Home2024 RangeWide Status of Black-Tailed and Mule Deer

2024 RangeWide Status of Black-Tailed and Mule Deer

Mule Deer Working Group Technical Committee. Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

Abstract: The purpose of this document is to provide a general overview of the current black-tailed and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) population status and general abundance trends throughout their range in North America. The Mule Deer Working Group (MDWG) consists of representatives from the 24 state, territorial, and provincial agencies that comprise the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA). The purpose of the MDWG is to provide a collaborative approach to finding solutions to improve black-tailed and mule deer conservation and management. One of the most common types of information requested of the MDWG is regarding the general population status and trajectory of black-tailed and mule deer populations. Stakeholders are interested in whether mule deer are still declining or in the process of recovering. To provide a quick snapshot of the status of this species, we assembled this information by having each agency MDWG representative provide a current population status, as well as general survey and harvest information for their respective jurisdiction. All states and provinces use very different methods to survey and estimate population parameters and harvest. Some have more rigorous processes than others, based on their resources and management needs. Black-tailed and mule deer populations are below agency goals in most jurisdictions but have been recovering to various degrees for the last 2 decades. Of the 24 WAFWA member agencies, black-tailed and mule deer populations are increasing in 2, stable in 12, and declining in 8 jurisdictions.

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  • Publication Date May 28, 2024
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