Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) recently released the results of their first mule deer hunter survey in over a decade. The survey was conducted to gauge the public’s feelings toward this western wildlife icon. The results of the FWP survey were impressive, with 62% of the respondents saying that mule deer hunting was “one of my most important” or “my most important” activities in Montana.
Out of the 5,000 randomly selected resident deer license holders, the survey had a 41% response rate. Of those who responded, 85% believed that mule deer hunting opportunities in Montana were better than average. However, 38% expressed interest in antlerless mule deer hunting. The survey also included a new question this year. It asked respondents about their satisfaction with mule deer management. Around 75% of people indicated that they were satisfied.
These results are a positive sign for Montana’s mule deer population. The fact that hunters continue to show such enthusiasm for mule deer hunting suggests that the state’s efforts to manage the population are paying off. Additionally, the high satisfaction rate among respondents indicates that the state is on the right track when it comes to managing the mule deer population.
This FWP survey underscores the importance of seeking input from stakeholders when making decisions about wildlife management. The feedback received from hunters is valuable in helping the state make informed decisions. These decisions benefit both the animals and the people who hunt them. Hopefully, FWP will continue to conduct surveys like this one in the future, so that Montana’s mule deer population can continue to thrive.
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