Despite this, hunters should avoid eating venison from infected animals (or other obviously sick animals) and should use simple precautions, such as wearing latex gloves when handling deer or elk from areas known to have CWD. 2011. The does are receptive for about three days. For example, densities of mule deer ranged from an estimated <1.2 deer/mi2 on private land in Colfax County to <1.9 deer/mi2 on New Mexico State University's Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (CRLRC), while a recent minimum count found 3.7 deer/mi2 in higher-density areas of the San Andres Mountains (Bender et al., 2011, 2012; L. Bender, unpublished data). Game Management Unit 21B Maps for GMU 21B BLM Maps: Deming Quad, Hatch Quad, Las Cruces Quad, San Mateo Mountains Quad, and Truth or Consequences Quad. To find more resources for your business, home, or family, visit the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on the World Wide Web at Basics of trophy management [Guide L-111]. Rocky Mountain mule deer are found in the northern two-thirds of the state and desert mule deer in the southern third. He earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. is a Research Scientist (Wildlife) with the Department of Extension Animal Sciences and Natural Resources at NMSU. Get the latest species and season information. Eskew (compilers), Sustaining aspen in western ecosystems: Symposium proceedings [Proceedings RMRS-P-18], (pp. The summer coat is fine and silky in texture and the winter coat is coarser and thicker. This is influenced by time of year, activity, and the kind of forage the deer is eating. Las Cruces: New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service. Heffelfinger, J. When the female is no longer receptive, the buck will leave her to seek other does. Likewise, survival of fawns can range from >50% to none surviving, and the latter occurs during droughts when condition of adult females is very poor (Lomas and Bender, 2007). The locations, date, and length of seasons are used to control hunter numbers and densities; this in turn controls harvest to some extent. Malnutrition is the most common cause of death (excluding hunting) in studied mule deer populations in New Mexico. This agency is responsible for the management of big game populations in New Mexico. In areas where deer are abundant, antlerless and either-sex hunts are used. These are, as noted previously, mainly browse and forbs. The breeding class is usually the prime-aged mature bucks, plus a few younger bucks who are exceptionally large-bodied or aggressive. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an invariably fatal degenerative neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose. In all areas, a wide variety of other forbs are important depending upon what exactly is available. Clements, C.D., and J.A. White-tailed deer are more vulnerable to HD (especially epizootic hemorrhagic disease) than mule deer, and thus high mortality from HD is more common in white-tailed deer and pronghorn than mule deer. Figure 5. However, managers can continue to try to maintain or increase the quality of remaining habitats to increase mule deer numbers above the current low levels. 1997. All other rights reserved. Fawns are usually born in June and July, later in southern New Mexico and later if does are in poor condition. Winter diets may be supplemented with firs, pines, and other evergreens, though in limited quantities because many of these conifers contain secondary plant compounds that are toxic to deer, inhibiting function of their digestive systems. During outbreaks, some deer die quickly with no apparent signs of disease, others may die within a week, some recover but are debilitated, and still other deer show no sign of disease during outbreaks, and survivors may develop immunity to that particular virus serotype (but not necessarily other HD virus serotypes). Many states also restrict movement of venison or other parts of deer, elk, and moose from areas or states where CWD is present; be sure to check with local Game Departments for regulations on transporting venison. Land use policies developed by land management agencies are an important component of mule deer management. Journal of Wildlife Management, 71, 1118—1124. Mule deer have extremely large ears, hence the name. The deer pulls and actually tears the twig, leaving a jagged, uneven end rather than a smooth cut. The average lifespan of bucks is shorter than does, especially in areas of heavy hunting pressure. Condition, survival, and productivity of mule deer in semiarid grassland-woodland in east-central New Mexico. A viewpoint: Rangeland health and mule deer habitat. During breeding periods, mature bucks cover a large area in search of receptive females (does). Everything you need to plan your New Mexico hunting trips for 2020. Lou Bender On CRLRC, mule deer densities declined from 1.9 deer/mi2 in 2005 to 0.7 deer/mi2 in 2008, highlighting the variation possible in deer populations in response to drought and other factors. Topo Maps, Aerial Photos, and Topo/Aerial Hybrids. Game Management Unit 24 Maps for GMU 24 BLM Maps: Deming Quad, Hatch Quad, Mogollon Mountains Quad, Silver City Quad, and Truth or Consequences Quad. Most of the remainder of the diet is forbs, and grasses and succulents (e.g., cacti) usually contribute much less than 10% seasonally. (Photo by Mara Weisenberger.). This, combined with a faster metabolism than elk or cattle, is what drives their need for high-quality, easily digestible foods. other government agencies. Each pellet is about 1/2 inch long and tapered on one end. When the mule deer runs, all four feet leave the ground at once, unlike the white-tailed deer, which pushes off with its hind feet. MyTopo Hunt Area / Game Management Units (GMU) Maps are 1:100,000-scale maps using the Bureau of Land Management Land Status base maps. No permanent bond is formed between bucks and does. Las Cruces: New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service. They prefer higher-quality foods like forbs (commonly called weeds) and browse (leaves, buds, and new shoots of shrubs and trees), but they also utilize grasses when young and actively growing as well as succulents. This continued movement ensures a properly balanced diet if sufficient plant species are present. 2007. 1–11). Between feedings, the food is regurgitated and rechewed as cud. His research and management programs emphasize ungulate and carnivore management, integrated wildlife and livestock habitat management, and wildlife enterprises in the Southwest and internationally. Heffelfinger, J.R., and T.A. Bender, L.C. For permission to use publications for other purposes, contact or the authors listed on the publication. This encourages harvest by hunters where numbers need to be reduced and maintains a younger, more productive age structure in the doe population. Landscape dynamics of aspen and conifer forests. Journal of Wildlife Management, 71, 884–894. These changes have driven deer populations down because they have greatly reduced both the amount and quality of mule deer habitat. Original author: James E. Knight, Extension Wildlife Specialist. Survival and cause-specific mortality of mule deer fawns in northcentral New Mexico. Human-Wildlife Interactions, 5, 276—286. These changes have decreased the amount of mule deer habitat in New Mexico and throughout the West. During winter, deer that use higher elevations usually migrate to lower elevations where food is more easily obtainable and deep snow does not limit their movements. Peaks in mule deer populations in the mid-1900s resulted from obvious and subtle landscape changes associated with human settlement (see, for example, the history in Clements and Young, 1997). Antlers from a white-tailed deer. During their first few days, they remain hidden and alone except when feeding (Figure 4). Common foods in northern New Mexico include aspen, chokecherry, oaks, bearberry, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, and most other shrubs in the rose family (Rosaceae). Fort Collins: U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Because of population declines, harvests of mule deer have also declined; deer harvests (mostly mule deer), estimated to be as high as 55,000 in 1960, declined to <10,000 in 2013.