SALT LAKE CITY — Several years of ongoing drought conditions have impacted mule deer populations across the state. Here are a few things people hunting deer and elk in Utah this fall should know.
Drought impacts deer by decreasing their body fat (because there are fewer plants and available food sources on the landscape). If the does have poor body fat and nutrition, it leads to smaller fawns, and those fawns have a decreased chance of surviving. If an adult deer has too little body fat at the beginning of the winter — especially a severe winter — it will often not survive the winter months. Recent deer research, conducted in Utah, has shown that the amount of fat deer have going into the winter has more of an impact on their likelihood to survive than the conditions and severity of the winter itself. Read More