Archive for January, 2008

New Disease may harm Mule Deer

Posted by on Wednesday, 30 January, 2008

California Mule Deer Disease

Deer have more to fear than CWD as Asian louse strike California herds

By Bob Meinecke

“It seems while most of the country has been worried by chronic wasting disease, and rightly so, another threat has been invading our shores and destroying deer populations.

CWD is bad enough. This year it’s shown up in the Big Horn Basin, with a couple of cases found east of Cody by Lovell and Greybull.

Previously the only cases G&F knew about were outside Thermopolis. Are these new cases the result of a new infection or are biologists just getting better at finding the disease?

Regardless, CWD has to be accepted as a part of the statewide habitat now. Too bad it doesn’t affect wolves.

Then we’d darned sure see a concentrated nationally led research program to eliminate it.

Anyway, a deer’s life is filled with hazards from birth to death, as such is the manner of all species, even ours.

But even though the regular causes of mortality in our deer and elk herds in addition to CWD isn’t hazard enough, now the poor animals have another enemy to guard against. Another one they have no defense against.

I’ve often said it isn’t the big things in life you need to fear because you can usually see them coming. But the little threats, while small, are still quite deadly.

Some bacteria, viruses and other sub-microscopic pathogens can eliminate a major life form in mere hours.

Others, parasites so tiny you need a magnifying glass to see them, can cause physical complications that can have life threatening affects.

The coastal Blacktail deer populations in California, Oregon and Washington are suffering from such a life threatening complication.

At one time it was surmised the Blacktail deer, which is primarily a West Coast dweller, resembling a smaller version of the mule deer, was a hybrid resulting from the crossing of whitetail bucks and mule deer does in an isolated population eons ago.

But with the advent of DNA patterning and tracking, we know the reverse is true. Our mule deer are an evolutionary descendant resulting from the inter-species coupling of the blacktail and the whitetail deer. Ain’t science wonderful?

But I digress. Out on the West Coast, these deer are being infested by a type of deer louse that is killing them.

It is believed that the louse is from southern Asia and gained access to our shore by hitching rides on Fallow deer and other exotics headed for game farms.

Asian deer, like Fallow and Sitka deer have evolved a defense to the lice through the centuries, but our deer haven’t.

The louse’s active life cycle apparently begins as colder weather moves in and they begin to breed and lay eggs under the deer’s skin.

The laying and hatching causes so much discomfort to the host deer it rubs its hair off trying to get relief. Severely infected deer look more like a coyote with a bad case of mange than deer.

Then, when really cold weather hits, the hairless deer die from exposure. They have no natural defense against this louse.

Thousands of coastal blacktails have died from the lice problem during the last decade.

Presently the infestation is confined to the coast, and seemingly to altitudes lower than 1,500 feet. But authorities are concerned the louse might adapt to higher elevations and work its way from the coastal mountain ranges and eventually into the Great Plains. Then it’s anybody’s bet what will happen.

And we thought these were the good old days.”

A few BIG Buck photos

Posted by on Tuesday, 29 January, 2008

Large Arizona Buck by Debra Larson

Big Arizona Buck

Very large buck from Paul Drenkel collection
Very large buck

Large Yosemite buck

Large Yosemite Buck

Good buck by Hunterman67

Good Buck

Pretty Buck in San Juan Mountains

Pretty Buck

Bachelor Bucks

Bachelor Bucks

Grand Canyon Buck

Grand Canyon Buck

Pikes Peak Buck

Pikes Peak Buck

Nice Buck

Nice Buck

Backside View

Good Buck from backside

Big Buck Mount

Big Buck Mount

Snaggly Buck

Snaggly Buck

Big buck Darth Stroker

Darth Stoker Buck

Big ’07 Wyoming Buck by Craig KnechtBig Wyoming Buck - '07

Large Wyoming Mule DeerLarge Wyoming Mule Deer

Sleepy Canadian Buck

Sleepy Canadian Buck

Large Utah Buck

Large Utah Buck

Good Velvet Buck

Good Velvet Buck

Cabelas Buck

Cabelas Monster Muley

Great Archery Buck

Great Archery Buck

Estes Park Muley BuckEstes Park Muley Buck

Nice California Buck

Posted by on Monday, 28 January, 2008

Nice California Buck

photo by mcarter on webshots

Nice California Buck

Only a little time left to apply for a Utah hunt

Posted by on Monday, 28 January, 2008

Utah Applications

Go to the States page and click on Utah.

