Whitetail in California

RIFLEMAN

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
1,728
Reaction score
32
    Hey all,

    We all know that Whitetail have been expanding their range at a rapid pace and that complete westward expansion is an eventuality.  I was hoping to get your opinions regarding the eventual migration of Whitetail into California.

    I would like to know how long you think it will be before whitetails are plentiful enough in California to be a managed big game animal and where in the state they will be seen in sizable numbers first.  Which subspecies will it be?

Thanks,
RIFLEMAN
 



RIFLEMAN

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
1,728
Reaction score
32
Hey all,

   It is pretty universally acknowledged that whitetail have been expanding their range at a rapid pace and that migration into California is an eventuality.

    Considering their adaptable, prolific and aggressive nature coupled with the fact that they easily outcompete mule deer, I was hoping to get your opinions as to how DFG should manage the whitetail.  Some factors that I think may complicate the issue include:
1. The affect whitetail will have on our already beleagured mule deer herds
2. The possibility that the whitetail will relieve a large portion of the burden of mountain lion and coyote/fawn predation from the mule deer herd, thereby increasing mule deer numbers
3. They may generate a significant amount of revenue by their very nature.  Their prolific and adaptable qualities will mean that there is likely to be more whitetail found in greater numbers throughout the state, thus improving hunter success and attracting more hunters.
 
Thanks for your insight,
RIFLEMAN
 

Speckmisser

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2001
Messages
12,900
Reaction score
26
That would be a tricky, and probably ugly situation, at least as far as the native muleys and blacktail go.  

It strikes me that, at least in most of this state, there is a real shortage of habitat.  Competition for that habitat would likely leave only one winner.  Whitetail have shown an amazing capacity for adaptation, and if I were a betting man, my money would be on the invaders.  

As for taking the predation burden off the blacktails and muleys, I'm not sure it would have a measurable impact.  I can even see where it would be negative.  By creating another food source for the predators, we might see an increase in population there...sort of equals out.  But again, the limited habitat  will still only support a certain number of animals, whether it's mule deer or whitetail, so the point is probably moot.  

It would prove to be an interesting experiment, but one I'd rather not see performed.  

You might try scrolling back a ways through the threads.  A very similar discussion to this one took place a couple of months ago.
 

coyote

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2001
Messages
114
Reaction score
0
Hi Guys
it's tough call.  It's a fact the whites are gaining territory here in Canada as well.  
I believe the preditor numbers will rise as populations of whitetail increase ...so possibly the mulies will see no break in that respect.  I think highways will claim more than the preditors.
Over crouding leads to disease and the mulies are not as resiliant as whites are.
We sure lost the numbers of mulies that we had some 10 years ago.  And yes the whites have replaced them.  I love them both but the whitetail sure don't need any help surviving..... mulies do....good luck ...yoteee'
 

EricW

Well-known member
Joined
May 4, 2001
Messages
104
Reaction score
0
Whitetails carry a brainworm that kills mulies. In heavily hunted areas, more whitetails survive to maturity, and can breed mulie does. I guess if they ger here naturally, oh well. But I certainly would be against introducing them.
 

Thonzberry

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 18, 2001
Messages
1,856
Reaction score
0
I'm not a expert on this but, we might not see a whole lot in this life time. If they hit Northern Cal. it might be around 10 or 20 years before there were an amount of Bucks for Hunters to find.
On the other hand if and when they do migrate into the area, would they take over the Mule deer population???
 

CrossTimbers

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
61
Reaction score
0
The white-tails would have to beat up Nevada's mulies to get to CA, and cross a lot of desert country from the east. From the North, could probably come down and develop into a nasty problem for agriculture in the valleys.  Elk are already moving down.

That could negate any income benefit which isn't all that much for mule deer anyway (see how well the CalDFG is able to get the federal agencies to manage for deer and how successful that is)

If you provide more food for predators, you get more predators, and since habitats used by the two deer species would be slightly different, you increase predators perhaps.  Also, you forgot bears which love fawns in early summer-- only by-product is the tiny hooves.
 

ontarget

Active member
Joined
Mar 4, 2002
Messages
28
Reaction score
0
Being a diehard blacktail hunter I'm hoping they NEVER make it to Ca !!
 

m57jager

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Messages
987
Reaction score
43
Keep the whitetail out of CA, we need to hold on to what we've got with a death grip.
 
 

Dakota

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2002
Messages
719
Reaction score
1
I hunt the Malta Montana area in the fall and there are loads of each there.  Two years ago I sent my dog into a small patch of cattails about 1500 square feet and 14 whitetails came out.  13 came out immediatley and then after the dog continued to work the cattails for another 5 minutes a big 5 by 5 came out.  He held tight even when all the others bolted.  Makes you wonder how many we walk right by.
 

doghouse95

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2001
Messages
2,307
Reaction score
0
This is a when not if question.  They will continue their migration via Idaho, Washington,
south into Oregon, then into northern Cali.  The route is well known, and they are already
well on their way.
Like it or not like it, what is going to happen will happen.
I agree that the more we feed the lions, the more lions we will have to feed.  I love to
hunt, but my first love is also big blacktails.  I've hunted whites in several states, but I've
never seen or heard of a whitetail at 7,000 feet.  I would have to research the deer
populations of Montana Idaho and Washington to get an idea of what is to come here in
Cali.  The non mountainous terrain of the east combined with the limited migrations of
their deer herds, the difference in predators, and lack of cross species competition, will not
give a true picture of our situation out west.  It's not a better or worse matter, but it is
vastly different.
 

Dan K

Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2002
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
I really don't think you have to worry about whitetails coming down from Oregon any time soon. The only populations are in the extreme northeast and around Roseburg. Both are native populations and neither has expanded their range. In fact, the Columbian whitetails around Roseburg have been listed as endangered on one list or another since about 1967.

ODFW is actually transplanting the columbian whitetails to other locations in Douglas county just so they can finally get them off the federal list.
The reason they have to do this is because the deer haven't done it on their own.

-dan
 

Hntrjohn

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 23, 2001
Messages
544
Reaction score
0
I say if they get to CA the DFG needs us to hunt them and hunt them hard. Issue white tail only permits to cut down the numbers.
But a problem with that is people shooting black tails and mulies by mistake. That will happen, a few people have killed elk when they go to a check in staation they find out it is not a deer.
 

RIFLEMAN

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
1,728
Reaction score
32
As I am in my 20's, I think that I will definitely see a viable population in N. California within my lifetime.  I don't think that the presence of WT will be good for the mulies, as they are known to push the mulies to higher ground whenever the two species inhabit the same area.
 

RIFLEMAN

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
1,728
Reaction score
32
I agree that DFG should manage them hard. I have mixed feelings about whether or not I would like to see them here because of my concerns for our mulies and BT.

I also agree that they will migrate south from Oregon rather than east from Nevada.

Once they get a foothold in our state, I think they will thrive because of all of the open land.  They thrive in the East where there is a higher density of people, so I see no reason for them not to do so in our open range.
 


Top Bottom