Deer Mortality Survey

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You can assist mule deer management, get a hands on look at where Wyoming’s largest deer herd endures winter, and get some exercise to boot, by helping the Wyoming Game and Fish Department with the annual deer mortality surveys in western Wyoming.

According to wildlife biologist and survey coordinator Gary Fralick the goal of the surveys is to get a sample of winter mortality on the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Herd for an indication of overall loss and what age classes got hit the hardest by the winter conditions.

"Based on this important survey, we can offer some predictions about what the upcoming hunting season may offer to deer hunters who hunt in the Wyoming Range, Greys River, and Smith’s Fork," says Fralick. "This is our twelvth year of doing the mortality surveys and it has always been a successful volunteer effort for the Game and Fish. We appreciate the public’s help in conducting these important surveys."

Fralick says he anticipates varying levels of mortality depending on the area.

"We are expecting a high deer mortality in areas south of Cokeville around Sage Junction, because of the extremely cold winter temperatures, deep snow conditions that persisted most of the winter, and very little feed for game animals on the crucial winter ranges due to the ongoing drought. However, we’re predicting winter losses will be lower on the LaBarge and Daniel winter ranges due to more moderate winter conditions."

The Cokeville surveys will run Saturday, May 7. Volunteers will meet at 9:00 a.m. at the stateline gravel pit located three miles southwest of Sage Junction on Highway 30/89. The Big Piney and LaBarge surveys will follow the next day, Sunday May 8. Volunteers should meet at the Big Piney High School at 9:30 a.m.

Those wanting to sign up or receive more information can contact Gary Fralick at (307) 883-2998. Interested persons may also call the Pinedale G&F office 1-800-452-9107 or the Green River office at 1-800-843-8096.

Volunteers must fill out a volunteer form on their arrival in order to participate.

(contact: Lucy Diggins 1-800-843-8096)