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Author Topic: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer  (Read 11087 times)

Offline bearpaw

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Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« on: September 06, 2015, 01:06:35 PM »
This spring we held auctions on the forum and raised money to help the mule deer ravaged by wildfire in Okanogan County last year. All funds received from the auctions is in the WFW Paypal and Chase Bank accounts. Unfortunately this summer's fires have added to the wildfire devastation so the help we provide no doubt will help our herds.

Fall plantings are the most successful so the plan has been to put this money to use this fall. I have been told by Dan at the Mule Deer Foundation (he goes by MuleDeer here on the forum) that there are some projects coming up this fall and we will be able to put the money raised and the bitterbrush plants that were donated, to good use soon.

Here's the topic listing those who volunteered to help this fall, I'm hoping everyone is still willing to help plant and if any additional persons would like to help please post in this topic so you can be added to the contact list and contacted when help is needed:
http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,169761.0.html

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Offline bearpaw

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 01:12:34 PM »
This is the listing of auctions that were done and a list of items I still have available for fundraising efforts.

Mule Deer Auctions
Auction...Price.....Buyer..............Payment...Item Status...Item Description...
1...........$250.....Rainier10...............Check.......Received......Rainshadow Knife
2...........$200.....50CalJim...............Check.......Received......Elknut Outdoors Vortex bino's
3...........$175.....Jacque..................Check.......Received......Phelps Game Calls EZ Estrus Elk Call
4...........$150.....Southpole..............Check.......Received.....Phelps Game Calls EZ Estrus Elk Call #2
5...........$100.....Boss .300 winmag...Paypal.......Received......Extreme Elk Magazine
6...........$165.....jrebel....................Paypal......Received......EVO Outdoors Tenzing weapon case
7...........$125.....mtncook................Paypal......Received......Bearpaw Outfitters Hunting Books
8...........$350.....ELKBURGER...........Check.......Organized....Western Life Outfitters Trail Ride
9...........$100.....vandeman17...........Paypal......Received......OnxMAPS GPS Chip
10.........$170.....Gringo31................Check......Organized....Nature's Way Taxidermy Euro mount
11.........$  70.....go4steelhd.............Paypal.......Received......Elknut Outdoors DVD's
12.........$210.....bearpaw.................Check.......Ordered.......Hayden Lambson art "The Ladies Man"
13.........$  60.....Fastass350.............Paypal......Sent...........Shot Glass, Cocktail Glass (missing), Beer Tankard
14.........$  55.....Fastass350.............Paypal......Sent...........Bino System, Black Logo Hat
15.........$  70.....Fastass350.............Paypal......Sent...........Travel Mug, Coffee Mug (missing)
16.........$  25.....Pygmy...................Paypal......Sent...........Tin Mule Deer Sign
17.........$200.....Rainier10................Check......Ordered.......Hayden Lambson art "A Breath of Glory"
18.........$250.....GUscottie...............Paypal......Ordered.......Hayden Lambson art "The Bachelor's Pad"
19.........$100.....Southpole..............Check.......Sent...........MDF Bag, MDF Black Logo Hat
20.........$105.....Orion88.................Check.......Received......OnxMAPS GPS Chip #2
21.........$205.....go4steelhd.............Paypal.......Sent...........MDF Cap, XXL Shirt, phone app
22.........$  65.....Romulus1297..........Check.......Received......Handmade Broom
23.........$105.....Grundy53...............Paypal......Messaged.....Choice: MDF mug, glass, or cap
Sale.......$450.....MtnMuley...............Check.......Ordered.......The Bachelor’s Pad - A Breath of Glory
Sale.......$  40.....jackelope..............................Received......OnxMAPS Phone App

Bitterbrush Plants to be Shipped in the Fall
On behalf of Go4steelhd……250 to the Methow Planting Team
On behalf of Grundy53………250 to the Methow Planting Team

