Friends of Hart Mountain N.A.R. Mule Deer Count - Nov. 20-24, 2019
Volunteers still needed!

The Friends of Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge will sponsor a mule deer count for members between Wednesday, November 20, and Sunday, November 24, 2019 at Hart Mountain. This annual count is used to assess population trends at the refuge. It is considered a ‘composition survey’ and is done by traveling around the refuge (in a vehicle or on foot) and counting the number of does, fawns and bucks (and the number of their antler ‘points’). The refuge is broken into ten survey areas that will surveyed by the Friends. All survey areas will be surveyed once before a second or third survey is conducted.

Preferred survey periods are mornings and evenings when deer activity is highest. Friends of Hart Mountain survey volunteers are welcome to stay at the Refuge housing facilities. The bunkhouse facility is equipped with individual sleeping quarters (or shared with one other person, depending on the size of the group), refrigerators, stoves, microwave ovens, cookware, and utensils. The bunkhouse also has separate men’s and women’s bathrooms/showers. In addition to food, you will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow, towel and other personal items. The Refuge does not provide housekeeping service, so you are expected to clean the housing facility before you leave. The weather can be cold, windy, rainy and/or snowy, so come prepared for inclement weather.

Participants will survey for three days, November 21 thru November 23; November 20, and 24, will be travel days. If you have not participated in the mule deer count before, you will need to attend the orientation/training session between 4 and 5:30 PM, November 20, or make other arrangements to receive the training. There will be other experienced surveyors to lead groups of those who are new to the survey and you will be provided with the necessary survey protocol, maps and datasheets.

You will need to use binoculars (and/or a spotting scope) to conduct the survey. The Refuge has a limited supply of binoculars, spotting scopes, tripods, and car window mounts that may be checked out when Refuge personnel are on duty, however we recommend that you bring your own. The refuge also has a limited number of vehicles that are available for use by volunteers while conducting the survey, although you may need to use your own vehicle to travel on the gravel all-weather refuge roads.

Participants will be limited to active Friends of Hart Mountain members (i.e., those whose dues are paid up as of the application date). Sign up as soon as you decide you want to participate in the survey, as the number of participants will be limited. We will let you know if you are selected. If you need additional information please contact Bob Lebens by phone (503) 478-4956 or email (
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Please indicate your health/physical fitness *
When did you last have a physical examination? *
Can you participate all three days? *
Are you interested in carpooling to Hart Mountain NAR? We can help put interested participants in contact with each other. Please note that participants are ultimately responsible for their own transportation and FOHM cannot guarantee the possibility of ride sharing. *
Do you have access to quality binoculars (at least 7X magnification) or a spotting scope that you can bring to count Mule Deer from a distance? USFWS may be able to supply some binoculars if needed.
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