The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s fall mule deer survey indicated another year of good fawn production.

Biologists counted 2,116 mule deer in the aerial survey in October, according to a news release from Game and Fish. The ratio of 82 fawns per 100 does was similar to last year, while 36 bucks per 100 does was lower than in 2019.

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“Overall, fawn production was good, which could lead to population growth depending on the severity of this winter,” said Bruce Stillings, big game management supervisor for Game and Fish in Dickinson, N.D.

Bruce Stillings
Bruce Stillings

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Snowfall and poor ground conditions during most of the survey limited biologists to 18 of the 24 study areas, Stillings said.

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The fall aerial survey, which Game and Fish conducts specifically to study demographics, covers 24 study areas and 306.3 square miles in western North Dakota. Biologists also survey the same study areas in the spring of each year to determine deer abundance.