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

Wyoming Project

Documenting Mule Deer Movements, Season Ranges and Habitat Use in the Bighorn Mountains

July 2020 - August 2024


Participating Agencies

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Wyoming Governor's Big Game License Coalition
  • Wyoming Game & Fish

Wyoming Game and Fish (WGFD) managers and various stakeholders are concerned with mule deer populations and management in the northern Bighorn Mountains. WGFD managers have initiated preseason mule deer surveys to gather baseline vital rates and summer distribution. Managers would like a better understanding of mule deer seasonal habitats, habitat use and movement. There has never been a detailed study of mule deer in the northern Bighorn Mountains. Consequently, seasonal ranges and migration corridors have not been delineated using GPS technology. There is a need for greater understanding of seasonal habitats, habitat use, and migration routes. This information could also inform potential transmission risks for CWD in this herd. Armed with this information, decisions can be made with public and private land managers to conserve and improve habitats and migration corridors. Potential outcomes include habitat improvements, guidance for forest planning, fence modifications, conservation easements and modifications to hunting season structure.