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Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
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Mule deer declining population

I read recently where the decline of elk in Oregons Blue Mts. is being blamed on the mountain lions and bears. Then talking to a local rancher last week, he blames the loss of deer on lions and coyotes. I'm sure preditors take a share of them but am still inclined to believe that the problems are inbreeding and loss of habitate. Loss of habitat in there are to many and they are eating themselves out of house and home. Here anyway. Just 7 or 8 yrs ago it was nothing to go out and see several hundred deer and antelope anytime you wanted. That doesn't happen anymore in fact I haven't seen but a few antelope all year here.

There are no more lions being taken out now and no less than back then and lions have a very large home range anyway, they are not supposed to be good neighbors even to each other. And we've always had a lot of coyotes here. They simply can't eat that many deer! So I really think that inbreeding and overgrazing on their part due to overpopulation is whats happening. Inbred deer with low food supplies.

We should probally be shooting more does, or should have in years past. Instead, the deer have been managed as a resourse to create revenue for the state. What isn't controlled is the breeding and the food. That would be hard to do but we could control the gender. In the meantime, the coyotes and lions will continue to cull out the weak and injured. What percentage of the fawn crop dies from scours? I don't think we know. Those dead fawns get ate by preditors. Thats a pretty sure thing because we see them chewing on dead animals. Then we give them the credit for killing them; sometimes they probally do.

In those years with high deer numbers we probally should have been killing many more deer than we did rather than trying to preserve most of the does for breeding.

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Mule deer declining population
bitmasher wrote:
I'm disturbed at the decline in the muley population. I have read several articles in the rocky mountain section that suggest the muley herd is falling across the western states.

Anybody read why this is? Predation? Most of what I have read suggests that they don't really know why the herd is decreasing in size.

Listen to this online radio show with Jerry Claborn of the Nevada State Assembly as a guest. The radio show host and Claborn discuss Nevada's mule deer decline.

http://www.nevadadeerherd.com
The link for the radio show stream is at the bottom of the page.

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Location: Washington's Back Country
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Mule deer declining population

I havent really seen any decline in the pouplation here in Washington...but I have seen a serious growth....in 2000 I hunted non-stop for a muley and seen only 10 does and a spike....I ended up taking a White-tail doe....2001 was a short season with me taking a white-tail in the first 3o mins as well as 2002 another white-tail in the first 45 mins....then in 03 a 2x4 muley on the second day of season...then back to whitel-tails since then...but in 2003 we had over 250 head of mule in a winter wheat feild just gourgeing themselves. Out of those deer there was only 13 bucks....mine was the only legal one in the heard (3 point minimum). ....the rest being spikes and forked horns....we used to had a ton of deer that year then the following summer we had a fire that forced the deer into one drainage....then the next summer that drainage burnt out in another fire....now we have very few deer....white-tails and mulies alike are slim on the totem pole....... Cry

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Mule deer declining population
RidgeRunner_07 wrote:
I havent really seen any decline in the pouplation here in Washington...but I have seen a serious growth....in 2000 I hunted non-stop for a muley and seen only 10 does and a spike....I ended up taking a White-tail doe....2001 was a short season with me taking a white-tail in the first 3o mins as well as 2002 another white-tail in the first 45 mins....then in 03 a 2x4 muley on the second day of season...then back to whitel-tails since then...but in 2003 we had over 250 head of mule in a winter wheat feild just gourgeing themselves. Out of those deer there was only 13 bucks....mine was the only legal one in the heard (3 point minimum). ....the rest being spikes and forked horns....we used to had a ton of deer that year then the following summer we had a fire that forced the deer into one drainage....then the next summer that drainage burnt out in another fire....now we have very few deer....white-tails and mulies alike are slim on the totem pole....... Cry

What part of Washington is Chewelah located. The fires seem like thet did a number on the herd. Once it grows back it should be good habitat.

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