a deer with symptoms including foaming at the mouth, diarrhea, regurgitation or seizures is asked to submit a report to the department here....


Adenovirus Hemorrhaging Disease Reported In Deer July 7, 2021 California, Patch.com, Press release from Lindsay Wildlife Experience:

... outbreaks of adenovirus hemorrhagic disease (AHD) and is monitoring deer mortality in their natural habitats and at fawn rehabilitation facilities. The deaths have occurred primarily in fawns and juvenile deer, but have also been identified in adult deer. Outbreaks have been confirmed in Napa, Nevada and Kern counties with suspected cases in other counties. State wildlife officials believe AHD may be widespread in California this year..,

California wildlife: Will crossings keep animals safe? July 6, 2021 The Reporter

... Despite its environmentally-aware reputation, the Golden State lags in building these crossings. The Liberty Canyon overpass would be California’s first bridge on the state highway system designed specifically for fostering wildlife connectivity...


Flurry of mountain lion sightings in Petaluma neighborhoods July 1, 2021 California, KTVU San Francisco

... They may be wandering further than usual due to the drought and a shrinking deer population... "It's pretty unusual for them to show themselves, they're pretty sneaky,"...


‘It’s Always Fatal’: Wildlife Rescuer Warns Homeowners About Spiked Wrought Iron Fencing Killing Deer June 8, 2021 California, CBS Local 

... No deer survives being impaled,” said Dave Cook, a fawn rehabber with Sierra Wildlife Rescue.  Many of the babies Cook helps have been orphaned after their mom tried to jump over a spiked fence but didn’t make it all the way... immediately impaled and then kicks and screams and rips its stomach open ...

$25 Million Challenge Grant Made For Wildlife Crossing In Agoura Hills May 15, 2021 California, CBS Local

...  The crossing, expected to be the largest of its kind in the world, will provide a connection between the small population of mountain lions in the Santa Monica Mountains and the larger and genetically diverse populations to the north...


Another gray wolf has made its way to Northern California May 9, 2021 msnNOW

...He’s the second documented wolf to do so this year, wandering hundreds of miles south before arriving in northeastern Siskiyou County on May 4. Though his pack of origin remains unknown,.,


Drawings for 'Golden Opportunity' open zone deer tags to benefit wildlife conservation April 27, 2021 California, Lake County News

... tags allow hunters to take any legal buck by any legal means anywhere in the state beginning July 10, 2021, through the end of the year... In 2019, Golden Opportunity tags brought an average price of $48,200 each...


Mule Deer Migrations and Highway Underpass Usage in California 2021, The Journal of Wildlife Management 

... Overall, our study indicated that although underpasses can provide safe passage for migratory deer decades (>40 yr) after their construction, deteriorating infrastructure such as fencing and gates can lead to wildlife mortalities on highways near underpasses ...


If You Care, Leave Them There: CDFW Urges Public to Leave Deer Fawns Alone April 12, 2021 California, CDFW News

... Adult female deer often stash their fawns in tall grass or brush for many hours while they are out foraging for food.  “It is a very common mistake to believe a fawn has been abandoned when it’s found alone, even if the mother has not been seen in the area for a long period of time,” ..,


How California snared two elite hunters posting 'once a lifetime' kills on social media  April 7, 2021 MSN

...  the wardens said they found enough evidence the men were hunting deer using bait... failure to report harvested deer as required by law, intentionally misrepresenting the location of their kills, and trespassing... 


Horses and deer April 1 2021 California, AGInfo Ag Information Network Of The West

... they studied deer and wild horses in the mountains of California and northern Nevada border. And they found that deer and wild horses are commensal. That means that they can share the same division and they'll have a one percent grazing overlap...


By avoiding pumas, deer are drastically changing the vegetation in their environments March 25, 2021 California, Massive Science

...New research published in Ecosphere has found that black-tailed deer in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California are spending more time in the forest areas closer to human habitation... not due to tastier or better quality plants ...because pumas are afraid of the nearby humans and so they don’t like going into those areas...


California grasses are perfect choice for our landscapes March 19, 2021 The Union of Grass Valley

... all grasses, deer won’t bother them... California fescue is native to our area and much of northern California...


Bills Seek to Conserve Public Lands and Rivers Across California March 3 2021 California, The Pew Charitable Trusts

... The Rim of the Valley Corridor Preservation Act would expand the existing area to better protect open space for local communities and maintain a vital wildlife corridor for mountain lions, bobcats, deer, and many other species...


