This episode of Talking Mule Deer features Brigham Young University wildlife researchers telling us about their mule deer studies in Utah. Brock and Randy, both avid mule deer hunters, are professors in the BYU Wildlife Ecology Lab and landed at the university 13 years ago when they applied for the same job—and both got hired! Brock and Randy discuss one of their early projects evaluating fawn mortality in the Monroe permit area by collaring fawns shortly after birth. This project gave them insights into how predation, along with habitat health that maintains body condition in does, correlate to overall survival. BYU graduate student Tabitha Hughes details her work on both elk calves and mule deer fawns that has continued to other herds, including the Cache Valley as well as her current study area in the Book Cliffs area of Utah. We wrap up by hearing how Randy and Brock hope to use the data to understand how habitat conservation and restoration projects are impacting overall mule deer populations.
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.