* Deer: Santa Catalina Island

From Islapedia
Deer and Island Fox, Santa Catalina Island
Deer in Avalon during the drought, Santa Catalina Island, 2016


DEER: SANTA CATALINA ISLAND

California mule deer were introduced to Santa Catalina Island in 1929 and in the 1930s in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Game. The population of between 500 and 1,000 ranges over most of the island, but tends to be concentrated in Bullrush, Middle, Cap and Cottonwood Canyons. [Note: Population estimate in 2023 is 2,000 deer.] The Conservancy welcomes hunters as conservation partners in managing the island’s introduced mule deer populations. Wildlife West Inc. has been the island's outfitter for many years and provides hunting experiences.

To aid the Conservancy in its deer management objectives, resident hunters are required to take an antlerless doe first. If a second deer is taken antlerless is preferred.

http://catalinahunting.com/


Blackbuck antelope were introduced in 1973 and a herd of approximately 12 antelope is currently confined at the lower end of Cottonwood Canyon.

[[1]] Santa Catalina Island Conservancy v. County of Los Angeles, 1981



In the News~

March 13, 1929 [LAT]: “Catalina Island will be populated with wild deer. The first of the herd, a buck and a doe, recently were taken in Placer county and will be shipped to Wilmington and across to Avalon in a few weeks. Others will follow. The island ultimately will have much wildlife besides the pretentious aviary comprising several thousand birds, developed in the last two years.”


August 27, 1947 [LBP]: “Catalina — where meat-hungry mariners hunter goats in California’s early days, may resound with the rifle shots of hunters pursuing deer. Donald D. McLean, game biologist, California Division of Fish and Game, has recommended that controlled hunting be permitted on the island during the open season. No action has yet been taken on is recommendation. McLean surveyed the island recently to determine ways and means to control the depredations of Catalina’s mule deer herd. The Catalina deer situation, which had its inception on November 26, 1928, when two mule deer were released, under permit, on the island, is approaching a climax. The dauntless deer now climb right up on the porches to partake of potted plants, it is declared, and harvest the fruits of the field in competition with the rightful owners. The original pair of Catalina deer was augmented in June of 1930, when a herd of eight southern muletail deer also were released on the island. Free from predation by coyotes, lions, and other hereditary enemies, excepting occasional forays by bald eagles seeking helpless fawns, the deer herd grew by leaps and bounds. In addition to its burgeoning mule deer herd, Catalina’s 48,438 acres also support 4000 head of cattle, 400 head of bison, and thousands of domestic hogs and goats and apparently the island cannot continue to keep these and mule deer too. Ordinarily the deer remain in the uninhabited, mountainous portion of the island, which rises to an elevation of 2109 feet. When drouth, such as exosts this summer, parches the highlands, the deer move right into the irrigated areas, it is reported. McLean said the deer could be fenced from the inhabited portion of the island at a cost of approximately $15,000.”


October 14, 1947 [KT]: “Catalina Island becomes haven for 2,500 deer. Back in 1928 somebody put a pair of muletail deer on this island, where early explorers shot goats for meat. In 1930, eight more deer were brought in. Now there are estimated to be 2,500 of them and they invade gardens and vegetable patches and even climb front porches to get at potted plants. What is known locally as ‘the deer situation’ is partly due to the fact that the deer have faced few of their customary enemies such as coyotes and mountain lions. Only an occasional bald eagle nabs a fawn. It is still illegal to hunt them. Ordinarily these deer stay back in the hills, but a drought this year has parched the highlands and driven the hungry animals foraging down into the low parts where men live and have farms. Donald D. McLean, biologist for the State Division of Fish and Game, recommends controlled hunting during the open season, but official action has not yet been taken. He estimates that to fence the deer out of the farmlands would cost $15,000.”


February 29, 1948 [JCNT]: “Those two deer who were taken to Catalina Island for their honeymoon in 1928 now have 2500 descendants who are so hungry they’re eating poison oak leaves. They’ve even climbed two flights of steps to eat potted plants on the porch of the William Wrigley home. That’s the story Arvin H. Brown of Los Angeles told the State Fish and Game Commission yesterday. Brown represents the Santa Catalina Island Co., owner of most of the 48,438 acre island off Los Angeles. He said the island, deerless until 1928, now has too many for the available feed supply. Yet tourists would be endangered if hunting were permitted. He suggested the deer be rounded up and placed in a pen. The Commission decided to study the situation.”


