North Dakota’s mule deer population is showing signs of recovery after three harsh winters.
The winters of 2008-2010 were intense. This was especially true for the northing plains states of Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota. The extreme cold temperatures and heavy snow caused issues for many species of animals in these states.
Mule deer were no exception to these challenges. North Dakota saw a plummeting population for three years running. The good news is, that’s all changing.
According to a spring mule deer survey conducted by the Game and Fish Department, the mule deer population is up significantly. The agency determined that 2016 numbers showed a 21% increase in overall population.
The annual survey has been taking place each year since the 1950s. It covers over 300 square miles in 24 distinct areas in the state. The 2016 tally saw a total of 3,003 mule deer, up from the 2015 total of 2,157.
The good news doesn’t stop there. The state’s buck-to-doe average also rose, and the fawn-to-doe ratio also saw an uptick. This should mean good news for the state’s mule deer hunters in upcoming years. The 2016 rifle season runs through November 20.