Four areas that had been designated as deer winter range in November, 2002, by the B.C. Ministry of Water, Land, and Air Protection were assessed for winter use by deer by helicopter survey encounter transect on February 5, 2003, and by summaries of other existing data. The Pasayten River south of Calcite Creek did not appear to be deer winter range and should be excluded from deer winter range assessment units from 1 km south of Calcite Creek. The upper Belgie Creek area is in deer winter range and no change should be made to the assessment units there. The slopes to the south of Hayes Creek probably receive some deer use in early winter, but little to no deer use by early February. Most of that area is north-west facing slopes, and in lodgepole pine forest. The assessment unit should be trimmed to areas closer to the valley bottom, and in areas of Douglas-fir forest. However, north of Hayes Creek, the assessment unit lines should be extended 1-2.5 km northward to include the IDFdk1 on the plateau above the south-facing slopes over Hayes Creek based on observations of mule deer in this area on a number of aerial surveys. The Missezula Lake-Aspen Grove area is only used by a few deer for the earliest part of the winter (December) and receives little or no deer use after that. The levels of use are well below 2% of the benchmark for deer winter range use, and the inclusion of these areas does not appear warranted in winter range assessment units. Les W. Gyug.
Gyug, Les W., Weyerhaeuser Company Ltd.. 2003. Deer winter range assessment of Pasayten, Belgie, Hayes and Missezula areas, Merritt Forrest District, February 2003. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program. Forest Investment Account Report. FIA2003MR131