August 13, 1948 [LAT]: “Fifteen years ago several crippled deer were shipped from the mainland to Santa Catalina Island for recuperation on the offshore vacation spot. Yesterday game wardens began rounding up the animals for shipment back to the mainland—some 3000 of them. The move is principally for the vacation spot’s recuperation. Too many of the deer have been wandering into Avalon and raising hob with vegetable patches and flower gardens. A partial drought in the hills and canyons of the mountainous island has reduced their natural feeding. Of 40 deer first enticed with lettuce and alfalfa into a corral, five large bucks leaped the nine-foot fence and escaped. Under direction of John Laughlin, game manager of the State Fish and Game Commission, wardens and cowboys loaded the remaining excitable animals aboard barges yesterday. The deer will be released in the San Bernardino Mountains.


September 21, 1948 [LAT]: “A little deer tale. In fact a muletail deer tail. Anyway this little fawn stayed home. His mother and other relatives were rounded up on Santa Catalina Island and shipped by barge to the mainland where they eventually regained their freedom yesterday in the Santa Rosa and San Bernardino mountains. Reasons for the forced migration, which was handled by the State Division of Fish and Game, was that the deer had developed an overwhelming taste for backyard flowers and vegetables on the island. Everything went off as scheduled intil this particular little spindly-legged, 4-month-old fawn made a bleating entrance. He had been left behind. He reminded everyone that he was motherless and therefore hungry by ‘sounding-off’ from his corner of the corral used to pen rounded-up relatives before shipment. So he flew to the mainland—that is he was flown by United Air Lines, who came to his rescue when they heard of his plight. The little evacuee was handed to John Laughlin, game manager of the division, by United stewardess Rena Gannon yesterday. The ‘brat’ will then be transported to rejoin his mother.”


November 11, 1948 [Cedar Rapids Gazette]: “Catalina Isle Deer Proving Big Headache. San Francisco — In these days of high meat prices, almost nobody would have trouble figuring out what to do with too many pestiferous deer. But the California Fish and Game Commission, trapped by its fear of adverse public opinion, just can't bring itself to levy the death penalty on its big headache—the too many and big deer of Santa Catalina Island. On that 15-mile long resort paradise off the coast of southern California are 2,500 multiple venison steaks on the hoof, raising general havoc and boosting their numbers every season The Santa Catalina Island Company, owners of 90 per cent of the island, want something done about this plague that started as an innocent attraction to vacationers 20 years ago. Another Monster. Every time a fawn is born, another chill runs down the spines of the company's directors. They see the little sad-eyed, spotted creature only as another monster to be added to the mob now leisurely chomping up expensive shrubbery, kicking out unreplaced divots on golf greens and wrecking costly landscaping. From the pair originally shipped to the island in 1928 and the additional 18—including a buck—taken over in 1930 has come a herd that dismays garden loves and golf enthusiasts. The company, which maintains a large herd of cattle on the island, found the deer were gobbling up most of the range feed. "Something had to be done," the company decided. The "gentle" creatures, they sadly complained, were in the process of taking over. Trapping costly. It sent deer experts to the island, and on their recommendation, the Catalina company built expensive traps at a cost of about $7,000. But only 150 of the marauders were trapped. And the procedure cost the company some $50 to $60 per head. Economies were in order and the trapping was discontinued. The problem was dumped in the laps of the commissioners. Island officials then asked that the deer be sold to the company at a reasonable price, in view of the large expenditures already entailed in trying to solve the problem. The company said it planned to round up and kill all but about 500 of the deer and sell or give the meat away. But the commission held back. As one commissioner put it mildly, there probably would be a terrific howl from the public over the wholesale slaughter. Wednesday, the commissioners, wanting time to think it over, deferred until their Dec. 3-4 meeting in Los Angeles the problem of how much their big headache was worth.”


June 25, 1949 [LAT]: “Rules and regulations for the Catalina deer hunt were announced as follows: Shooting dates will be from November 1 to January 31, 1950. Approximately 1500 special licenses will be issued following a drawing here on October 5.”


