Any predictions


Well-known member
Dec 6, 2003
Frigid Ohio
With the warmer, wetter than usual winter/spring throughout the western states, does anyone care to give a SWAG at this years survival rates/ antler growths/ hunter success potentials ?


Well-known member
May 31, 2007
Is there a model that corresponds the amount of winter/spring moisture that falls by month, total accumulation by month, number of hours of below X degrees per month, predator numbers, etc? I would think when snow or cold rain falls plus overall accumulation makes a difference as does severely cold temps since need more food per day.

As for antler growth, isn't that based primarily on early moisture so have plenty of food source early in the summer as the antlers are forming?

When Colorado got hit with substantial deer winter kill (2008/09??) I thought parts of Colorado managed to have nearly normal winter kill while other zones got hammered. Weather is local sometimes.


Well-known member
Jul 6, 2013
Good question, i am interested to what people have to say.

Mid winter i figured we were going to have an excellent fall this year (both in the form of great antler growth and high survival rates) because of the warmer then usual temperatures and seemingly no deep snow anywhere in the west. Deer and Elk would go into the spring and summer with better then normal fat reserves and less stress from not having to survive one of those winters that comes around once every 10-15 years. Which would kick start a good antler growth year.

But its starting to seem like the lack of rain may be offsetting the "easy" winter in some places.

We had an el-nino last year, and while some say the el-nino wasn't strong or almost non-existant, here in California we had one of the best offshore fishing seasons for pelagic species in HISTORY (because of the el nino). I believe this el-nino is the main reason we have had such an easy winter (i think next two winters will be similar to the last two; warmer then normal and drier then normal).

I think the el nino means good things for southern states and less favorable things for more northern states. The southern states like Arizona and New Mexico should have strong Monsoons in the summer, but any states north of AZ and NM wont see as much precipitation as normal.

My SWAG's are for areas i have tried to follow the weather for this winter, but have not personally been to most of these areas so take it with a grain of salt.

Arizona (North portion and East portion), and New Mexico (West portion) will have Excellent antler growth years if the monsoons do not show too late.
90% of Nevada will have a bad year for antler growth and fawn/calf survival.
Colorado (West half) will have a good/okay year as far as antlers and the mule deer pop will rebound favorably since the winter was easier then normal and has had some snow/rain showers at times.
Eastern Montana seems dry, and may have a dry summer so antler growth will be a little less than normal. psinclair will still shoot a 200+ muley.
California is ****ed. Antler growth is an oxymoron for this state anyway. Hoping the big cats get really thirsty this summer.

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