Leupold & Stevens, Inc., provider of the world’s most rugged, lightweight, and clear sport optics, is pleased to announce that, in partnership with the Mule Deer Foundation and Oregon Hunters Association, it hosted the first-ever Black-Tailed Deer Summit at the company’s headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., in April of 2022.
The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) assembled an extensive group of biologists, state fish and game department employees, key non-profit organizations, and regional Federal program leads to discuss the conservation of black-tailed deer, challenges to natural habitat, and the future opportunities that MDF can coordinate with partners on the western coast of the United States, Alaska, and Canada. The goal for the Summit included raising awareness between partners around black-tailed deer conservation efforts and highlighting the unique challenges facing the species.
Considered a subspecies of the mule deer, black-tailed deer have two sub-species (Columbia and Sitka) which live along the Pacific coast, from western California up through Alaska. The ecology and geology of their habitat, and difficulty in making accurate population estimates due to where they live creates conservation challenges that differ from those facing the mule deer.
“Since its inception, the mission of the Mule Deer Foundation has been ensuring the conservation of mule deer, black-tailed deer, and their habitat,” said Joel Pederson, President/CEO of MDF. “One of our priorities for 2022 and beyond is making sure that MDF gives black-tailed deer the attention they deserve, and the Black-Tailed Deer Summit was a fantastic opportunity for MDF to revitalize our efforts. Black-tailed deer are pretty special animals and the approach to managing their habitat can be quite different than what is used for mule deer. By gathering with our partners and the folks who manage black-tailed deer and their habitats, MDF can figure out where we can be most effective in our effort to deliver on our mission at the local, state, and national levels. I’m grateful to Leupold and our friends at the Oregon Hunters Association for stepping up and helping us get things started.”
The Summit allowed conservation leaders from across the region to visit typical black-tailed deer habitat, see an active habitat project, and observe new techniques in deer population management. Attendees shared information important to their own work but also explored opportunities for better collaboration. The event concluded with a discussion of next steps that MDF can implement to help address the most pressing needs of black-tailed deer in specific regions.
“When we say that no optics company does more for conservation than Leupold & Stevens, we’re serious,” said Bruce Pettet, President and Chief Executive Officer for Leupold & Stevens, Inc. “The black-tailed deer is an incredibly important part of the landscape right here at home in Oregon. It’s a game animal that our team members grew up hunting and appreciating. We were proud to host Joel and his team for the summit, and we’ll be right there on the front lines to help as MDF develops new projects to help conserve black-tails and their natural habitat.”
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.