In an effort to boost a struggling mule deer population in and around the Black Gap Wildlife Management Area, 40 mule deer does were relocated from Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area in early February. The mule deer population within Black Gap WMA and surrounding area has struggled to rebound from the drought of the late 1990’s.
“This relocation is the first in a multi-year project aimed at restoring mule deer at Black Gap WMA and the El Carmen Land and Conservation Co. property,” says Mitch Lockwood, director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s big game program. “Despite the excellent mule deer habitat at the El Carmen Land and Conservation Co. property and Black Gap WMA, mule deer numbers have remained very low over the past 35 years. These partners aim to help boost populations while researching why the region has seen limited growth in the population.”
After surveying the herd numbers of locations near Black Gap WMA, Elephant Mountain WMA was chosen to be where the first deer would be captured.
“The population on Elephant Mountain is doing quite well,” says Mark Garrett, Trans-Pecos WMA Project Leader with TPWD. “The surplus deer that were removed will benefit habitat conditions for the vast array of other wildlife species living at this location.”