Survey indicates ND mule deer population is up; fawn-to-doe ratio is highest since 1999

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BISMARCK, North Dakota — A fall survey indicates North Dakota's mule deer population has grown.

The state Game and Fish Department says biologists counted 1,969 mule deer in the aerial survey in October, an increase of 12 percent from last year.

The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.5 was up from 0.46 last year and slightly above the long-term average of 0.43. The fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.95 was the highest since 1999, and above the long-term average of 0.9.

Big Game Management Supervisor Bruce Stillings says this year's fawn production and overall population increase are encouraging. But he says challenges remain for continued population growth, including habitat changes.

The fall survey covers 306 square miles in western North Dakota.

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