Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Idaho
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Idaho Project

A Comprehensive Framework for Monitoring and Adaptively Managing Deer Harvest in North Dakota

July 2018 - June 2022


Participating Agencies

  • North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Mule deer and white-tailed deer are popular game animals that provide outdoor recreation and organic venison for many families. State agencies are tasked with managing populations to ensure that the annual harvest is sustainable. Harvest decisions are informed by accurate estimates of abundance. Traditional methods for estimating abundance are expensive and risky to human life. As a potential alternative that is cheaper and low risk, we are developing a removal model that incorporates observations of deer hunter harvest and effort data into a capture-recapture modeling framework to permit the estimation of abundance for deer in North Dakota. The project is a collaboration between USGS Idaho Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit and North Dakota Game and Fish Department. The results will help our collaborators set optimal/responsible harvest regulations.