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California’s Deer Population Estimates

Each year CDFW biologists estimate the deer population in California using a computer model that uses harvest numbers along with survey data. Harvest numbers come from harvest reports submitted by successful hunters and data collected from meat locker records. Survey data is collected by field biologists using aerial and ground surveys in the fall and spring. Estimates are computed for each zone and on a statewide basis to provide information for developing tag quotas for the upcoming hunting season.

Image of chart describing the estimated population trend for deer in California for the last 25 years. Trend shows an overall decline from 1992 to 2017.

Annual California Deer Population Estimates

Year Deer Population Estimate
1990 850,000
1991 700,000
1992 640,000
1993 684,000
1994 681,000
1995 564,000
1996 561,744
1997 570,000
1998 568,000
1999 510,900
2000 509,000
2001 674,500
2002 554,000
2003 525,230
2004 475,580
2005 602,650
2006 420,140
2007 438,140
2008 487,000
2009 484,400
2010 445,446
2011 445,810
2012 484,750
2013 443,289
2014 511,871
2015 649,338
2016 621,082
2017 532,621

California Deer Population Estimates

Hunt Zone 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
A 165,250 161,908 130,266 129,750 97,520
B-1 36,135 39,456 57,013 38,950 46,780
B-2 27,940 27,585 48,230 33,714 36,750
B-3 7,818 8,832 9,342 8,284 7,398
B-4 3,867 6,203 9,683 5,288 4,058
B-5 11,670 10,165 14,527 11,585 9,595
B-6 14,689 11,861 18,728 14,021 15,500
C-1 5,988 7,226 9,875 19,862 5,407
C-2 3,757 3,738 7,100 7,887 5,868
C-3 5,307 5,259 8,283 9,241 7,521
C-4 29,567 22,516 28,558 29,824 29,031
D-10 2,272 1,943 2,772 3,215 2,950
D-11 5,560 5,201 7,695 11,199 7,717
D-12 2,010 2,252 4,666 6,595 5,174
D-13 8,059 4,822 4,152 5,288 4,652
D-14 4,251 4,466 8,121 8,148 6,423
D-15 3,557 4,023 4,225 3,512 2,691
D-16 8,080 7,374 10,207 12,210 7,290
D-17 3,122 3,785 4,641 5,380 6,322
D-19 2,577 2,015 3,643 3,956 2,968
D-3 41,350 32,577 54,731 35,156 36,450
D-4 16,480 11,698 14,530 10,740 9,644
D-5 40,572 40,582 56,364 30,565 30,036
D-6 23,531 17,914 22,421 20,062 15,501
D-7 16,807 14,042 18,504 13,155 10,986
D-8 10,681 7,347 7,601 10,823 8,762
D-9 8,882 5,119 6,632 7,389 3,905
X-1 5,645 6,075 6,962 7,226 7,932
X-10 2,122 1,817 2,640 2,987 3,037
X-12 5,381 7,607 11,899 7,711 6,880
X-2 1,438 2,075 2,372 3,107 2,183
X-3A 4,702 3,175 3,852 3,317 3,481
X-3B 7,277 6,227 8,952 7,126 6,698
X-4 3,135 3,010 3,814 3,837 7,040
X-5A 544 967 1,007 745 942
X-5B 1,320 832 843 787 1,013
X-6A 3,288 3,358 2,378 4,490 5,450
X-6B 3,081 2,521 2,608 4,901 5,450
X-7A 1,567 1,973 1,960 3,302 4,414
X-7B 1,357 1,514 985 1,496 2,247
X-8 1,078 451 622 2,054 1,156
X-9A 7,408 12,251 11,587 11,319 6,810
X-9B 3,710 4,901 5,151 8,614 5,722
X-9C 3,433 3,114 2,634 3,698 3,060

 



Wildlife Branch - Game Management
1812 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 445-0411