CODY, Wyo. — Resident mule deer numbers continued a three-year decline in this northwestern Wyoming town in 2019.
In December, Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel counted 180 deer within the city limits during the survey. This annual survey has been conducted since 2011 to provide city managers with information related to town deer numbers.
“The total number of deer observed in the city limits from 2011 to 2019 overall has been showing a decreasing trend,” said wildlife biologist Tony Mong. “The 2019 count was lower than the 2018 count by 12 deer and below the nine-year average of 253.”
Deer fawn:doe ratios were 64:100 in the city limits. Total buck ratios were 38:100 in the city limits, with yearling buck ratios of 13:100 and 25:100 for adult bucks in the city limits.
There has been a continual decrease in the total number of deer counted in the city limits since 2015. Although there was a decrease from the 2018 buck ratio of 48:100 by 10:100, the 2019 ratio of 38:100 is still much higher than observed in wild populations.
The fawn ratio is considered normal and is similar to ratios found in wild populations.
Based on a simple population estimate model that assumes a closed town population, meaning no deer leave town or no new deer come into town, removing no deer out of the population would result in an estimated increase of 20-30 deer next year.