One of the best things about Utah is that about 70 percent of it is public land. It’s not difficult to get away from other hunters during archery season. I like to do research, look at maps and hike the mountains within my hunting unit before the season. I also use trail cameras and a block of salt (which are both legal to use).
As the buck charged, I realized there were five little spears headed right for me. I was standing right between those antlers and the door! I made some timely comments at the top of my lungs as I quickly jumped from the trailer.
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.
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.
Last year, I worked to restore an abandoned pipeline system. This system provided water to two separate drainages. Accompanied by local ranchers and dedicated hunters, we repaired approximately 15 miles of pipeline and restored water to areas that hadn’t seen moisture for years.
This family wanted to change the cheatgrass desert back into the productive rangeland it once was. The focus was to bring back a lot of the critical mule deer winter range, while at the same time planting seed mixes that would feed livestock.
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.
A polite young man in his 20s opened the trailer door. We asked to speak with the person who had taken the deer. He answered that we sure could. “Grandma,” he called out, “some game wardens want to see your permit.”
Have you ever wondered why there are fewer deer than years ago? Do you have good ideas on how to reverse this trend in order to increase the herds? Southeastern regional personnel are very concerned with recovering deer herds and want your help.
Just after Christmas, a large storm hit most of Utah. The storm came from the south. When storms come follow that flow, generally, southeastern Utah gets hit pretty hard. This storm was no exception.