Healthy mule deer populations are essential to sustaining the ecological, economic, and cultural values of our western landscapes. Increasingly, scientists and wildlife managers are recognizing that the productivity of these herds depends on their ability to migrate seasonally across vast expanses of public and private lands.
In the northern Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and partners have joined forces to fit 80 mule deer with satellite collars to map and study their movements in detail for the first time. This study will gather valuable information that can help stakeholders better understand mule deer seasonal habitats, habitat use and movement.
Armed with this information, decisions can be made with public and private land managers to conserve and improve habitats and migration corridors. It could also help inform potential transmission risks for Chronic Wasting Disease in this herd. Potential outcomes include habitat improvements, guidance for forest planning, fence modifications, conservation easements and modifications to hunting season structure.
Collared mule deer will complement existing projects with collared moose and elk occurring in the same areas