Volunteers Needed for Annual Deer Mortality Surveys

Thayne Wildlife Biologist Gary Fralick (right) and Kemmerer Game Warden Chris Baird (left) show volunteers how to tell the difference between a buck and doe skeleton and a recent deer death and not one from a previous year. (Photo courtesy of Lucy Wold, WGFD)

GREEN RIVER — Wildlife managers with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department invite the public to participate in the 26th annual deer mortality surveys on May 4th and May 11th.

The mortality surveys assess how this past winter has affected the Wyoming Range and Uinta mule deer herds of western Wyoming.

This yearly event is a good way to get outside after a long winter, get some exercise, and maybe find a shed antler, and learn about southwest Wyoming deer herds.

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According to Gary Fralick and Jeff Short, WGFD wildlife biologists and survey coordinators, the annual surveys are conducted on mule deer winter ranges to assess overall mortality for the herds, and to evaluate which age classes have been impacted the most. Organizers are hoping for a good volunteer turnout in order to survey a lot of ground.

Survey Dates

The Wyoming Range Mule Deer Herd survey (near Cokeville, Wyo) will take place Saturday, May 4. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at the Stateline gravel pit, three miles southwest of Sage Junction on U.S. Highways 30/89.

The Uinta Mule Deer Herd survey (Interstate 80 Leroy Exit, east of Evanston, Wyo.) will take place Saturday, May 11. Participants should bring a lunch, water, sunscreen, and dress appropriately for weather conditions.

Surveys will be conducted on foot or horseback. If participants choose to conduct their work from horseback, they are welcome to bring their own horses or mules.

In order to participate in the deer mortality surveys, new volunteers will be required to fill out a volunteer form at the start of the survey. For more information on the Wyoming Range survey contact the WGFD Green River Region Office at 307-875-3223 or Thayne Wildlife Biologist Gary Fralick at 307-883-2998. For the Uinta survey contact Jeff Short at 307-782-6810.