Mule Deer and WildFire

rfc86

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
89
Location
Pennsylvania
I got Robbie's book earlier this year and read it front to back. I started doing some Mule Deer research (Internet, Google Earth, etc.) for locations to hunt OTC. I found AZ regs and was planning on Unit 34A in Dec 2017 & Jan 2018.

Currently this area, south of Tucson, has an active WildFire 46,000 acres and is about 90% contained. InciWeb the Incident Information System: Sawmill Fire

My question to all the Mule Deer veterans, is how will this impact the Mule Deer in the area? I found several articles with conflicting statements; pushes deer away to new areas, the deer stay on the edge of the burned area, the deer move back into the burned area.

I'm looking for some input on your experiences. Thanks in advance.

-Rich
 

BuckSnort

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2012
Messages
1,042
Location
Central CA
with the fire this late in the season and slim chance of good rains until next next season I would avoid the burn area until next year then hunt the edges..
 

Bigfootcali

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Joined
May 7, 2017
Messages
63
Location
unseen,unknown like bigfoot
I'm going to chime in on this,i have worked the last five years in fire(usfs). I have seen deer return to burn area as soon as 2 to 3 days after the fire has gone through there, I have seen moose in northern Utah roaming through the burn area 2 days after the fire burnt through there. I have seen deer and other animals in the burn area after its been put out and cold, so I wouldn't base your judgement off a couple articles. I know it all depends on the area what type of vegetation is there and if there was bedding areas there or a viable water source. Animals doing the opposite of what we think they will do especially mule deer, I remember one year as we were putting fire on the ground there were mule deer 200 yards away foraging crazy as that sounds I've seen. I have encountered mountain lions 75 yards from a active fires edge, so you be the judge and get out look for tracks and sign and that will give you an idea of what's there. 46,000 acres in the desert there could be so much you can find in there from Sheds to dead heads to were the bedding areas were and of course tracks.

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El Gavilan

Senior Member
Joined
May 13, 2014
Messages
349
In southern Arizona the monsoon season is mid July on into September, that area will be nice and green by the end of July if not sooner depending on the rains. Deer love burned areas, the new growth is very tender and nutritious and they will return to it as soon as it starts greening up. We are actually getting some pretty good rain right now so it will be green very quickly. The only issue with that area is it is close to Tucson and gets some pressure so you could have company.

Sent from the Arizona desert
 

pingpong7

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Joined
Jul 8, 2016
Messages
51
Location
Idaho
Im from Idaho and have been dealing with wild fires for years, my general rule of thumb is it takes 2-3 years for the burned landscape to start attracting elk/deer to inhabit the area again full time.
 
Joined
Mar 30, 2017
Messages
3
I hunted Southern Utah last season on the archery hunt, and had 3 bucks over 165", that I had watched all year, stay within half a mile of an active (contained) fire. The 4 days I was there they acted like nothing was different even though there were helicopters flying over at all hours of the day and some smoke was still rising off of the burn. Id say give it a quick look over before season if possible
 

Bar

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Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
1,623
Location
Colorado
They do a lot of controlled burns in my area. I've found the deer move back in within a week at the most.
 
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