One of Idaho’s best trophy mule deer units, Unit 45 is located in winter range that concentrates deer from a wide area of the Smoky and Galena mountains. The unit extends from Mountain Home east to Camas and Mormon reservoirs, Highway 20 south to the Snake River and Interstate 84.
Wintertime population surveys give a good indication of its appeal to deer.
In 2004, biologists counted 5,410 mule deer, one of the highest populations of any hunting unit in Idaho.
In 2004 the number was even higher at 7,144 deer, and this past winter biologists counted 6,267 mule deer.
Even more remarkable than the total population is the percentage of bucks. Last winter, biologists counted 37 bucks per 100 does.
The number of fawns surveyed in the pre-winter count was 61 fawns per 100 adults, and in the postseason count was 50 fawns per 100 adult deer.
“Deer observed in the Bennett Hills (Unit 45) trend area declined by 12 percent from the 2004 levels, but were 16 percent higher than in 2003,” said Smith.
“Comparison of the pre- and post-winter fawn-to-adult deer ratios suggests excellent winter fawn survival of around 75 percent and a recruitment rate of 33 percent.”
If you were lucky enough to draw one of the coveted mule deer tags for this area, give us a call. We can show you some remarkable mule deer.