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|All Authors / Contributors:||Carl H Nellis|
The mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) on the National Bison Range, western Montana, are controlled by selective removal of a third of the herd annually and suffer limited natural mortality. Fawn production, at 143: 100 does, is only 5 percent lower than the fetal rate of 150: 100 does and indicates very low postnatal fawn mortality. The corpora lutea rate of 168: 100 does suggests that about 10 percent of the ova are lost due to fertilization and implantation failures and intrauterine fetal mortality. Yearling: adult ratios are 61: 100 for males and 55: 100 for females, for an annual adult mortality of 58 percent. This heavy adult mortality is counterbalanced by a low fawn loss and results in about a third of the herd being removed annually.