Wyoming deer herd rebounds after devastating winter

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Range’s herd of mule deer is rebounding after the devastating winter of 2016-2017 that killed 40 percent of the animals.

Researchers and wildlife officials say that with fewer deer competing for food, the remaining members of the herd are fatter, their fawns weigh on average a pound more and there are fewer stillborn fawns.

Doug McWhirter of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department says the bottom line is that more is not always better.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports that thousands of mule deer carcasses dotted the landscape after record snow fell from Jackson to Green River in the 2016-2017 winter.

The herd, which peaked at about 50,000 animals in the early 1990s, was around 30,000 before that winter and struggling to grow in part because of the lack of available food.

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