WYOMING GAME AND FISH CONDUCTS MULE DEER STUDY- Wildlife Biologists with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) are searching for clues as to why mule deer populations are remaining low in Deer Area 10, in the Rochelle Hills of Northwest Wyoming.  Erika Peckham is the lead biologist in this study.  Currently, they have attached electronic collars to 35 female mule deer.  The hope is to gain more specific data on deer movement in this area.

Peckham stated her interest in studying only female mule deer.  As reported by Wyoming Public Media, she chose to study does because they give birth to fawns.  This was particularly important to her.  She wanted to know how these fawns were doing with regards to obtaining adequate nutrition.

By obtaining this data, it will help Peckham to pinpoint particular areas within Deer Unit 10 that the deer find valuable.  In addition, the WGFD will gain insight on where they need to make key habitat improvements.  There have been very few studies in this area.  So, the WGFD remains confident that the findings of this study will pave the way for the creation of healthier deer populations.

The five year study is taking place on mostly public land.  In addition, the data from the collars relay information every 36 hours back to Peckham’s computer.  If any of the collared does die during the study, her plan is to test the deer for Chronic Wasting Disease before collaring another doe.

According to Wyoming Public Media, Peckham believes that the study will cost approximately $68,000.  However, she is receiving funding in part by Arch Coal, the United States Forest Service, and the Wyoming Sportsmen Group located in Gillette.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with Peckham on only using does for the study? Or should she have included bucks?


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