JACKSON – After several rounds of public meetings in several western Wyoming communities, a management plan for the Wyoming Range mule deer herd was completed in 2010. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will again be visiting those local communities to discuss current research and progress on the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative (WRMDI) that was created. One of the main thrusts of the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative is to maintain an ongoing dialogue with those interested in the Wyoming Range deer herd.
Dr. Kevin Monteith, measures the rump fat on a captured doe mule deer before releasing it back to it’s winter range near LaBarge recently.
At the meetings, Dr. Kevin Monteith, a research scientist with the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, will be on hand to discuss a new mule deer research project being conducted with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in the Wyoming Range deer herd.
In March 2013, researchers conducted their initial capture of 70 doe mule deer to fit them with GPS collars and evaluate their overall body condition. Ultrasonography was performed on each animal to determine percent body fat and pregnancy. Animals are being monitored each autumn to determine fawn production and survival, and subsequently recaptured each spring and fall to evaluate change in body condition between seasons. Productivity of individual animals, combined with their body condition and forage production data, will be used to determine the habitat’s “nutritional carrying capacity”.
Ultimately, this information will allow wildlife managers to assess whether the Wyoming Range deer herd is reaching its reproductive capacity based on current available habitat. This research addresses primary components outlined in the WY Range Mule Deer Initiative.
Researchers release a doe mule deer after it is fitted with a new GPS collar and biological data is collected near LaBarge recently.
In addition, local Game and Fish personnel responsible for management of the Wyoming Range mule deer herd will be recapping the 2013 hunting seasons, sharing preliminary aerial survey data collected for the northern portion of the herd as well as future habitat improvement projects that are planned.
The community meetings will be held from 6:00PM – 8:00PM at the Afton Civic Center on January 6.
For more information visit the Wyoming Game & Fish Department website.