August 21, 1949 [LAT]: “Special Catalina Deer Season—November 18 through December 31, 1950. Weekly permits to be issued by State Fish and Game Department. One hundred and fifty will be issued each seven days at a price of $1 for the State and $2 Catalina charge. This includes liability coverage for the hunters.”


August 19, 1949 [LAT]: “Deer Hunting at Catalina Nov. 1-Jan. 31. From Stan Rosin at Catalina comes a letter with the following interesting information to hunters: "Just read the article in our Desert Sun about the expected poor deer season in Riverside county and thought you would like to know of the recent decision of the Fish and Game division regarding the deer at Catalina. "We are to have open season on the Island by special arrangement with P. K. Wrigley from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31. This will be the first time that deer have ever been hunted on the Island and will be a bonanza season for some lucky hunters." According to Rosen there are more than 2500 deer on the island and they are so thick "they wander down into Avalon town to nibble on the lush greens of the gold course and of course, the choice blooms in our flower beds." The Rosins refer to the flower gardens of their island hotel, the Hermosa, which they operate during each summer season. He states there will be a limit to 200 hunters who wish to take advantage of this should apply for a license in Los Angeles before Sept. 10.”


November 2, 1949 [LAT]: “Catalina Island’s special deer hunting season got off to a whirlwind start yesterday with 97 sportsmen scouring the island ranges for a shot at a venison target. Under the jurisdiction and supervision of the State Fish and Game Commission, the nimrods leveled their guns on the island’s excess deer population which, for the next three months, have been declared legal game. First to nab his deer was Ralph Vance, Los Angeles, who took a four pointer weighing 180 pounds at 5:50 A.M. Another Angeleno, Norman McIntosh, was next, scoring within a few minutes after reaching his assigned hunting range. Taken by stage to the various sectors mapped out by the Commissioners for hunting, the 97 licenses were split into squads to hunt under the guidance of a representative of the F&G Commission. This was a safety move. Accredited hunters were also given the chance to take a pair of the wild boar which abound in the 76 square miles of rugged island interior. The first boar was bagged by Norman Rainey, also of Los Angeles. During the season, which closes January 31, the F&G Commissioners have licensed 150 sportsmen each week to hunt the island territory.”


November 3, 1949 [The Islander]: “Catalina's excess deer population began to dwindle this week under the guns of the first ten groups of deer hunters which will hunt deer here from November 1st to January 31st. It was barely light enough to see into the canyons and defiles of Empire Landing Tuesday morning when Ralph Vance, a newspaperman of Los Angeles, stepped from the stage which had carried him and about twenty hunters from Avalon. Vance had a spot all selected for his hunting, and he raced toward it, intent on bringing the first deer to the ground. Through the dim light of eaerly morning he sighted a big four point buck and a second later the buck was down. So 5:50 a.m. November 1st, 1949 goes into the record as the time of the first deer killed during this deer hunting season, which is being held in Catalina under the jurisdiction of the State Fish and Game Commission. Just a feww minutes later Norman McIntosh, also of Los Angeles, stepped from the stage a little farther down the road, and two minutes later his buck was down. Both these animals and several more of the 26 deer taken the first day werre shot in the area around Empire Landing. Other hunters went out by horseback with their Fish and Game Commission representative into the area above the Memorial and centering about Silver Canyon. Others worked their way inland from around Little Harbor. Included in the first day's take were five wild boar, the first of which was brought down by Neil Rainey of Los Angeles. The opening of the hunting season was preceded by a briefing session outside the hunting headquarters in the Atwater Arcade on Monday evening at which game manager John Laugalin and A.H. Willard, captail of the patrol of the commission, outlined the program and regulations. The first hunters left Avalon by stage at about 5:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. Frequent pick-up service ran out to the hunting areas to bring in animals while Commission representatives, one of which was assigned to each ten hunters, roamed in jeeps and carefully supervised the hunting. Each week of the ten-week hunting season will see a new batch of hunters, selected by lottery by the State Commission from thousands who made application. There are several Avalonians listed for the various weeks of the hunt and these people have a double incentive for shooting straight; first for the sport of it, and second to get rid of some of the deer which have wrought such havoc with gardens, shrubs and trees. The second day of the unt, Wednesday was to see a more profitable day for the hunters who brought in 52 deer and 6 wild boar. 2 cattle were also accidentally shot. The boar are taken under an arrangement whereby deer hunters accredited by the Fish and Game Commission may purchase permits from the Santa Catalina Island Company, licensing the hunter to take two of the wild boar which abound here.”