Remember you must purchase a license in order to apply.

Check your credit card expiration date, be sure to have money for the draw.

Good Luck

Minnesota man kills Delk

Posted by on Friday, 25 January, 2008

Looks like a mutant elk to me, trying to make a living in Minnesota. The animal has been submitted to a local university for testing, but is currently believed to be a cross between a whitetail deer and an elk. Can you believe it? I didn’t think it was possible. I still have serious doubts. This one is definitely not a mule deer.

Deer/Elk cross

More on Colorado Mule Deer

Posted by on Friday, 25 January, 2008

Here is an update on the Colorado Gunnison herd:Mule Deer having difficult time in Gunnison Basin

The Colorado Governor is apparently allocating $1.5m for emergency feeding. The DOW has about $400k and is accepting donations. The DOW has recruited 250 volunteers, and hopes to feed 8,000 of the estimated 21,000 mule deer in the area. Helecopter flights are set to identify mule deer locations. Roads around the area have been closed by the BLM.  Snow machines have packed down snow tracks so snowmobilers can access feeding areas. Mule Deer in other areas of the state are being monitored, but do not appear to need help at this time. Some deer herds in Wyoming are also in dire condition, but I am unaware of any plans to feed them.

DOW photos

Gunnison basin Mule Deer DOW picture

Quote from DOW rep Elderkin:

Deer in Gunnison are being fed “a specially formulated high-energy wafer developed by DOW scientists during the 1980s,” the DOW said.

The DOW estimates there are about 11,000 mule deer in the northern part of Garfield County, north of the Colorado River. In the Roaring Fork Valley from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, the DOW estimates there are about 16,500 mule deer. Another population south of Glenwood Canyon is estimated at 6,000.Mule Deer in Colorado 2008

Snow covering up big game animal’s food may not be a problem forever. Elderkin said this is the first winter in seven years that any amount of snow cover has lasted more than a few days.

“I’m sure it has something to do with global warming, but I don’t know,” he said. “As far as what I can see around here, I don’t think there’s any argument about global warming.

Young Girl shoots Mule Deer that looks funny

Posted by on Thursday, 24 January, 2008

deer pic

mule deer whitetail

Utah license required before Applying for hunts

Posted by on Friday, 18 January, 2008

Utah Licenses 

Must have a license to apply for a point

Basic hunting or combination licenses are required for additional permits.

Some hunting changes went into effect in Utah this year. One of those changes requires you to buy a hunting license or a combination license before you can apply for a hunting permit.

In addition to accepting applications for big game permits, the Division of Wildlife Resources is also accepting applications for bonus points and preference points.

But just like big game permits, you must have a valid Utah hunting or combination license before you can apply for a point.

“This change is important to the future of the state’s wildlife,” says Jim Karpowitz, director of the DWR. “As costs continue to rise, the requirement that hunters buy a license before they apply will provide us the revenue we need to continue managing big game and other wildlife into the future.”

Karpowitz has some advice for you as you decide which license to buy: the hunting license, which costs $26 for residents, or the combination license, which costs $30. “I’d encourage you to buy the combination license,” he says. “It costs $4 more than a hunting license, but it also allows you to fish.”

Hunting and combination licenses are available at You can also obtain one from DWR offices and more than 350 hunting license agents across Utah.

Apply for a point by Feb. 29

Bonus points and preference points give hunters who won’t be hunting this year a better chance at obtaining a permit next year.

Applications for a bonus point or a preference point will be accepted until Feb. 29. You can apply for a point through the Internet ( until 11 p.m. on Feb. 29.

You can also apply over the phone at (801) 538-4700. Phone-in applications for a point must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Feb. 29.

For more information, call the Utah Wildlife Administrative Services office at 1-800-221-0659, the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.


Why the change?

This change was made to raise more revenue by spreading the cost of wildlife management out more equally among everyone. Here’s one example of why the extra funding is needed:

Costs for habitat projects, surveys and management, and law enforcement have grown considerably over the past few years. On Utah’s limited entry units, the cost to manage the unit is usually higher than the amount of money brought in through the few permits that are sold for the unit and all of the application fees collected for the unit.

