Public gets chance to consider white-tailed and mule deer plans

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Idaho Fish and Game is asking deer hunters to review its draft management plans for mule deer and white-tailed deer when they are released next month and provide feedback to the department.

The white-tailed deer plan focuses on topics including population management and hunting seasons to maintain sustainable deer herds and meet hunter expectations.

Both plans are the result of extensive hunter surveys — feedback from 8,000 deer hunters was gathered for the white tail portion of the survey — in which mule deer and white-tailed hunters shared their expectations. Those surveys, which ended last year, were incorporated into the draft plans, which will guide deer herd management over the next six years.

The mule deer plan also focuses on population management and frameworks for future hunting seasons. The 98-page draft mule deer plan uses data collected from more than 20 years of doe and fawn telemetry studies. Recent data includes information derived from GPS collars that track deer movements throughout the year.

Hunters will get a full look at each plan in early June and have about three weeks to comment. The comment period will include open houses in each region. Dates of open houses will be listed in early June when the plans go online.

— Ralph Bartholdt

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