ANTLERED MULE DEER ARCHERY TO DRAW - AESRD
1. CURRENT SITUATION
There are currently no mule deer archery seasons which require the authority of a special
licence to hunt. A resident mule deer licence is currently valid for all archery seasons for
antlered mule deer. It is within the Fish and Wildlife policy to put archery seasons under
authority of a special licence when archery harvest exceeds 15%. Currently, this has only
occurred with moose (both antlered and antlerless) and antlered elk in various WMUs
throughout the province.
Archery harvest on antlered mule deer exceeds 15% in many WMUs throughout the
province, Figure 1 and according to policy should be put on draw for archery. Mule deer
populations have also been reduced throughout much of the province due to liberal
hunting seasons and recent winter mortality. Mule deer populations are now below goal
in many WMUs and as a result rifle harvest opportunities have been reduced, while
archery opportunities remain unaffected. Concern has also been expressed from some
stakeholders regarding the over harvest of antlered mule deer, of which archery harvest is
3. INFORMATION TO SUPPORT CHANGE
Archery harvest on antlered mule deer was examined by prairie area fish and wildlife staff for the
period 2003-2007 (Figure 2) and again in 2010 (Figure 1)by the Wildlife Management Branch.
There are many WMUs where the 15% threshold has been exceeded, in many cases for an
extended period of time.
1. Maintain the current system with archery on a general license for antlered mule deer.
2. Once antlered mule deer harvest by bow hunters exceeds 15% or another
predetermined threshold, archery hunting will require a special licence, which would
be valid during the archery and rifle season.
3. Create a separate antlered mule deer archery special licence and run a separate draw,
similar to the manner in which antelope is run.