Mule Deer Working Group

Mule Deer
Working Group

Mule deer, Arizona. Photo Credit: George Andrejko

The establishment of the Mule Deer Working Group (MDWG) was approved by the WAFWA President and directors in 1997 to address concerns about the long-term decline in mule deer numbers. The working group’s members consist of state and provincial fish and wildlife agency personnel who have technical expertise and oversight of matters involving mule deer within their respective jurisdictions. The group reports directly to the WAFWA board of directors. Since the time of the MDWG’s inception, the group has been successfully addressing mule and black-tailed deer concerns shared among wildlife agencies in western North America. The working group’s approved Statement of Purpose, last revised January 2021:

  1. Develop and refine strategies to conserve black-tailed and mule deer populations and their habitat throughout western North America;
  2. Improve communication and collaboration among black-tailed and mule deer biologists throughout the West;
  3. Provide research and management information to stakeholders that fosters collaborative conservation;
  4. Provide a forum of experts to respond to information needs from wildlife and habitat management agency administration.
Black-tailed & Mule Deer Distribution

Slide A product of the Mule Deer Working Group. INFO Click Here Mule Deer Fact Sheets Slide 2024
Rangewide Status Report
Black-tailed & Mule Deer
REPORTS Click Here
Slide WALLMO AWARD AWARDS Click Here Slide What do you do when you find a deer fawn? VIDEO Click Here Slide Mule Deer Habitat Guidelines PUBLICATIONS Click Here Habitat Guidelines for Mule Deer Slide DEER & ELK

The 15th Biennial Deer and Elk Workshop (2023)

The Western States and Provinces Deer and Elk Workshop is a biennial meeting held in odd numbered years.  The workshop provides a forum where leading deer and elk managers and researchers share research results, management strategies, and emerging issues in the realms of deer and elk management throughout North America. Get the latest details on the Deer and Elk Workshop HERE.


The workshop has been held since 1973, view all the proceedings HERE.

The mule deer is a symbol of the West.  The continuing evolution of western land management requires that wildlife managers anticipate changes in land use and make recommendations based on the best science available.


Director's Reports
Top Ten Research Priorities


Mule Deer: Saving the Icon of the West

Tim Abell hosts this look into the challenges facing mule deer. We’ll meet the dedicated people working to help this majestic icon of the West.  This video was produced by the Mule Deer Working Group with financial assistance from the Mule Deer Foundation and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. This video production aired on the Sportsman Channel.

Related Events

Event Type Date Location
Deer & Elk Workshop Workshop May 15, 2023 - May 18, 2023 Flagstaff, Arizona

Members List

Jim Heffelfinger, Chair
Arizona Game and Fish Dept.
Andy Holland, Vice-Chair
Colorado Parks & Wildlife
Tom Finley, Leadership Sponsor
Arizona Game and Fish Dept.