Remaining Items To Sell or Auction
4500...Bitterbrush Plants
6........OnxMAPS Phone Apps
1........Mule Deer Horn Earings
1........Mule Deer Necklace & Earings
4........Mule Deer Playing Cards
6........MDF Key Rings
5........MDF Baseball Caps
5........MDF Coffee Mug
1........MDF Frosted Shot Glass
1........MDF Frosted Beer Tankard
5........MDF Frosted Glass
24.......MDF Drinking Glass
12.......MDF Wine Glass
1........Set of 4 Stone Mule Deer Coasters
6........MDF Window Decal
1........Set of 3 MDF Golf Balls
8........MDF Tall Beer Glass
1........MDF License Plate Holder
1........MDF Black T-Shirt XXL
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Offline Brad Harshman

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2015, 01:21:10 PM »
Please add me to the volunteer contact list.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2015, 01:29:45 PM »
Please add me to the volunteer contact list.

Done!  Thanks much! :tup:
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Offline MuleDeer

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2015, 11:47:39 AM »
The Winthrop Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation is spending $5,000 that was raised last November to purchase 180 pounds of bitterbrush seed for planting this fall and next spring.  If that is something WFW would like to match any funds with, let me know and I will get you in touch with the right guys.
Waiting for updates on the potential projects for this fall and spring, and will relay that info here when I get it.
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Offline LDennis24

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2015, 09:10:29 AM »
I'm just curious, how is the seed being planted? Is it being flown on or is it being raked in or just walking the right area's with a handheld spin spreader? I'm just curious what you guy's feel is the best method for planting Bitterbrush seed on ground that's not worked up? I wish we could cover ever South facing slope with this stuff.

Offline MuleDeer

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2015, 02:00:03 PM »
The planting method for the bitterbrush seed will depend on the terrain.  In some areas, we will be able to use a seed drill; other areas we may not have any option to break the ground, so surface spreading or "frost seeding" would happen.  It is possible to break the ground surface with rakes, but when seeding a large area, it's just not feasible.  If planting plugs, we generally use augers to aid in the work, but any kind of planting takes lots of hours, bottomline.
I did hear from Todd that his bitterbrush plugs didn't succeed overall...those that made it were eaten by the deer.  So the funds raised/donated specifically for that purpose can still be used, but we would get them through a local grower or seed supplier.  Still will have the same effect, and we could work on matching forum funds with MDF funds to double our inventory for planting.
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Offline MuleDeer

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2015, 12:12:39 PM »
WDFW and the local Mule Deer Foundation Chapter did a quick project on Tuesday of this week, putting out seed over a few acres of Carlton Complex Fire damage.  We used a portion of the seed that was purchased recently, and will use the rest as project opportunities come up this fall and winter.
This project only came up the day before, so there was no time to get the word out for volunteers.  I have asked the bios there to do their best to give us more notice so I can post projects here for those that would like to get out and help.
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Offline LDennis24

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2015, 12:44:25 PM »
How do the bios feel about introducing a non- native legume into these seeding projects? I've been researching Sainfoin alot and just bought a few acres worth of seed to put out around my place and from what i hear from the guys around me thats grow several acres for hay the mule deer will walk right through an alfalfa field to the sainfoin field and eat it first. It has tannins in it that work as a natural wormer for the deer and they can't over eat on it like alfalfa. It grows almost anywhere and doesn't reseed like noxious weeds do. It would spread slowly if at all in area's and it even gets 3ft tall or more depending on the soil and how often it's gazed upon. What are other people's thoughts on this stuff?

Offline winshooter88

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2015, 12:58:35 PM »
We have tried to reseed bitter brush in burned areas and success is limited, we drilled some in, hand planted some and broadcast some, all with limited success. It seems to be hard to get started, although once it takes it is hard to kill.

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2015, 01:10:11 PM »
Todd sold me some of his extra bitterbrush seeds and I am going to use them on my property where the Snag Canyon fire was a little over a year ago.  Hopefully it does well, sounds like it might be a bit of a battle.
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Offline huntnphool

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2015, 01:52:57 PM »
Where can we get some and what is the best time to plant?
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Offline jackelope

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2015, 02:01:11 PM »
Where can we get some and what is the best time to plant?

