From North Dakota Game and Fish Department
-- North Dakota Game and Fish Department big game biologists recently completed the annual spring mule deer survey. Based on observations, the population index in the badlands continues to remain higher than the long-term average.
Bruce Stillings, big game biologist, Dickinson, said biologists counted 2,649 mule deer in 291 square miles. Mule deer density per square mile was 9.1, a slight decrease from 9.6 in 2007, but significantly higher than the long-term average of 6.6 mule deer per square mile.
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).
Mild winters, good production, and a conservative and responsible harvest strategy have provided above-average mule deer density in the badlands.