More than 1,700 acres of rolling SLO County ranchland now protected as wildlife preserve January 24, 2021 California, SanLuisObispo

...  The Conservation Fund bought the ranch for $8 million in May 2020... “the land is full of wildlife. It’s been nice and quiet out there for a long time, with birds using the lake, deer everywhere” and signs of all kinds of other creatures...


Wild Horses, Part of Romantic West, Are Causing Havoc in Northeast California January 19, 2021 California, KQED

... The local deer herd numbers are in decline. There used to be tens of thousands in what's known as the Interstate Deer Herd. Just a couple of years ago they counted under 5,000...


New study reveals how fences hinder migratory wildlife in the West  January 13, 2021 California, 7th Space

... wildlife biologists at the University of California, Berkeley, combined GPS location data of tagged mule deer and pronghorn with satellite imagery of fences to find out just how often these animals encounter fences ... seeing such frequent encounters, 40% of which result in a failure to cross, is kind of mind-blowing ...


Era of 'good fire', collaborative vegetation management is here: “Prescribed Burning" panel discussion Jan 15.  January 11, 2021 California, Sonoma County Gazette

...in the year following a controlled burn in grassland or oak savannah, an increase in the presence of deer is commonly noted due to improved forage quality...


  Crews Save Deer Entangled In A Hammock After Months-Long Rescue Effort December 31, 2020 California, CBS Local

... He’s been roaming neighborhoods around Lake Natoma since the summer, but rescuers finally tracked him down a few days before Christmas...


Ishi Wilderness Is a Portal Into the Indigenous History of California December 27, 2020 California, Sierra Magazine

... The Tehama deer—the largest migratory deer herd in California, some 20,000 strong—still find a home there... Ishi was very likely the last uncontacted Indigenous person in North America ... his "surrender" ...  represented the final encounter between intact Paleolithic culture and industrial society on this continent...


‘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...


Elk in Tehachapi: a big cow herd at rest December 14, 2020 California, Tehachapi News

... The rarest are Tule Elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes), which are native to the Tehachapi Mountains and were hunted by Nuwä (Kawaiisu or Paiute) Indian people. While they were reduced to a single pair of elk by 1875, they managed to survive and reproduce and there are now more than 4,000 Tule Elk in the state..,


Kernville deer wrapped in orange plastic netting tranquilized, rescued by local game wardens November 19, 2020 California, The Bakersfield Californian

... an adolescent deer in Kernville with orange plastic construction fencing stuck around its neck and front leg ..."That kind of fencing can cause strangulation,"  ... took the deer down with the tranquilizer gun....


CA Rules to Save Bees From Spooky Pesticides Need More Work October 27, 2020 California, Natural Resources Defense Council

... restrictions to protect bees, birds, fish, and water supplies from neurotoxic neonicotinoid insecticides (AKA, “neonics”) ... massive losses of honey bees threatening food security and agricultural economies, dramatic collapses of bird (see here and here) and fish populations, birth defects in white-tailed deer, and soil and water contamination from coast to coast...


Eastern Sierra Land Trust Secures Conservation Easement for Historic Hunewill Ranch October 21, 2020 California, Sierra Wave

... By agreeing not to subdivide and develop the ranch, the Hunewills are preserving a critical migration route and securing habitat for a variety of wide-ranging wildlife such as sage-grouse, black bear, American badger, and mule deer...


Here is what state is doing to stop CWD in California's elk, deer October 4, 2020 Redding Record Searchlight

... a goal of testing 600 cervids statewide during this year’s hunting seasons as a step toward increasing surveillance to around 2,000 animals per year in the future.  CDFW has been testing for CWD since 1999, averaging about 300 tests annually ...


Bay Area Wildfires Chase Wildlife Out of Usual Habitats September 17, 2020 California, NBC Connecticut

... park rangers say they've seen larger herds of deer as well as turkeys searching for new places to live ...


As fire burns, activists sneak into Point Reyes to bring water to parched elk. Should they? September 1, 2020 California, L.A. Times

... "If the park service refuses to care for the animals that they are mandated by law to preserve, then others have to step in," said Fleur Dawes ...  the Center for Biological Diversity, urged the park service to provide water to the elk and remove an eight-foot high wire fence that runs across the peninsula, preventing the free movement of the elk... "That’s a total violation of working within the realm of the national parks," [National Park Service wildlife ecologist Dave Press] ...


