The North Dakota Game and Fish Department completed its annual spring mule deer survey in April, and results indicate western North Dakota’s mule deer population is similar to last year and 21% above the long-term average.
Biologists counted 2,671 mule deer in 306.3 square miles during this year’s survey. Overall mule deer density in the badlands was 8.7 deer per square mile.
Big game management supervisor Bruce Stillings said he is encouraged with current mule deer densities across the badlands.
But Stillings said they are concerned that “mule deer are beginning the summer with poor rangeland conditions due to the extreme drought across the western part of the state, which could negatively affect fawn survival,” Stillings said.