Spring Mule Deer Survey Complete

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Western North Dakota's mule deer population has increased slightly for the second consecutive year, based on observations during the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's annual spring mule deer survey in April.

Biologists counted 2,436 mule deer in 24 study areas, according to Bruce Stillings, department big game biologist, Dickinson. Density of mule deer per square mile was 8.4, up from 7.3 in 2003. The density of mule deer in 2004 was also higher than the long-term average of 6.3 mule deer per square mile.

Biologists surveyed 291 square miles during the spring count. The 2004 spring mule deer index is reflective of last year's good production, a mild winter in mule deer territory, and a conservative, yet responsible harvest strategy, Stillings said.