CWC's Patient of the Week: Mule deer fawn August 5, 2020 California, The Malibu Surfside News

... Deer are prone to a condition called capture myopathy, which is caused by stress when they are handled or trapped by people or predators. Extreme overexertion and strain of the nervous system can lead to muscular breakdown... Once it occurs, rehabilitators can only provide supportive care ... Staff tried hand-feeding the deer wild grape leaves ...


A rare disease is killing Northern California deer. Here’s what you should look out for August 3, 2020 Sacramento Bee

... an outbreak of adenovirus hemorrhagic disease... Sick animals may have excessive salivation such as drooling or foaming at the mouth, diarrhea, regurgitation or seizures. They often seek water ... The last large outbreak in California was in 1993 and 1994, when thousands grew sick and died in 17 California counties...


Patient of the week: Mule deer fawns July 22, 2020 California, The Malibu Surfside News

... California Wildlife Center is caring for five orphaned mule deer fawns... When the deer first arrive, they are bottle-fed goat's milk because it is gentle on the stomach. They are slowly transitioned to a milk replacement formula specific to their species... All five deer had to be treated for a viral infection ...


Off-leash dog fatally injured fawn at Cambria nature preserve. Its owners broke the law July 21, 2020 California, SanLuisObispo

... two strangers on their property who said their unleashed dog had pursued a fawn there ... After requesting that the men leave, the homeowners found the injured fawn trying to conceal itself under a shrub. Its back legs appeared to be broken and it was unable to stand...


Black-tailed deer ‘slightly overabundant’ in Marin County, study finds June 19, 2020 California, Marin Independent Journal

... survey of Marin County’s black-tailed deer found the local population is slightly overabundant, but coyotes may be playing a role in keeping the population in check... The study, published this year in The Journal of Wildlife Management ...


Elk Hoof Disease Detected in Del Norte County Herd, May 7, 2020 California, CDFW News

... The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has detected the state’s first cases of a potentially crippling hoof disease in two Roosevelt elk from a resident herd in Del Norte County.  Treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD) – commonly referred to as “elk hoof disease” – can cause deformed, overgrown and otherwise damaged hooves. The lesions and resulting deformities are painful and lead to limping, lameness and even death as observed in other states...


California Wildlife Officials to Study Protections For Mountain Lions April 16, 2020 California, Courthouse News Service

... Nearly a year after conservation groups petitioned to extend wildlife protections to imperiled California mountain lions, a state wildlife commission voted unanimously Thursday to initiate a study to determine whether the lions should be protected under the California Endangered Species Act... The California Department of Fish and Wildlife estimated in 1984 between 4,000 and 6,000 mountain lions ..,


Tuleyome Tales: Recovering from a wildfire April 8, 2020 California, Davis Enterprise

... In June 2018, the Pawnee Fire burned more than 15,000 acres in Lake County ... To track the return of fauna, 12 game cameras were purchased ...  a deer was not captured for a couple of months, after some rain encouraged plant regeneration. Initial captures of deer were limited to a single deer per image but soon pairs and trios were captured...


Overabundance of Black‐Tailed Deer in Urbanized Coastal California  BJ Furnas, RH Landers, RG Paiste, BN Sacks - The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2020

...  Our estimate of average deer density was 1.7–6.1 times higher than published density estimates for deer from elsewhere in California and on the low end of densities reported for mule and white‐tailed (O. virginianus) deer in regions where they routinely cause a nuisance to humans. High black‐tailed deer densities in Marin County may be partially attributed to a paucity of large predators, but more investigation is warranted to evaluate the effects of a recent increase in coyotes (Canis latrans) on the deer population. Analyses of

highway road kill rates and citizen science surveys suggest that the deer population in Marin County has been stable over the past 10 years...


Roosevelt elk collaring effort seeks to reduce conflicts along North Coast March 12, 2020 California, The Triplicate

... Despite their massive size and majestic appearance, Roosevelt elk have proved an elusive research subject because of the dense forests they inhabit... have affixed GPS tracking collars on 24 cow Roosevelt elk in Humboldt and Del Norte counties to monitor their movement and migration...


