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ND spring mule deer survey shows population decrease

From the North Dakota Game and Fish Department

-- Western North Dakota’s mule deer population has decreased slightly for the second consecutive year, based on observations during the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual spring mule deer survey in April.

Biologists counted 2,272 mule deer in 291 square miles, compared to 2,483 in 2009. Mule deer density per square mile was 7.8, a slight decrease from 8.5 in 2009.

Bruce Stillings, big game biologist, Dickinson, said the badlands mule deer population index still remains higher than the long-term average.

Biologists have completed aerial surveys of the same 24 study areas since the 1950s. The survey assists the department in obtaining solid mule deer population data for the badlands, such as demographic trends and production ratios (buck-to-doe and fawn-to-doe).

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