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Game and Fish to survey mule deer abundance

Game and Fish to conduct a mule deer abundance survey in the southern portion of the Bighorn Basin in February.  

2/3/2017 10:15:05 AM

Cody - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will be using a helicopter to conduct a mule deer abundance survey in the Southwest Bighorn Mule Deer Herd Unit Feb. 7-24.
 
Worland Wildlife Biologist Bart Kroger said Game and Fish biologists and wardens will count deer using a helicopter flying at relatively low elevations throughout the herd unit.  The survey will be conducted in areas southeast of Worland, east of Thermopolis and south of Ten Sleep and include mule deer hunt areas 35, 36, 37, 39, 40 and 164.    
 
“Local citizens and landowners should be aware that some of the survey locations will include rural areas along riparian drainages and agricultural fields,” Kroger said.  “Game and Fish will take precautions to avoid flying near residential and livestock settings.” 
 
The intent of the survey is to generate a baseline estimate of deer numbers within the herd, as well as provide information on wintering areas and deer distribution.   “This information will be used to help better manage the deer herd and track trends in population growth and declines,” Kroger said. 
 
Kroger said the mule deer abundance survey is different from the annual classification surveys Game and Fish conducts right after hunting seasons. “Classification surveys provide buck and fawn ratios and are obtained from only sampling a small portion of the deer herd very intensively.  This abundance survey will be used to estimate a population size by counting as many deer as possible throughout the herd unit,” Kroger said.   “Because we do not have to maneuver the helicopter to discern between does, bucks and fawns when we count the deer, the survey will cause little stress to wintering deer.”       

(Tara Hodges 307-527-7125)

- WGFD -

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