Convicted Poacher Fined $17,500 For Unlawful Take of Deer Over Bait March 2, 2020 California, CDFW News

... On Feb. 21, 2020, Woltering pled no contest in El Dorado Superior Court to one misdemeanor count of taking deer over bait. Because the buck was of “trophy” size, the penalties for the crime were enhanced. Woltering will serve three years’ probation, during which time he will be prohibited from hunting. He stipulated to the forfeiture of all seized items and paid a fine of $17,500..,


The Elephant in the room: What can we learn from California regarding the use of sport hunting of pumas (Puma concolor) as a management tool? John W. Laundré, Christopher Papouchis February 13, 2020 PlosOne

...  Our results indicated, respectively, that relative to the 10 states where puma are hunted, California had 1) similar puma densities, 2) the 3rd lowest per capita problematic puma-human encounters, 3) similar per capita loss of cattle (P = 0.13) and a significantly lower (t = 5.7, P < 0.001) per capita loss of sheep, and 4) similar average deer densities while changes in annual deer populations correlated with changes in other states (F = 95.4, P < 0.001, R2 = 0.68). In sum, our analysis of the records obtained from state and federal wildlife agencies found no evidence that sport hunting of pumas has produced the management outcomes sought by wildlife managers aside from providing a sport hunting opportunity...


California has fewer hunters than ever. Would waiving state fees revive the practice? February 20, 2020 Sacramento Bee

... Gallagher is trying to reverse a downward trend in hunting in the Golden State. In 1979, the state issued more than 530,000 hunting licenses; that number gradually declined over the decades, and in 2019, the state issued just over 244,000 licenses...


California man killed a trophy deer on his rural property. Now he’s facing a huge penalty February 6, 2020 Sacramento Bee

... will pay a $20,000 fine ... The hefty fine is one of the first under a law passed in 2017 ...

Key Research:  Long term trends in California's Deer Population, Reasons for the DeclineReport Roadkill to support research.


California data:  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDWF) estimated a range of 450,000 to 500,000 deer, about 475,000, in its 2023 and 2022 report to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA- a summary of WAFWA reports).  However, the estimated deer kill from the annual hunt fell by about 6 percent from 2022 to 2023, indicating a decline in the population toward the lower end of the estimated range.  The California Roadkill Observation System in its 2023 report also indicated a decline in the number of road-killed deer indicating a declining population.   In the 2023 report, the state indicated it was working to improve the accuracy of population estimates by "transitioning to integrated population modeling approaches that combine data from a variety of sources to generate population estimates."

Details for the data in the chart above that were taken from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) website and CDFW reports to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA).  The CDFW revised its population model around 2016 and 2017.  For 2013 through 2015, CDFW provided a population range estimate to WAFWA of 450,000 to 550,000, the gray dots and error bars in the chart, but later updated its estimates to 511,871 for 2014 and 649,338 for 2015.  The updated estimates propose that the deer population increased dramatically during one of the worst droughts in California history.  Water availability is highly correlated with fawn production.  The Nevada deer population declined during this period.


See the Long-term Deer Population Trend for estimates back to 1917 and for information on reasons for the decline from about 2 million around 1960 to current populations


In the 2022 report the state commented that: "The modeled 2022 pre-season deer population estimate for the hunted segment in California increased from the previous year to roughly 500,000 animals [The estimated range was 450,000 to 500,000]. This estimate has fluctuated between approximately 400,000 and 700,000 over the past 30 years [The 1990 estimate was 850,000]. These estimates are only for the hunted portion of the total deer population, which excludes most suburban deer... In some areas, deer are likely decreasing, such as the migratory populations in the Sierra Nevada, and the black-tailed deer populations in northwest California. In other areas deer are increasing, particularly non-migratory populations associated with suburbs and agricultural areas."

In 2023 a conservation group proposed killing all of the deer on Catalina Island. 


An estimate from the state of 460,420 deer in 2021 (p. 11), 458,00 blacktail and mule deer in 2020; 459,450 deer in 2019; and 470,000 in 2018.  Another estimate from the state of 533,000 in 2018.  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife's (CDFW) estimate of 532,621 for 2017, 621,082 in 2016, 649,338 in 2015 and 511,871 in 2014 is not consistent with previous reported estimates.  For example, there was previously an estimated 512,000 deer in 2015 up from 443,289 deer in 2014.   Both estimates, but most dramatically  CDFW acknowledges that a firm population number does not exist.


