MDF Podcast – Talking Mule Deer with Steve Belinda and Jodi Stemler
S2 E28 -Talking Arizona with Jim Heffelfinger and Jake Jaeger
This week we’re talking with Arizona Game & Fish Department’s Jim Heffelfinger and the MDF cooperative wildlife biologist, Jake Jaeger. First, we get an introduction to Jake who is working with Arizona Game & Fish helping with mule deer conservation through a partnership with the Mule Deer Foundation. Jake and Jim then talk about how Arizona is a different place due to the boom and bust water cycles in the state. Jim tells us a little bit about how most of the state’s mule deer populations are not traditional migrants (except for those on the Kaibab Plateau in the Arizona Strip) but still move across the landscapes seasonally to access food and water. We also hear about the Arizona governor’s tags that are used to generate funding for conservation – 100% of which goes back to the state for habitat restoration projects through the Habitat Partnership Committee. Jim tells us about the three research priority projects collaring deer to learn more about migration patterns associated with highway development and learning the movements of a herd in a known high elevation summer range. We wrap up with talking about how habitat improvements are making a huge impact on herd health which has been shown by GPS movement data showing use of restored habitats and avoidance of areas that weren’t treated.
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.