Contact Us; MDF Goals; People of MDF; MDF Annual 990’s ; MDF Functional Expense; Conservation. Best States For Mule Deer. 1). The most significant factor impacting mule deer populations in Colorado is quality and quantity of habitat. Population. 2018 Winter Deer Population Estimates and Population Objective Ranges D-4 Red Feather NE Yes 13,000 15,000 14,890 Within Objective D-5 Table Lands North NE No 2,400 2,700 3,290 Above Objective D-10 Big Thompson NE Yes 8,000 10,000 8,750 Within Objective D-17 Bailey NE Yes 7,500 8,300 8,240 Within Objective D-27 Boulder NE Yes 6,000 7,500 7,330 Within Objective Though isolated cases of disease have been observed throughout the West, most mule deer maintain an insular pattern of distribution. Three-year study finds white-tailed deer not affected. These factors include: habitat quality, habitat quantity, predators, disease and competition. There are 37 recognized mule deer herds in the state (Fig. One question that comes to mind for us is this: What part of a particular state are trophy entries coming from – is it scattered throughout the state or just a few select areas? Those herds, however, have been mostly stable or slowly increasing the past three years, according to the “2020 Range-Wide Status of Black-Tailed and Mule Deer… Ensuring the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer and their habitat. Mule deer populations in Western Colorado have been declining since the 1970s. “Throughout Wyoming, mule deer populations have declined by an estimated 168,000 (31 percent) since 2000. While there are many factors contributing to this decline, the loss and degradation of habitat have likely had the most impact on mule deer numbers. Other states seem to be better for non-typicals than typicals. In Boone and Crockett’s Trophy Search Database you can slice and dice the data a million ways to the moon if you want. 2021 Western Big Game Hunting Application Deadlines, YOUTH APPLICATION STRATEGY — Take Your Kids Hunting Part 3, Four winter tips for staying dialed during the offseason, Wyoming Backcountry Mule Deer Hunt Video Series With Randy Newberg, OUT WEST - A Wyoming Backcountry Archery Elk Hunt, Missouri’s first black bear season is on horizon, Let’s not forget that hunting is about hunting. Mule deer numbers over much of Montana experienced substantial declines from 2007 to 2011. Drought cycles have also had a profound impact on usable mule deer habitat and mule deer production. In my previous article, the topic of the winter of 2007-2008 played a prominent role in the storyline. Game and Fish: Western N.D. Mule Deer Population Increased Western North Dakota’s mule deer population increased 21 percent from last year, according to the state Game and Fish Department annual spring mule deer survey… Read More . 4) Iowa: Deer population around 400,000. Managing mule deer populations to provide opportunities for both hunting and appreciative recreation, and to reduce mule deer-human conflict, is a complex endeavor. Harvest numbers come from harvest reports submitted by successful hunters and data collected from meat locker records. The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) is a deer indigenous to western North America; it is named for its ears, which are large like those of the mule. Learn more . These declining herds are some of the largest populations in the state. Contact us to start a Mule Deer Foundation Chapter in your area Contact Us Deer population goals will be updated in 15 regional goal-setting blocks that are made of multiple deer permit areas. Conservation and restocking allowed whitetail populations to recover to about pre-colonization levels while blacktails and mule deer are below historic levels.A This table includes both the TYPICAL and NON-TYPICAL category. For example, densities of mule deer ranged from an estimated <1.2 deer/mi2 on private land in Colfax County to <1.9 deer/mi2 on New Mexico State University's Corona Range and L… Western Montana mule deer populations are still underperforming. New Mexico Mule Deer Hunting. Surveys during the 2012-13 period indicated improved recruitment and stable numbers in central and eastern Montana. Habitat, predation, populations numbers, etc… must all be in check for the animal to have the ability to produce a secondary sexual characteristic (antler growth) in the amount required for entry. Estimates of deer density were: White = rare, absent, or urban area with unknown population, Green = less than 15 deer per square mile, Yellow = 15 to 30 deer per square mile, Orange = 30 to 40 deer per square mile, or Red = greater than 45 deer per square mile. According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), the state’s current mule deer population of around 450,000 is about 25% below their objective.Populations have been declining over the last several decades due to human population growth resulting in habitat loss and vehicle collisions, as well as other factors like climate change, malnutrition, diseases like chronic wasting disease, and predation. Mule deer and other big game in Wyoming are managed based on a "herd unit" (or delineated population) concept. Are there some trends you can see when we compare the last 7 years to the last 3 years? The quality of habitat allows the mule deer to physically access the necessities for survival, which include forage for consumption and coverage for both thermal and predator protection. Below is the same breakdown using the Boone and Crockett Trophy Search Database. These declining herds are some of the largest populations in the state. Largest Deer Population By State. This includes over 430,000 mule deer and 280,000 elk, the largest elk population of any state. 