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Is the Nevada Deer Herd Doomed??


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#1 JDC

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 12:15 PM

http://news.yahoo.co...res_nevada_deer

Biologists fear fire may doom Nev. deer

Associated Press

Wildlife biologists fear last week's Verdi fire that burned 6,000 acres west of Reno could be a last straw for the area's struggling deer herd.

Combined with a human population boom that has encroached into the critical winter habitat area, experts said the fire will further strain the herd that has dwindled from thousands to a few hundred in the past quarter century.

"Human encroachment is one thing, and then you get the fires on top of it," said Mike Dobel, a supervising biologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

"This sounds very pessimistic, but that deer herd is just done," he said. "There will probably always be deer in that area, but in terms of the big numbers, with the loss of the migration corridors, it's done."

The fire started Friday near Boomtown and quickly spread north and east along Peavine Peak in northwest Reno, devouring grass, sagebrush, bitterbrush and timber.

It is the sagebrush and bitterbrush that are especially important to deer in the winter months, providing both food and shelter.

"They'll eat the sagebrush during the winter months and they also use it for thermal cover," said Carl Lackey, another biologist with the state wildlife agency. "From all the video I've seen of where the fire was, it's definitely not going to do any good for the deer. They can't afford to lose any more winter range up there."

Historically, the Loyalton-Truckee deer herd migrates from near Lake Tahoe north along the Carson Range, over Peavine Peak and into California. In summer, the deer stay in the high elevations. In winter, however, they're squeezed into the narrowing band between the snow line and the edge of civilization.

In 1980, the herd was made up of about 4,100 animals. Lackey said that number is about 1,000 today.

Human encroachment is the main culprit for the decline, officials said.

"When we do our surveys, I'll be looking out of one window at bulldozers and looking out the other side and counting deer," Lackey said of the surveys conducted by airplane. "That's how close they are. Those deer are getting pushed further and further up that mountain.

"The same types of things are happening to their habitat on the California side where they have their summer range," he added. "This herd is getting hit on both ends."

Though efforts are made to rehabilitate the terrain, it's a slow, costly endeavor.

"You have to start with grasses just to stabilize the soil and you need something other than cheat grass," Lackey said.

"You want different grasses that won't out-compete the brush that we want to come back. Those brush species can take five to 10 years before they're productive."

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com
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#2 Strungout

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 02:44 PM

Kinda contradictory to what is pushed on us at times about how fire is a good thing to make things sprout ah?... Guess it was too hot due to lack of regular burns sounds to me and fire burned too much of the brush completely rather than sweeping over it. This is hardly the first fire up there though and I would not hesatate to say the comeback of those other fire areas are probably more to blame or the unexplained encroachment issue hardly touched on here.

i.e. -

Human encroachment is the main culprit for the decline, officials said.



I thought they had a handle on the migrating traffic as talked about in this old article from 1999 - http://www.dfg.ca.go...pevalley99.html

If not mistaken, the little herd they talking about is part of a couple of X draw and pretty hard to pull at that. I also thought it was blacktail but apparently not from what the above site says. Blacktail hangin in the open sage would be weirder though so they must be more hybrid toward muley than blacktail. My hunts are usually totally straight Blacktail in the D or C zones more to the west or straight Rocky Mountain Muley to the north and south or the smaller California Muledeer south of this area...I don't know what most consider these Loyalton deer to be.. :smiley_rotflmao:

Historically, the Loyalton-Truckee deer herd migrates from near Lake Tahoe north along the Carson Range, over Peavine Peak and into California. In summer, the deer stay in the high elevations. In winter, however, they're squeezed into the narrowing band between the snow line and the edge of civilization.


....say what? :smiley_rotflmao: ... what civilization they talking about?.. they aint no major civilization changes up there lately is there? Again, how come they not talk about the encroachment areas mentioned in that site above?
They sensationalizing a little fire or what?
Maybe the reserved land mentioned or some others around there are being mismanaged nowadays is the issue or some developements did end up going in. The little city's of Boomtown or Truckee would have nothing to do with this since they are cold snow drifted mountain areas and aint summer ground neither really. Deer are up top then and that be steep country.. Perhaps all Tahoe's dead trees don't matter neither, not sure..
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