Mountain lion sightings in 2022 indicate an increase in the state population.

In 2019, blacktails were steady in suburban and foothill areas, and in Central valley river corridors, but migratory deer herds in the east are declining.  A picture taken of a tagged doe in 2019 was of a deer estimated to be 14 years old.


The drought had lasted for four years by deer season in 2016, with some check stations reporting very low deer taken.  The long-term declining deer population contributed to the controversy around the proposed reintroduction of wolves in 2016.  Hunting pressure was high in 2016 and 2017 with 176,000 deer tags issued.  A severe winter killed many deer in 2016-17 and floods in 2017 decimated deer herds along the Sacramento River.  Twice the normal rain in 2018 provided forage for deer.


Most of the mule deer are in the 17 X Zones which is less than 20 percent of the state.  The deer in the Tehachapi Mountains carry the genes of both California Mule Deer and Black-tailed Deer.


A guide to improving deer habitat in California.


Chronic Wasting Disease  Not reported yet in California.  Increased sampling in 2019.  


Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease (AHD) was first discovered first in California in 1993.   An outbreak in 2021.


Elk, an estimated 13,000 in 2017 and 2018, less than 10,000 in 2015.  A 2018 CDFW estimate puts the numbers at  5,700 Roosevelt Elk, 1,500 Rocky Mountain Elk, and 5,700 Yule Elk.  An estimate of more than 4,000 Tule Elk in 2020.   Tule elk once roamed in large herds near the Sierra Nevada mountains, reduced to a single pair of by 1875.  There were once more than 500,000 elk in California, by 1972 only a few of the smaller species remained.  With recovery effort, there about 1,600 in the 1960's.


Mountain lion  Three detailed studies reported in early 2024 estimated 4,500 to 3,200 lions. A population estimated at 4,500 in a 2023 study.  Estimated at around 4,000 to 6,000 in 2017 2018, 2021, and 2022 by CDFW, but based on an older analysis.  Estimated at 3,100 by mountainlion.org in 2015, thought to have recently peaked around 1996 at about 6,000 and was guessed to be about 4,000 in 2010, an estimate of 3,000 to 5,000 in 2013  About 600 in 1967, 2,400 in 1972.  at least 5,100 in the late 1980s, from 4,000 to 6,000 in 1984. About 2,400 in 1972 up from 600 in 1967. California hunters collected from $20 to $60 each for killing 12,461 mountain lions from 1907 to 1963..  Hunting lions was banned in 1990.  In 2024 a mountain lion killed one and injured another in El Dorado county.


Wolves, an estimated seven to ten wolves in 2019, six wolves in mid-2017, two adults and four pups.   A wolf migrated into Northern California from Oregon in 2021 and returned to southern California following a wildfire.  A new pack of 5 spotted in 2023.  Another new pack in 2024.


Bears  Estimates from Fish and Wildlife put the state black bear population at 30,000 to 40,000 in 2016, up from 10,000 to 15,000 in 1992

Report poaching:  Contact the 24-hour CalTIP hotline (888-334-2258) or send an anonymous text tip to 847411 (tip411). In the message, just text CALTIP followed by a space and then the information.


Useful Links:

- California Fish and Game Commission Meetings  

- California Roadkill Observation System Report what you see, the roadkill incidents are saved to a database that is mapped and used at U.C. Davis for Wildlife Research.

Siskiyou Deer and Puma Project

- Wildlife Observer:  Cam-WON provides a service to operators of wildlife cameras to manage their camera network in a web-based environment enabling sharing of photos and data from their projects.        

- Mendocino County Blacktail Deer Association

 -  Wildlife Fawn Rescue of Sonoma County Wildcare. An Organization Devoted to Living Well with Wildlife in San Rafael, California - Sierra Wild Life Rescue, Placerville   - Wildlife Fawn Rescue, Kenwood  -  Kindred Spirits Fawn, Loomis


Closure of California Deer Refuges:  The report is a result of public input and comments the department has gathered in regards to its proposal to eliminate the refuge status of 19 state game refuges, effectively opening those areas to hunting.  Given the long-term state policy of hunting bucks, not does, the sex and age structure of the wild deer in California is highly skewed.  Natural sex and age ratios are maintained in California in these refuges and other areas of California not open to hunting.  Refuges were originally created to maintain the deer population.