February 24, 1950 [Desert Sun]: “Plenty of deer on Catalina. According to Game Manager John Laughlin of the southern area, permits for deer hunting on Catalina Island during the past season totaled 1950; 724 reported for hunting and 477 deer were killed. Of the bag taken, 246 bucks were shot and 231 does. In addition, 178 wild pigs met their doom through the hunters' rifles. Carl Keene, president of the local Palm Springs Sportsmen, Inc., said that deer were not introduced to the summer resort until about 1932 and that only 10 pair were transported to the island and turned loose to propagate.”


November 4, 1959 [OT]: “Antlerless hunt is explained… Even way back in 1940 when deer had been known to snatch potted plants from the porches of Catalina Island residents hunters were unable to come to the quota allowed. The commission issued permits for 1250 deer to be taken. Hunters were only able to bag 477…”


August 17, 1978 [Desert Sun]: “23. Sat. — (DFG) Open general deer hunting seasons in northwestern California, the Central Valley, Santa Catalina Island and Inyo and Mono counties east of the Sierra crest.”


October 14, 2016 [eCatalina.com]: “AVALON, Calif. – Avalon and Santa Catalina Island have many deer who are victims of our drought conditions, do not have sufficient food or water in the interior, and come into town seeking water and shade. Visitors stop and take photos of them because of their grace and beauty. We see them all over town and concerns have been expressed by locals and visitors about what we can do. State Fish and Wildlife own the many deer in the City and on the Island, and they decide how they are treated and handled. It is reported that most of the Avalon deer that we see around town and at City Hall are sick and unhealthy. This is a tragedy. We are being told that the wild land deer look better and seem healthy. It is known that water is an issue for all on Catalina so it is no news that the problem is worse for our own deer, fox, and bison population. They were brought to the Island and need our help. The Santa Catalina Island Conservancy staff is looking at how they can obtain water to fill our 11 wildlife water troughs around the island. Getting a 50 percent cut in water from Southern California Edison forced the Conservancy to shut down these water troughs. It occurs to me that if the wildlife on the Island are the responsibility of the State of California that we need to communicate with our Governor, State elected leaders, and responsible State Department to ask them for help to address the problem even as we examine ways ourselves to provide some relief for the food shortage and illness our animal friends face. Maybe those of us who want to do more can start up a fund to save our animals? Are we "game" for this? For those of you who are interested, the Director of the State Department of Fish and Wildlife is Charlton H. Bonham, 1416 9th Street, 12th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814. David Jinkens, City of Avalon, City Manager”


July 12, 2018 [The Log]: “The deer population on Catalina Island is currently in excess of around 2,300; announcing open hunting season, relocating deer among possible solutions. AVALON — On a recent trip to Catalina Island, it was common for guides to point out the beautiful deer, especially their fawns, while trekking through Descanso Beach and Avalon. However, it seems the sight of so many deer on the island may not be such a marvelous thing after all as the island’s deer population has recently seen a boom that could put the deer, and other natural animals and elements on the island, in danger. Tony Budrovich, president and CEO of Catalina Island Conservancy, made an appearance at the City Council meeting in Avalon held on June 19 to clarify some questions related to the deer overpopulation dilemma. During the meeting, Budrovich shared that while the island could provide for about 500 deer, the island’s deer population is currently in excess by around 2,300 deer. Budrovich stated he now plays a game where he counts the deer whenever he’s walking to his Hamilton Cove home. One recent count reached a high of 22, to which Budrovich responded, “That’s not good.” The Conservancy CEO added while some deer may eat sprouts, most come into town to feast on garbage and other waste. It has been determined from studies that deer living in the city are not as healthy as those who live in a more natural setting, Budrovich added. Budrovich continued that the deer problem has been steadily growing and he was searching for the most reasonable answer, citing an open season to hunt deer on the island, administration of contraceptives or relocating deer to other parts of the island as possible solutions. Council members brought up the idea of seeking out funding for the problem, but Budrovich stated it would be difficult to secure this kind of funding because deer overpopulation is an issue affecting many mountain towns across the United States. Budrovich also mentioned he had been meeting with the California Fish and Game Commission in Sacramento to discuss solutions, but it may be possible the city or Catalina Island Conservancy will have to take on the responsibility of “the people’s deer,” as Mayor Anni Marshall referred to them. The mule deer are not endemic and were introduced to the island in the 1920s and 30s to encourage tourism through hunting, according to Catalina Island Conservancy’s website, which reads, “Ecologically and economically, bringing deer to Catalina has been something of a disaster.” The dangers of introducing a non-native species to a foreign area have been well documented throughout history and while Avalon’s city staff has been looking to find solutions to decrease the deer population, a cost-effective and acceptable result has not been reached yet.”


