Mule Deer Working Group Summer Meeting Held in Cody, WY
National Deer Alliance (NDA) president and CEO, Nick Pinizzotto, participated in the Mule Deer Working Group meeting in Cody, WY on July 24. Meeting attendees packed the room for the four-hour meeting, which was one of many important gatherings of wildlife agency personnel and other professionals at the Western Association for Fish and Wildlife Agencies summer meeting. The meeting was led by Chairman, Jim Heffelfinger, or the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
A number of important mule deer topics were covered beginning with Dr. Randy Larsen’s presentation that provided an update on mule deer translocation research being conducted by his team at Brigham Young University. The research focused on gaining a better understanding of mortality of translocated deer as well as other factors, such as how they relate to their new surroundings and relationships with resident deer.
Matthew Kauffman, director of the Wyoming Migration Initiative and professor in the Department of Zoology and Physiology at the University of Wyoming, presented the latest findings of his group with a particular focus on how land disturbance (mineral extraction, residential development, highway development, etc.) impacts mule deer migration across the landscape. He also talked about the importance of “stop over” areas that mule deer use as they make their annual journey to and from summering and wintering areas.
The group discussed several new mule deer fact sheets that are currently being produced and the latest Range-wide Status of Mule Deer and Black-tailed Deer document was distributed. The meeting concluded with a lengthy discussion about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and the importance for all states managing CWD across the country to come together and discuss the various approaches being taken. There is a potential for a stand-alone meeting for further discussion and it could be a key agenda item at the 2017 North American Deer Summit, which is being planned for June 2017.
For more information about the Mule Deer Working Group, visit www.muledeerworkinggroup.com.