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

Oregon Project

Black-tailed deer use of winter range in southern Oregon

September 2023 - June 2025


Participating Agencies

  • Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) manages Black-tailed Deer (BTD) populations through evaluation of trend indices, primarily spotlight route and hunter harvest data. In recent years, BTD spotlight survey data suggest populations are declining across the state, but numbers are generally higher near residential/urban locations than beyond the urban growth boundary. When survey data from residential/urban areas is combined with data from public land, deer density estimates (deer/mile) are often inflated. Thus, deer populations from urban areas are impacting overall population counts on which hunting tag allocations are based, yet most residential/urban deer are likely not available for harvest. In collaboration with ODFW, this project was designed to address several questions of management concern for BTD in southern Oregon, including an increased understanding of habitat use, spatial and temporal migration behavior, habitat characteristics of migration corridors and winter range areas, and seasonal and annual survival rates. These data will aid in the development of hunting regulations, management of migrating BTD and their habitat, and provide resources for management biologists faced with urban development of BTD winter ranges in Oregon.