Sound management and mild weather help boost the vitality of the North Dakota mule deer herd.
After doing arial observations in the early months of 2016, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has announced a 21 percent increase of mule deer from last year’s count.
The survey takes into account a portion of western North Dakota’s badlands mule deer population. Overall biologists covered over 300 miles and counted nearly 2,900 mule deer.
Officials for the Game and Fish have attributed several different factors for the increase.
For starters, over the past four years, North Dakota has prohibited the hunting of antlerless deer in the area. Additionally winter conditions over the past few years have been mild according the North Dakota officials. More does breeding combined with old man winter taking fewer young deer have equalled more deer overall for this prairie land.
North Dakota’s rise in population comes at a time of uncertainty for mule deer populations in the west. Over the past several decades most western states have witnessed a decline in their populations. In reaction to the declining populations, states have begun habitat restoration projects. One such state whose rehabilitation project has been met with success is Wyoming.
With any luck the North Dakota mule deer herd will continue to grow with sound management and prosper during the upcoming years.