The state Game and Fish Department’s annual spring aerial mule deer survey is set to begin April 8 in western North Dakota. Weather permitting, the survey takes a week to complete.
During the survey period, people could notice low-flying small airplanes over some parts of the badlands.
Game and Fish biologists have completed aerial surveys of the same 24 badlands study areas since the 1950s. The survey is used to collect mule deer population data for monitoring abundance and demographic trends, such as buck-to-doe and fawn-to-doe ratios.
Biologists counted 2,540 mule deer in 245.8 square miles during last year’s survey. Overall mule deer density was 10.3 deer per square mile.