October 1, 2023 [LAT]: “Desperate to rid Catalina of invasive deer, officials propose bold helicopter hunt. AVALON, Calif. — A plan to use helicopter-mounted sharpshooters to kill nearly 2,000 invasive mule deer roaming the mountains of Santa Catalina Island has ignited a storm of protest among residents of the popular resort destination and prompted calls for state wildlife officials to block the hunt. The Catalina Island Conservancy — the nonprofit that manages 90% of the island and is mandated to return it to its natural state — says the mass culling is necessary to protect Catalina’s native plants and grasses, which have been devastated by herds of foraging deer. Recurring cycles of extreme drought and wildfire have also taken a toll on back country vegetation, forcing emaciated deer to seek sustenance in developed areas of the island, where they come into conflict with humans and pets, officials say. “The island and the deer are both fighting for survival and neither one is winning,” said Whitney Latorre, 44, the conservancy’s chief executive officer. “Unless we address the deer issue, the island will become more and more vulnerable to the devastating consequences brought on by rising temperatures and drought,” she said. The deer hunting plan is just the latest in a long string of attempts to impose some form of ecological order on the fragile and beloved island just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California. At one point or another, a menagerie of imported goats, bison, swine and other animals have all threatened to overwhelm those species native to California’s Channel Islands. According to conservancy officials, mule deer are the most destructive invasive animal left on Catalina. Intense grazing by deer has placed increasing stress on native plants and paved the way for the spread of highly flammable invasive weeds, such as flax-leaf broom. The deer also amble into the harbor community of Avalon, where they feast on home gardens, attack pets or become entangled in lawn chairs and soccer nets. “We understand that this is a bold and ambitious restoration project — and it will take courage to see it through, no doubt about it,” Latorre said. “The right things to do aren’t easy.” That kind of talk has ignited deep passions on and off the island where more than 2,000 people have signed a petition urging the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to reject the conservancy’s application to eradicate mule deer. “We are completely against the slaughter of innocent mule deer on Catalina Island,” said Dianne Stone, vice president of the Catalina Island Humane Society. “The Conservancy’s solution is violent and ugly.” Opponents of the plan say most residents want the deer to remain on the island. “Ninety percent of us don’t want the deer to go away, but the conservancy has concluded that the only good number of deer in Catalina is zero,” said resident William Flickinzer. Avalon Mayor Anni Marshall would not go that far. But in an interview, she chose her words carefully. “From the city’s perspective, climate change brought drought to the island, forcing deer to wander into Avalon in search of water,” she said. “The heartbreak is that they are not always successful and their survival rate is poor.” She said the city has been forced to “deal with those suffering animals and dispose of their carcasses.” Although many residents want the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to intervene, a spokeswoman said the agency was “supportive of the habitat restoration project.” “The goal of the project is to restore ecosystem function and preserve Catalina’s unique and rare biodiversity including some of the rarest plant species in our state and beyond,” said Jordan Traverso. “The project aims to propagate native flora and fauna, which, in turn, improve climate and wildfire resiliency,” she said. The conservancy plans to hire sharpshooters from the nonprofit White Buffalo Inc., of Connecticut, to begin eradicating the deer next fall. Hunters will use AR-15 style rifles with non-lead bullets, so that animals that scavenge the carcass will not be poisoned. Hunted deer will be left where they lay because trying to airlift the carcasses out of the rough, nearly inaccessible island interior would be dangerous and costly, officials said. However, conservancy and state officials intend to remove carcasses from the vicinity of Avalon and roadsides. In years past, battles erupted over the eradication of thousands of goats and feral pigs. By then, the animals had left scars on the landscape that may never heal: thousands of intricate goat trails crisscross the precipitous mountainsides, entire groves of ironwood and California lilac have disappeared, and the denuded canyons are eroding. Mule deer were introduced to the island in the early 1930s with a goal of increasing wildlife and as a hunting resource. With no predators to thin the herds, deer have competed with the island’s native wildlife ever since, wreaking havoc on habitat. But persuading critics to appreciate the sorry plight of native plants has been a struggle for environmentalists. Lauren Dennhardt, 34, senior director of conservation at the conservancy, has spent the last three years roaming Catalina’s backcountry to monitor the health of native plant species. On a recent morning, Dennhardt stood in a remote 10-acre sanctuary and gestured toward growths of Santa Catalina Island manzanita, island mountain lilac, blooming island rush-rose and Channel Island tree poppies. “This is what we want much of the island to look like,” Dennhardt said. Just beyond the plants, a fence loomed. “This fence protects more than 60 species of native plants — many of them browsed into oblivion by deer everywhere else on the island,” she said. “Once the deer are gone, we can focus all of our attention on one of the most ambitious and large-scale ecological restoration projects ever attempted in California: restoring Catalina Island to a semblance of its natural state.” Past proposals to reduce the deer herds have included the sublime and the ridiculous. One called for introducing apex predators, such as mountain lions. “That was a potential option,” Latorre said. “We’re not doing that, of course, because it’s crazy. The introduction of a major nonnative predator could unleash cascading repercussions.” Under its hunting program, the conservancy allows hunters to take about 200 deer a year. However, biologists say that’s not nearly enough, given that each doe produces two fawns each year. Deer have become such a common sight on the island that visitors routinely feed them. At Avalon Harbor, they toss ice cream, French fries, hot dogs and candy at the animals as they walk onto the beach. And near the swank Descanso Beach Club, dozens of deer converge on a wooden box filled with bowls of water and pet food at dusk. Biologists say deer like the salt found in cat food, but it lacks vitamins and can lead to bloating and fatal digestive disorders in the herbivores. A sign at the site warns that feeding deer is “illegal and dangerous.” The eradication proposal signals a new direction for the conservancy on an island that attracts more than 1 million visitors a year — one that embraces restoration of relatively obscure native species over the costly business of maintaining high-profile beasts such as bison.