Todd_ID has started antelope bitterbrush plants/seedlings. Not sure how or even if he sells them, but he grows them. He donated a lot of them to sell for donations to the MDF that are intended to be planted in the Methow. I'm not sure where we stand on the logistical end of that. That's a question that MuleDeer and/or Bearpaw could answer better. Plans were in the works and then the fire season here put the kibosh on that this year asI understand.
I think the biologists originally said the best time to plant would be fall. Don't hold me to that just yet.

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Offline huntnphool

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2015, 02:07:35 PM »
Where can we get some and what is the best time to plant?

Todd_ID has started antelope bitterbrush plants/seedlings. Not sure how or even if he sells them, but he grows them. He donated a lot of them to sell for donations to the MDF that are intended to be planted in the Methow. I'm not sure where we stand on the logistical end of that. That's a question that MuleDeer and/or Bearpaw could answer better. Plans were in the works and then the fire season here put the kibosh on that this year asI understand.
I think the biologists originally said the best time to plant would be fall. Don't hold me to that just yet.

 Thanks, just sent him a text. :tup:
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Offline LDennis24

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2015, 03:59:01 PM »
If your on the East side and you can contact them in advance I believe Plants of the Wild in Tekoa sell's Bitterbrush starts every year and they also sell seed. I say in advance cuz I believe they sell out quickly on alot of things due to high demand. They of course carry several native shrubs and seeds you can purchase to get a jump start on re-establishing your property to how it may have looked before wildfires destroyed the habitat or just to create habitat that is familiar to the wildife you have in your area's. :tup:

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2015, 04:01:11 PM »
Sorry, I just remembered that you can also contact a company called Landmark Native seeds in Spokane. It's actually on Hayford rd by the airport. Fairly new company selling range seed's and such.

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2015, 04:13:16 PM »

Offline MuleDeer

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2015, 11:15:50 AM »
Depending on the ground being planted (FS, WDFW, DNR, public, etc), non-natives are a tough issue, due to state and federal laws about introducing them.  There are many that could be very beneficial, and a lot of them are being tested and hopefully will be allowed in the future.  For now, bitterbrush, sagebrush, choke cherry, bunch grasses, and a few others are the go-to plants.
Bitterbrush, depending on who you talk to, is a very low-success rate plant.  It is very hard to start, which is why we seed much more than needed if they were all successful.  Same with plugs; many won't survive or will be eaten, so you have to put a lot out in any given area for hopes of success.  It's by no means the favored food of mule deer, but during high snow events, it tends to be the only thing standing high enough above the snow that is of value to them, so it's important for us to continue with.
I had heard from Todd that his plugs either didn't make it through either because of dry weather or deer, so I don't think he has any available for us, but let me know if anyone hears different from him.  Best time to plant the plugs is during the early winter (right now is great), and you can also drill seed this time of year.  Broadcasting and drilling is usually done in the Spring.  For an individual, and what our project did last week, ski poles were used to create a small hole, and a "pinch" of seed (5 or 6 seeds) were dropped in.  Simple, and now we just hope to get the weather that we'll need as the seasons turn next year.  If anyone has success in some plantings this fall or next spring, please share photos!  If allowed, I'd like to include some pics in the future for an article for our national magazine about the habitat work being done in all of our burned out areas.
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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2015, 08:04:19 PM »
A big "thank you!" to all of you guys/gals helping Okanogan Mule deer!  I wish I had time to go over there and help plant seeds. :tup:

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2015, 10:24:01 PM »
bitterbrush is very hard to grow I have lived in the Okanogan valley all my life I knew when those fires went threw that area it would never be like that again in my lifetime so sad. I know replanting is a big picture for the future but my  opinion is getting these deer threw the winter is  what is more important than a plant that will take years to be productive. I know the ranchers very well in the area most the deer migrate to there ranches I would focuse more on hay to feed them this winter. I don't know if any of you are familiar with the conconully highway but pretty much every landowner on that road is against any hunting at this time. I will give an example I have hunted a ranch just before conconully for 13 years never once had a problem friends of the family for years. this fall I stop in to see if he was allowing any hunting and before I could finish I had my answer. I am really sorry but the deer have been threw so much we are not letting anybody hunt this year one ranch even was a leased ranch that told the club there would be no hunting this year. I know these ranchers would gladly feed the deer this winter cause if there is a bad winter there wont be any deer. they have tractors and lots of land I personally am going to buy some hay to be feed this winter anybody who is interested please call me my name is mark 5093228458
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Offline MuleDeer

