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Hart Mountain Mule Deer Survey Trip

September 3, 2019

$65 – $75

Hart Mountain Mule Deer Survey Trip

When Nov 20, 2014 02:00 PM to
Nov 23, 2014 12:00 AM
Contact Name Nick Dobric
Contact Phone (541) 330-2638
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For those volunteers who have been lucky enough to have joined us on the sage-grouse lek counts, this trip will be very similar.  But other than navigating to predetermined sites to watch and count birds, we will be covering a defined survey area looking for and counting mule deer in order to provide the USFWS a sex and age composition of the herd.  This is a great opportunity to explore the Refuge during the quiet season and view and photograph mule deer and other wildlife.


  • November 20th, Thursday at 2pm.  We will all gather at the Hart Mountain Headquarters.   Arriving at this time is important because it allows time for the USFWS orientation, gear assignments and answering questions.  We will be going to bed early in preparation for the early mornings!
  • November 21st, Friday.  On the first day of observations, one or both of our groups of ONDA volunteers will be accompanied by a USFWS employee or an experienced volunteer observer.  We will do morning and evening surveys and will have the middle part of the day for eating, hot-springs-soaking, sleeping, relaxing, hiking, etc.
  • November 22nd, Saturday.  Same as Friday
  • November 23rd, Sunday. After monitoring in the morning, we will be able to clean the bunkhouse and be ready to head home by around lunch time.


Participants will work in small groups of 3 either taking short hikes and/or driving some of the rough roads. In addition to safety reasons, a team approach is especially helpful since the methods require multiple counts.

This trip involves a commitment to waking up early, hiking off trail and standing in the cold/dark with wind and potentially snow.

Watching the leks
L.Arbanas photo

We will be staying at a USFWS bunkhouse at Hart Mountain Refuge Headquarters. It is modern, heated and roomy, with 13 beds in 7 separate rooms, and a full modern kitchen with some utensils, and a bathroom with hot showers.

Early working hours, below freezing temperatures, hiking in the dark on uneven terrain. Click HERE for a description of the trip difficulty rating system.

Participants are responsible for their own food but we will likely coordinate a group dinner or two. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots are recommended for this trip. This trip is offered to members free of charge.

You will need a vehicle capable of driving on graded gravel roads and possibly snowy conditions (all wheel/4wd recommended), for transportation to and from Hart Mountain.Carpooling can be arranged after registration.  Transportation on Hart Mountain for the work will be in Refuge vehicles.

USFWS vehicles for transportation to work sites, data sheets, Rite in the Rain notebooks, pencils, GPS units, SPOT emergency beacon and USFWS radios (for medical or logistic emergencies only), first aid kit, spotting scopes and some binoculars

This trip is led by Nick Dobric ONDA’s Hart-Sheldon Program Manager.  Group size is limited to 8 participants.  The trip is available free of charge.

An ONDA registration application and medical form is required for this trip. Click HERE for the medical form.  You only need to fill this form out once per year: You can join additional trips by e-mailing the trip leader directly.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail within 10 working days of submitting the form.  The confirmation e-mail will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full and so your name has been placed on the “wait list”.  Five weeks before the trip starts the trip leader will send out an RSVP e-mail to make sure everyone is still available to participate.  Three weeks before the trip begins, the trip leader will send out an e-mail with additional information, maps, driving instructions, car-pooling options etc.  However, if you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader at the e-mail address above.


Deschutes Brewery
(541) 382-9242
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