Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for



Mule Deer

Date of this Version

January 2006


Published by WAFWA. Copyright 2006. Permission to use.


Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has served as a leader promoting management and protection of fish and wildlife in the western United States and Canada. An organization represented by 17 states and four Canadian provinces, WAFWA has faced the difficult challenge of sifting through the ever-changing societal, economic, political and scientific issues that define natural resource management in a West that has undergone many changes.

WAFWA is particularly concerned about mule deer, a species that lives in every North American habitat except for the tropics, arctic and extreme deserts. Mule deer numbers and distribution have been declining throughout the West since the latter third of the 20th century.

To address this concern, the Mule Deer Working Group was established at the midwinter meeting of WAFWA in 1998. The group was charged with finding "solutions to our common mule deer management problems," expanding "cooperative research and management in the Western states and provinces," and sharing information with agency directors and administrators on mule deer issues.

To achieve its goal, the working group set out to improve communication about mule deer, and make it easier for agencies to share information on mule deer management and research.

Mule Deer in the West, Changing Landscapes, Changing Perspectives, is one of the outcomes of the working group. The goals of this publication are to share research and technical information on mule deer in an easy-to-read format, and to generate informed discussion on a species that defines the West and is of tremendous importance to many people.