8 with 7.7 deer per square mile. Every state with a significant whitetail population monitors that population through its Department of Natural Resources, Department of Conservation or similar agency. Mule Deer Population Decline . 12) Texas: Deer population around 4 million . The impact of disease on mule deer populations is difficult to assess. The extent of this impact is variable and based on several factors: the availability of hiding and stalking cover in relation to feeding and resting areas, the quantity and distribution of alternate prey species and the quantity and distribution of predator species that populate the mule deer range. Idaho jumps ahead of Utah for 3rd place but the biggest gee whiz is that Arizona makes its first appearance in any of these charts. The renowned White River herd in northwest Colorado has plummeted from more than 100,000 in the early 1980s to the current estimate of 32,000 deer. Now, being a plains state, there’s a lot of open ground in Oklahoma. Studies, states seek to halt mule deer population decline By BRETT FRENCH/Billings Gazette ... bears and lions are often blamed for limiting mule deer population rebounds. Estimates of deer density were: White = rare, absent, or urban area with unknown population, Green = less than 15 deer per square mile, Yellow = 15 to 30 deer per square mile, Orange = 30 to 40 deer per square mile, or Red = greater than 45 deer per square mile. 2) Oklahoma: Deer population around 500,000. Drought in 2018 reduced populations somewhat. Mule deer are particularly selective eaters. Colorado 's deer populations have fluctuated greatly in Colorado's history. At one time, elk were thinly dispersed throughout Arizona from the White and Blue mountains westward along the Mogollon Rim to near the San Francisco Peaks. Competition typically occurs where habitat is already limited, such as on critical winter ranges or the summer ranges of some drier units. 9) Arkansas: Deer population around 1.1 million. The QDMA spatial map depicting deer density (deer per square mile) was digitized across the eastern United States. Giant buck named “Drifter” taken off the coveted Arizona Strip by A3 Outfitters, Want to know where the big bucks are coming from, READ BELOW. Arizona Deer Population: A 2020 estimate of 178,000 deer, about 159,000 in 2017, 150,000 in 2016, and 159,000 in 2015. The population goals established in this process will provide direction for management over 10 years, with a midpoint review every five years. Some have more scientifically rigorous processes than others, based on their resources and management needs. Mule Deer Population 2016 . On CRLRC, mule deer densities declined from 1.9 deer/mi 2 in 2005 to 0.7 deer/mi 2 in 2008, highlighting the variation possible in deer populations in response to drought and other factors. A major decline was reported in 2002, and since then, estimates have remained relatively stable. Every year, CPW biologists take inventory of wildlife in Colorado. Causes are varied and can be difficult to identify. Mule Deer Population 2016 . According to Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), the state’s current mule deer population of around 450,000 is about 25% below their objective.Populations have been declining over the last several decades due to human population growth resulting in habitat loss and vehicle collisions, as well as other factors like climate change, malnutrition, diseases like chronic wasting disease, and predation. Mule Deer Population Decline . Numbers declined through about 2000 and since then have likely increased by about 10%. Whitetail populations, like deer populations in general, are an asset to a state's ecosystem and biodiversity when they are managed efficiently and kept in appropriate densities. The mule deer Mule deer populations have been dropping across the West for several years. So overall, the Montana mule deer population is up 36.9% the past seven years. Mule deer This deer's common name comes from its uniquely shaped, large ears. Ohio Mule deer numbers in the far western portions of the state have declined. While some moisture occurred statewide during the monsoon season followed by the 2011-2012 winter, 2012-2013 was one of the driest periods in recorded history. I always try to point out that a 180″ from a county we have never seen an entry from is just as important as a new world record. Are there fewer non-typical deer being harvested? The Area 10 mule deer population is one of the largest deer herds in the state, accounting for roughly 20 percent of the statewide mule deer population. 