Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Platte Valley Mule Deer Project


July 2010 - June 2018


The Platte Valley Herd Unit is facing considerable stresses and informational gaps that challenge its efficeint management by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Change in winter and summer habitat, predators, human development, migration barriers, competition from other ungulates, and diseases, are all factors potentially influencing this herd. In addition to the challenges these deer face, wildlife managers currently have insufficient (and contradictory!) information on the stustus and abundance of this herd. Being a large public land area near Wyoming's major population centers, the Platte Valley Herd Unit is of very high interest to the State of Wyoming because of the large amount of public hunting and viewing opportunities it provides. We have four study objectives. 1. Test, modify, and apply the Idaho Sightability model to Platte Valley deer to provide an independent estimate of current populations size, 2. Evaluate the timing of seasonal migrations for Platte Valley deer and identify the most important migration corridors connecting seasonal ranges. 3. Characterize summer range habitat use and response to beetle-killed portions of summer habitat. 4. Evaluate POP-II population estimates under a range of plausible vital rates from the literature necessary to bring predictions in line with sightability population estimates.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



Funding Agencies

  • Wyoming Game and Fish Department


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey