More aerial mule deer survey plans continue in Nebraska.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are continuing their five-year aerial survey process to keep tabs on the mule deer population in the northwestern portion of the state.
The survey watches over eight subunits of the Pine Ridge deer management unit, and has thus far determined overall numbers to be decreasing, but an increase in fawn numbers. That’s a good sign, but one they’ll keep a close eye on.
Helicopters are used to provide an eye in the sky, and have determined a density of all subunits combined of 1.48 mule deer per square mile, a decline from 1.76 in 2015 and 2.01 in 2014.
The commission counted 636 mule deer versus 758 in 2015 and 862 in 2014. The fawn count was increased by 25 year over year, to 261.
The objective of the survey is to ultimately build data trend info that will be used to guide hunting regulations.
Along with mule deer, the helicopters have also detected steady numbers of elk, whitetail deer and pronghorns.