Deer populations in the southeastern corner of Washington appear to be stable and possibly climbing, according to a hunting outlook compiled by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Like those in neighboring Idaho, deer herds in Washington have taken advantage of mild to moderate winters and should offer good opportunities for hunters. Mule deer numbers along the breaks of the Snake River have increased in the past 10 years, according to the department's 2015 Game Status and Trend Report. Muley numbers in the Blue Mountains is likely stable but below long-term averages, according to the report. Harvest of mule deer in the Lick Creek and Couse game management units, 175 and 181, has increased in recent years, according to the report.

Although there was a mild outbreak of blue tongue in the region last year, it is not expected to put a damper on either the overall deer population or hunting opportunity.

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Barker may be contacted at ebarker@lmtribune.com or at (208) 848-2273. Follow him on Twitter @ezebarker.

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