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2015, 09:53:04 PM »
Whatever you do, please DO NOT provide hay for the mule deer as winter feed; it can kill them.  There is a special pellet that is made up for wildlife, and in particular, mule deer, and it contains a lot that they need to stay healthy.  There are feeders that were built and/or repaired last year, and if WDFW sees the conditions that are necessary, they will let us know that the process may be needed.
I know a lot of you will help with local landowners feeding anyway, and no one can stop you.  But please do not use hay! You could cause more deaths than you would help avoid.  Do some checking around with local feed suppliers and see if they have any pelletized feed available.
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Offline wolfbait

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2016, 10:18:40 AM »
Whatever you do, please DO NOT provide hay for the mule deer as winter feed; it can kill them.  There is a special pellet that is made up for wildlife, and in particular, mule deer, and it contains a lot that they need to stay healthy.  There are feeders that were built and/or repaired last year, and if WDFW sees the conditions that are necessary, they will let us know that the process may be needed.
I know a lot of you will help with local landowners feeding anyway, and no one can stop you.  But please do not use hay! You could cause more deaths than you would help avoid.  Do some checking around with local feed suppliers and see if they have any pelletized feed available.

In 2008 we fed over a 100 head of deer with our horses and mules, didn't see any deer dying from the hay. The end of February a cougar came through one night and killed 7 coming yearling fawns.

Funny thing, when the bad winters hit ranchers, farmers etc. feed the deer, and on occasions WDFW are finally shamed in to setting up their little pellet feed stations along the county roads, thats where we see the dead deer. Some say WDFW wait too long to feed the deer, and the feed is to rich which causes the deer to bloat, or maybe they are so starved up by that time they the new source of food is to much.

Meanwhile back on the ranches the hay fed deer are doing just fine.

Offline bearpaw

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2017, 04:47:10 PM »
Whatever you do, please DO NOT provide hay for the mule deer as winter feed; it can kill them.  There is a special pellet that is made up for wildlife, and in particular, mule deer, and it contains a lot that they need to stay healthy.  There are feeders that were built and/or repaired last year, and if WDFW sees the conditions that are necessary, they will let us know that the process may be needed.
I know a lot of you will help with local landowners feeding anyway, and no one can stop you.  But please do not use hay! You could cause more deaths than you would help avoid.  Do some checking around with local feed suppliers and see if they have any pelletized feed available.

In 2008 we fed over a 100 head of deer with our horses and mules, didn't see any deer dying from the hay. The end of February a cougar came through one night and killed 7 coming yearling fawns.

Funny thing, when the bad winters hit ranchers, farmers etc. feed the deer, and on occasions WDFW are finally shamed in to setting up their little pellet feed stations along the county roads, thats where we see the dead deer. Some say WDFW wait too long to feed the deer, and the feed is to rich which causes the deer to bloat, or maybe they are so starved up by that time they the new source of food is to much.

Meanwhile back on the ranches the hay fed deer are doing just fine.

I would mostly agree, lots of deer eat all winter with cow feeding operations. Lots of sportsmen complain in other states about F&G waiting too long to begin feeding. I think MuleDeer was referring to taking hay out to deer that haven't had any hay previously in the winter.
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Offline Rainier10

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2017, 04:57:22 PM »
Just heard from a neighbor this spring that he fed deer all winter and had three dead ones when the snow melted.  Not sure if it is related but I thought it was odd after reading this thread.
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Offline wolfbait

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Re: Update: Help for Okanogan Mule Deer
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2017, 05:15:36 PM »

This is the kind of help that would really improve the Okanogan deer herd the most. Don't tell WDFW, it will ruin their studies.


http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,213708.0.html

 

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