The state Game and Fish Department is conducting its annual fall aerial mule deer survey in western North Dakota.
The survey takes about a week to complete. People might notice low-flying small airplanes over some parts of the Badlands.
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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 demographic trends, such as buck-to-doe and fawn-to-doe ratios.
Biologists counted 2,446 mule deer in 306 square miles during last year’s survey. The buck-to-doe ratio was 43 bucks per 100 does, while the fawn-to-doe ratio was 84 fawns per 100 does.