MDF Podcast – Talking Mule Deer with Steve Belinda and Jodi Stemler
S2 E23 Utah Mule Deer Conservation with MDF Volunteer Darren West and Utah DWR’s Covy Jones
We are talking this week to MDF’s volunteer habitat conservation coordinator in Utah Darren West, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resource’s big game coordinator Covy Jones about the collaborative work to improve and increase mule deer habitat in the state of Utah. These partners are working to share MDF’s Chapter Rewards generated by Utah chapters’ fundraising events and MDF’s Expo Tags as well as other state, federal and partner dollars for large landscape projects across the state. The efforts through the Utah’s Watershed Restoration Initiative are helping to increase the carrying capacity of mule deer in the state by adding more optimal habitat areas. Covy tells us how state game biologists are studying the herds and individual animals to assess herd health, and Darren explains how MDF chapters identify priority projects for chapter volunteer work days. We also hear about new collaring efforts in the state to learn more about mule deer migrations in order to know how deer are using the landscapes and where these migrations intersect with highways resulting in increased road mortality. To wrap up, Darren tells us about some of the projects that Utah chapters will be engaged in, many of which are working to restore wildlife management areas that were impacted by fires in 2018.
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.