My primary concern is for the overall health and growth of a species. Rather than focusing on individual animals, I ask myself how management actions will affect the species as a whole in an area, and then I weigh the costs against the benefits. Given these considerations, most of the time my advice is that people avoid feeding deer in the winter.
One of last year’s 15 poaching cases involved more than 20 bucks killed within a two-month period. Fortunately, officers were able to catch the individuals responsible for this grievous act. The combined efforts of concerned citizens and DWR officers brought successful conclusions to some, but most of them are still open cases.
Each summer, more than 60 employees from the DWR’s northern region spend a day together, improving wildlife habitat and a local DWR facility. In June of 2012, we held our annual workday at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
To put together our deer-objective recommendations for the Wildlife Board, we will be holding open houses at different locations across the state during the month of February. We hope to gather your input on two important topics…
Not a single detail could be overlooked, due to the remote location and limited access of the site. One forgotten fitting could have meant a day of lost time and a forgotten heavy object could have stopped the project for months—or even years—waiting for a helicopter to deliver the item.
The challenges of managing mule deer on the Kamas unit are not much different from those of most other northern Utah locations. Development, highway mortality, depredation issues and increased recreational use on critical winter ranges have all taken their toll on mule deer populations throughout the Intermountain West.
My adventure began about a year ago, in March 2010. I’d heard tales from previous years, and I knew the season for bear denning was upon us. For a small-town girl from Mississippi, this was a chance of a lifetime!
I have learned some interesting things during the process of collaring and monitoring deer in northern Utah. The first and most significant thing is that in recent years, deer numbers have generally risen. I have also found that when the deer died — if it wasn’t because of the winter weather — it was often because they were hit by a vehicle.