11) Indiana: Deer population around 1 million . Application season has come and gone, let’s have some fun and compare the tags that are now in your pocket to the Boone & Crockett Club database of where big bucks come from. Two subspecies of mule deer are grouped into the black-tailed deer. 5 Table 1. Four distinct hunting seasons define New Mexico mule deer hunting. Fortunately for you, New Mexico mule deer hunting benefits by the existence of two different sub species; the Rocky Mountain mule deer in the northern half of the state, and the desert mule deer in the southern half of the state. Conservation practices have proved so successful, in parts of their range, the white-tailed deer populations currently far exceed their cultural carrying capacity and the animal may be considered a nuisance. Boone and Crockett Club – Conservation First. The mule deer pop in Utah has been in a state of decline for over 40 years. However, where you find deer, you’ll usually find a lot of them. Justin E. Spring, Boone and Crockett Club Director of Big Game Records, recently told Muley Freak, “the basis of records from the beginning has been gauging wildlife management successes and failures. Critics of this article may be quick to dismiss this as the bemoaning of a mule deer trophy hunter. (KELO) — State big-game biologists are considering ways to rebuild South Dakota’s population of mule deer. That leaves you with the average number of whitetails per square mile. Mule deer habitat is being lost in many regions and dramatically fragmented in others due to human population growth, development and natural events. Pronghorn Herd Composition 2015 - 2019 (pdf) Pronghorn Population Estimates 2015 - 2019 (pdf) Elk. A part of northwestern Colorado dubbed the “mule-deer factory” for its history of producing large numbers of deer once boasted a population of more than 100,000. The size and condition of mule deer populations are largely determined by the quality of habitat. Mule deer populations peaked most recently in the early 1980s. Largest Deer Population By State. First, is the archery-only hunt in early September. Rather, declines could be attributed to a number of factors that often vary by region. Even if it only makes the minimum required score it’s still part of an important data set to gauge wildlife habitat and management. As a result, a growing and properly managed mule deer population helps make New Mexico a prime state for mule deer hunting. The statewide 2012 deer population estimate is 408,000, compared to 418,000 in 2011. The population declined from the 1980's, but somewhat stable since 2000. Two subspecies of mule deer are grouped into the black-tailed deer. However, after their most recent highs in the mid-1980s, herd numbers began declining across the West. There are 37 recognized mule deer herds in the state (Fig. New Mexico Mule Deer Hunting. As in white-tailed deer, antlers are found only on male mule deer, but points branch equally rather than projecting from a main beam as in white-tailed deer (see Figure 1). What experts have discovered, though, is that there is no single reason populations are falling. (Texas is big in everything, it seems — even deer!) 3) Colorado: Deer population around 25,000. All states and provinces use very different methods to survey and estimate population parameters and harvest. Oregon wildlife biologists are enlisting the aid of hunters to determine why the state’s population of mule deer has dropped by nearly 10 percent in the past dozen years. Deer mortality studies have implicated many diseases as potentially detrimental to deer herds, these diseases include: bluetongue, epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), pneumonia, enterotoxemia and others. They are the densest population of mule deer in Arizona, with an estimate of 10,200 individuals in 2019. Below is a breakdown of top trophy mule deer producing states from 2010 to 2017, and then a more recent look at trend from 2015 to 2017. The tail is narrow, brownish in color with a black tip. Mike Dianda of Prime Revolution with his 2017 Colorado Buck. Epic Winter. Rocky Mountain Elk Population Estimates and Herd Composition 2015 - 2019 (pdf) Some states are climbing, some falling, and some like Texas making an appearance for the first time. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a nationally recognized leader in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. A herd is a distinct population of mule deer having limited interchange with other herds. Mule deer populations have declined statewide because of low recruitment. Two other translocations of elk followed in the 1920s. What does this mean? This provides opportunities for harvesting mule deer still in velvet. Receive updates and goHUNT's most popular content. North Dakota isn’t considered a trophy state, but that’s usually not the focus of an OTC, DIY hunter. A piece of this work was creating a data set of these top species to use as a gauge of overall populations. The losses of habitat is exacerbated by the fragmentation of suitable land, as mule deer struggle to find connectivity between summer and winter ranges. Urban expansion, road construction, OHV use, catastrophic wildfire and growth of invasive plant species have led to loss in habitat. Wildfires have created situations that are favorable to improved growth of deer populations, but limited availability of land with sufficient forage challenges numbers. Mule Deer Population Map . 5) South Dakota: Deer population around 300,000. WDFW estimates that 47,000 mule deer live in the East Slopes of the Cascades management area, … A closer look at the steady decline of the mule deer population in Nevada. The Sooner State comes in at No. 7) Nebraska: Deer population around 375,000. The Life, mule deer, decline, population, conservation. Public invited to discuss outdoor issues The spring advisory board meetings are set for the coming weeks. A big buck taken in Alberta, Canada by Colten Martyn. Habitat effects may also be amplified by increasing elk numbers, as well as disease, predation and hunting. It should also be noted that other factors such as predation and disease are intensified when habitat quality is reduced. When it first started, many states began searching for the smoking gun. Deer were nearly hunted to extinction