BHA Shows Up for Deschutes County

BHA members waiting to present testimony at the 1/11/23 Deschutes County meeting.


BHA Shows up for Deschutes County Goal 5, Wildlife Inventory Testimony

January 11—Bend, Oregon

BHA sportsmen and women filled the county commission chambers, alongside other fellow hunter-conservation groups, urging three Deschutes County commissioners to update the wildlife inventory data--primarily geospatial data found in overlay maps. The data currently used for policy and planning for land-use, is currently over thirty years old.

“With the concurrent decline in mule deer population in Deschutes County, and the record in-migration growth, sportsmen and women provided data, examples and other telling facts to the three commissioners, along with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, USFWS, among others,” stated, Karl Findling, BHA Oregon board member.

Mule deer in the west, Oregon and particularly Central Oregon’s Deschutes County have seen a 54% decline in two decades, and a human population increase of 29% in just ten years1.

“Mule deer in particular are feeling the growth and impacts of human development across our county,” said, Oregon, BHA Co-Chair, Ian, Isaacson. “What we we’re asking the commission to do, is to prioritize the overlay data, to help slow, stop, or reverse this trend.”

There are many factors in the declines of mule deer across the American West. Poaching, vehicle strikes, predation, disease, and development that consumes winter range, and creating barriers to seasonal migratory movements, critical to the deer’s survival. These factors are the death by a thousand cuts.

The once robust and ubiquitous mule deer, are now in decline to the point of concern for many land management agencies, wildlife advocacy groups, sportsmen’s groups, and wildlife management agencies.

Funding for CWD studies, infrastructure that protects mule deer migration, and other conservation efforts are increasing due to these above concerns is just beginning.


  1. Deschutes County’s population grows by nearly 29% since 2010, double that of Portland area, KTVZ News channel 21, Bend, Oregon, Published August 22, 202211:51 PM
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