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I just saw this on FB. It is the Wildlife Board Work Session for mule deer. Looking at the agenda it looks interesting.

It starts at 9 am on Wednesday 3/31.



 

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I just glanced at it but it might be interesting to see what the pro's say about it.

I know that in the area that I live in Colorado that the mule deer numbers are dropping. Two years ago on the muzzle loader hunt I saw more bears than I saw buck deer.

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Agenda summary: Let's keep doing what we've been doing because we don't know what else to do.
 

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Thanks for posting about this, Critter. I just logged in to mention it and drop links to the agenda and the livestream. (The video will also be available later for those who don't have time to watch it today, or who want to break up the viewing.) There will be in-depth presentations about Utah's deer herds (by region and unit) as well as presentations about drought, habitat and predators. Wildlife Board members will be asking questions and discussing the issues with the biologists and each other. If you're interested in Utah's deer herds, you may want to check it out!

 

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I finally watched this (skipped the units I don’t hunt) and loved the input from the local biologists. I thought it was pretty informative and I really appreciate the back and forth some of the board members had with their specific questions and the frankness of the biologists with their answers. There definitely was a theme that we need to be doing all we can on the “range” perspective to improve summer/winter range depending on the specific subunit. With all that said Mother Nature can sure overwhelm everything. I was amazed at the drought conditions (3 year average) of some of the southern units and how that is affecting fawn recruitment and general health.

I did get the general feeling that the board understands that just cutting tags is not the solution. It might be contrary to what they hear from some locals on the units. I hope they get enough funding to increase collars and fawning drop tags to get more data on the units like the nebo where they specifically said they don’t have enough.

The book cliffs is definitely hurting and that is really hard to swallow. They admit just closing it for a few years like before will not do anything and they really need to increase the summer range. That being said the discussion about AUMs and how much food is available on that unit compared to all the mouths it must feed (cattle/wild horses/deer/etc) I can tell there are too many mouths for what feed is available. I hope they can do more there.

They had a healthy discussion about the trail camera directive from the legislature. It is apparent that they want to still hear the feedback from the “average” Hunter on this and that the few questions asked in the technology survey they sent out is not enough. I would expect to see a specific trail camera survey on its own but not until after July or Aug.

Go and watch this if you can (at least for the unit you care about).


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I thought it was one of the more informative meetings I've listened to. For all those concerned about our deer herds I can't recommend it enough.

And I totally support more funding for increased collar studies. It seems to be one of the better ways to monitor conditions in a data driven way.
 

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All the data presented by the Hershey guy about drought impacts was fascinating. DWR has and is collecting a ton of actual data from our units across the state and is using that data in their management. That data was impressive and depressing at the same time. We really need some water in the spring and summer.

Here is a pretty good summary on KSL if you don't want to watch the whole presentation.

How severe droughts have factored into a decline in Utah's deer population
 

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I thought it was informative and appreciate that it was put out there for the public. The bookcliffs discussion solidified what I have seen out there the past decade. Just hope its not to late to turn it around.....again
 
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