by the early 1900s and were extirpated in many regions. The agency manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado's wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs. Population estimates suggest a decline of approximately 18% from just over 130,000 deer between 1998 and 2001, to a more recent average population level closer to 110,000. This report compiles two research efforts, the first completed by Arizona Game and Fish Department in 2014, and the second from Utah Division of … State wildlife managers and wildlife groups are trying to determine what’s behind the declines in western Colorado. Wyoming - Next up is Wyoming, where vast, unpopulated wilderness areas are ideal for hunting. They are the densest population of mule deer in Arizona, with an estimate of 10,200 individuals in 2019. Is your State not represented? Boone and Crockett Club is a conservation organization first and foremost which has been the case since 1887. What if we break out the the non-typical entries? Here is the history and outlook in six states. Mule deer are often regarded as an icon of the West. This helps to reduce the possibilities of a far-reaching event. About Us. And remember to have your own trophy mule deer recorded and entered in the Boone and Crockett records. What about trophy mule deer more recently, say the last 3 years (2015 to 2017) – how does that differ? Montana Statewide Region Map Black-tailed and mule deer populations are below agency goals in all but a few jurisdictions, however, only a few indicate continued long-term decline. Couldn’t of said it any better Justin! This report compiles two research efforts, the first completed by Arizona Game and Fish Department in 2014, and the second from Utah Division of Wildlife’s ongoing research started in 2017. Based on 2015 deer populations estimates from North American Whitetail Magazine, here are the worse deer states to live: 1) Georgia: Deer population around 1.2 million. This loss in quantity and quality drastically effects mule deer distribution, reproduction, survival and relative abundance. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, Figure 1) are one of the most important game animals in New Mexico and the West. Biologically speaking, a mule deer’s digestive system depends upon relatively high quality forage and low consumption rates. Hunting of mule deer females was banned in North Dakota four straight seasons beginning in 2012, to help the population recover following a string of harsh winters and record-low fawn production. Mule deer numbers remain well below objective population levels in key regions of the state. 13) Kansas: Deer population around 650,000. Mule deer numbers in the far western portions of the state have declined. The QDMA spatial map depicting deer density (deer per square mile) was digitized across the eastern United States. While mule deer populations are in decline across many Western states, the situation in Central Oregon is particularly noticeable due to the housing boom in Bend. This, likely, will be the next step in this study, determining the effects of predation on mule deer population, including humans and hunting. Have a chance to win hunts and gear every month — over $100,000 per year, Access strategy & tips to help you apply & spend more time in the field, Statistics and historical data to find top producing trophy units, Detailed overview of how to apply and hunt in each state, Your quick dashboard for important dates, benefits, and the latest giveaways. The Methow Valley has the “largest wintering concentrations” of mule deer in the state according to a 2016 WDFW mule deer management plan. Plus, mule deer are the most common big game animal in the state, which is helped along by Idaho's careful game management programs. Most of New Mexico is under extreme stress due to the sustained drought period and mule deer will continue to be impacted from poor quality habitat and limited quantity habitat as well. Western Okanogan County, including the Methow Valley, is home to the largest migratory mule deer population in Washington, Fitkin said. Best States For Mule Deer. Mule deer and other big game in Wyoming are managed based on a "herd unit" (or delineated population) concept. 12 Compared to elk, however, mule deer are more often below population objectives set by state wildlife agencies. Statewide Mule Deer Population Data. Hunter took 49,000 deer during the state’s 2017 season, according to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. These native elk were eliminated before the 20th century. In 2013 the herd was estimated at just 32,000 deer. It should never be just about putting your biggest buck in the book, rather contributing to the data set of mature males specimens meeting certain criteria. In 2015, Colorado Parks and Wildlife estimated that there were about 436,000 deer in Colorado. In this Muley Freak article we’re going to take a state-by-state look and rank the top 10 states where record book trophy mule deer bucks are being harvested and entered into the Boone and Crockett Club records. Statewide, mule deer populations in Montana during there 2018 season were hovering around 334,965, which is down 13.23% from a peak in 2017, but still vastly higher than the low in 2012 of 211,361. PC: Muley Freak, * Sask=Saskatchewan, Alb=Alberta, Mex=Mexico. The original purpose of records was to record the specimens of North America so our generation could witness what was once on the landscape. 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