Just three years ago, the conservancy announced plans to boost tourism by adding bison to existing herds of the shaggy imported animals, which are descendants of 14 left here in 1924 by a movie crew. Locals cherish the bison as living symbols of simpler times. Homes in Avalon neighborhoods are festooned with painted images of bison. Gift shops sell furry bison figurines, and sand dollars are etched with bison silhouettes. Catalina’s marathons are advertised under colorful bison logos. But the conservancy is no longer bullish on bison. Reducing the herd was recommended in 2003, when there were 350 bison on the island. A scientific study concluded that foraging and wallowing bison were trampling native plant communities; altering tree canopies by rubbing against tree trunks; and undermining weed management efforts by dispersing nonnative grasses through their droppings. Today, there are only about 90 bison left, and the conservancy no longer promotes them in advertising campaigns. Instead, it trumpets such conservation success stories as the Catalina Island fox, which has made one of the most remarkable recoveries known for an endangered species. After nearing extinction amid an epidemic of distemper, the population has rebounded to about 2,000. “Some folks may not like it,” Dennhardt said, “but we are committed to putting this landscape and its natural inhabitants back together.”


June 29, 2024 [Catalina Islander]: “In response to requests from the public to increase recreational hunting opportunities on Catalina Island, the Conservancy will host a 2024 hunting season beginning July 22. The California Fish and Game Commission recently approved up to 1,000 tags for the 2024 season – twice the number allotted in previous years. The tags will be allocated in phases with 500 tags issued initially, followed by two phases of 250 tags based on demand. The season will open July 22 for Island residents only. Hunting opportunities will be expanded to off-Island residents beginning September 12. Both rifle and bow hunting will be permitted throughout the season, which ends December 26. As always, safety is a priority. The increased number of tags will be carefully managed with designated hunting zones and limits to the number of hunters permitted on the landscape daily. California requires hunters to complete a safety course before hunting. While recreational hunting has failed to control the non-native mule deer population over the past two decades, any increase in the number of deer taken would be a positive outcome for protecting the rare, native plants and animals that make Catalina unique. For more information on permits and regulations visit the catalinaconservancy.org hunting page.”