On Saturday August 20, the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) was inducted into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame by the Wildlife for Tomorrow foundation that supports the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The ceremony was held during the 24th Annual Outdoor Hall of Fame Induction Banquet in Phoenix. MDF was recognized for its longstanding partnership with AZGFD including hosting youth hunt camps, providing volunteers for various wildlife projects, and raising funds for habitat improvement efforts. In addition, for the past five years, MDF has funded two partnership biologists with the agency that coordinate scientific research on mule deer migration as well as implement large-scale habitat restoration projects on public lands.
“It was truly an honor to be recognized for our partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and for the extensive work MDF has contributed to in this important mule deer state,” said Joel Pedersen, MDF President and CEO. “In 2020 and 2021, MDF directed over $500,000 that was matched by a variety of partners to put more than $1.2 million on the ground in Arizona. Being inducted into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame is an acknowledgement of this hard work and it is both humbling and greatly appreciated.”
One of MDF’s partner biologists has been supporting AZGFD’s efforts to use GPS collars to track and map the migrations and seasonal movements of more than 200 mule deer statewide. The information allows the agency to prioritize habitat enhancement efforts as well as support planning efforts to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions. In addition, MDF’s habitat partnership coordinator has helped lead efforts to thin vegetation and increase browse potential in the Apache-Sitgreaves and Kaibab National Forests. These collaborative efforts with AZGFD, the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Geological Survey are making a very real difference for mule deer on the ground in Arizona.
“Wildlife for Tomorrow in partnership with the Arizona Game and Fish Department established the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame in 1998 to annually recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions toward Arizona’s wildlife and the welfare of its natural resources and the state’s outdoor heritage,” noted Wildlife for Tomorrow. “The Mule Deer Foundation works tirelessly towards improving the well-being of wildlife in Arizona and the West and we were proud to include them in this year’s class of Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame inductees.”
Wildlife for Tomorrow is the official philanthropic partner of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The non-profit organization works closely with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to provide additional support for projects and education activities where traditional resources are not adequate. Its single purpose is to support important and worthy projects that make a difference to the wildlife and people of Arizona.
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.