To counter agricultural development, rangeland conversion, mining, road and highway construction, and the development of housing tracts, many government agencies have purchased critical areas to maintain for mule deer.
All federal, state, and provincial land and wildlife management agencies recognize the fundamental need to maintain mule deer ranges and keep them habitable. Where they occur, mule deer populations are typically managed by organizations that monitor abundance and trends in order to set species management objectives.
To counter the trend of agricultural development, rangeland conversion, mining, road and highway construction, and the development of housing tracts, many states and provinces have purchased critical areas, especially winter ranges, to maintain the various habitats of the mule deer. Due to political opposition to government acquisition of privately owned lands, plus a scarcity of funds for this purpose, only a small fraction of mule deer ranges has been acquired by the government.
Unfortunately, one obstacle involved in evaluating mule deer populations trend is inconsistent and incomplete data collections. This problem results from the wide variety of methodologies and approaches used by states and provinces for mule deer management. There is a real need to standardize many of the methodologies to obtain data collections and establish protocols to obtain those measurements about mule deer populations.