Because only a few permits are offered for these units, simply raising the cost for the permits would still not provide the funding needed to manage these units effectively. The DWR had to find new ways to generate funding to continue offering quality hunting in Utah.

In the past, paying $5 to try and draw a big game permit was the only financial contribution many people made to Utah’s wildlife. Now everyone must buy a hunting or combination license before they can apply for or obtain a hunting permit. The DWR believes this is a fair way to spread the cost of wildlife management out among all sportsmen.

In addition to allowing you to apply for a permit, a hunting license allows you to hunt small game in Utah. And a combination license allows you to hunt small game and fish. If you’re a nonresident big game hunter, the DWR realizes your primary focus is on larger animals, but we encourage you to try Utah’s excellent small game hunts and blue-ribbon fisheries as you travel the state this year.

Which license should I buy?

There’s only a slight difference between the cost of a hunting license, which allows you to hunt small game, and a combination license, which allows you to hunt small game and fish.

Residents can buy a hunting license for $26; a combination license costs $30.

Nonresidents can buy a hunting license for $65; a combination license costs $80.

How will the DWR use the new funding?

The following are some of the ways the new funding will benefit sportsmen and wildlife:

  • More habitat work will be done to benefit big game and other wildlife across Utah.
  • The state’s wildlife and waterfowl management areas will be improved.
  • The amount of private land open to sportsmen through the DWR’s new Walk-In Access program will continue to grow.
  • Work will continue to control phragmites, a plant that’s invaded many of the marshes along the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake.

Other benefits

  • Because fewer hunters should apply, you should have a better chance of drawing a permit.
  • Even with the new license requirement, overall Utah is still the least expensive state in the West for nonresidents to apply for and obtain a limited entry permit or a bonus point.

If you have comments or questions, please send them to

Utah Governor’s tag Monster Muley

Posted by on Friday, 18 January, 2008

This buck was killed in November in Central Utah

Monster Muley

Scarey Mission Statement

Posted by on Thursday, 17 January, 2008

This is the mission statement of an organization called Western Wyoming Mule Deer Alliance ( ). Hopefully, they will re-think their solutions. It would be much better to reduce predators than to reduce hunters. They might as well join the anti-hunters. When an organization, no matter how insignificant, espouses what an agency wants to hear, policies get implemented as if they were the desire of the entire hunting community. Say what the agency doesn’t want to hear, and no matter how correct, you will be ignored.

I believe the Wyoming Game and Fish receives an annual operating budget from the state regardless of the amount of money that is generated by WGnF sales, fines, and fees.


Mission Statement

Our goal is to provide information to Wyoming sportsman regarding the overall health and viability of the states’ western deer herds. We hope through our efforts and with the help of supporters to enhance and improve both the quality and quantity of the mule deer herds in Western Wyoming. Whether it’s human population increase, oil and gas development, drought, loss of habitat or severe winters our deer herds are in serious jeopardy. While there may be disagreement as to the exact causes, we believe a change in management strategy is necessary. We believe management changes to address this issue are inevitable and should occur now rather than after it becomes an even more critical concern to Wyoming wildlife managers and sportsman. Therefore we are proposing a significant reduction in both resident and non-resident deer hunting licenses. To accomplish this, we need to begin a limited quota license for deer hunting in the western part of Wyoming. And to protect our hunting heritage we believe that resident youth should still be able to purchase a general deer hunting license over the counter. Also non- resident hunters should make up the larger percentage of the financial shortfall this would cause the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

How we plan to accomplish our goal.

We propose the following changes be made in the hunt areas as follows:

(130, 138-142, 146, 149-156, 162, 135, 143-145, 132-134, and 168):

Reduce resident and non-resident deer licenses by 50%. Resident youth age 12-17 years old would be able to obtain a general license each year to hunt any and all of the included game areas.

Use the current game and fish system of preference points when applying for a deer license.

Keep the Wyoming Game and Fish Department revenue number the same by increasing non-resident license fees by approximately $100.00 and starting a Deer Management Permit costing approximately $10.00-$12 .00 for the included game hunt areas .

Organization name: Western Wyoming Mule Deer Alliance