Washington State University

School of the Environment

Watershed Lab

Steffen Center


Earth Science/Geology

Wild Ungulate Facility


The Wild Ungulate Facility is dedicated to the study of the ecology of wild ungulates (hooved mammals). Since 2002, the Wild Ungulate Facility has supported a variety of research on the nutritional, reproductive and habitat ecology of deer with the goal improving conservation and management of these native species. The Wild Ungulate Facility includes 5 pens spanning 8-acres and a barn with 3 large and 7 small indoor pens. The Wild Ungulate Facility currently supports a herd of tame mule and black-tailed deer. For some of our research projects, animals have been transported to field sites to forage under natural conditions.

How to participate in the Mule and Black-tailed Deer Program at WSU

  1. The Mule and Black-tailed Deer Program provides workstudy, volunteer, research and internship opportunities for up to 10 undergraduates, high school students, and adults each year.
  2. The Mule and Black-tailed Deer Program provides tours for school and community groups upon request as time permits.
  3. The Mule and Black-tailed Deer Program provides access to facility space, animals, and fawn-raising services for other researchers through the WSU Deer Service Center. This work requires an approved WSU Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee protocol. Contact Lisa Shipley ( for more information about services and fees.
  4. The Mule and Black-tailed Deer Program accepts donations to support the care of these amazing animals and contribute to research aimed at understanding their ecology and conserving wild populations. Click here to learn more about donating.

Meet the Deer

Put a name to their cute faces of each deer at our facility and find out ways you can help them.


» Learn More

Investigating Effects of Forest Management Practices on the Nutritional Ecology of Columbian Black-tailed Deer:

This project focuses on how forest management techniques, together with canopy closure during stand development, affects the nutritional ecology of black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) in the western Cascades. We will compare the quality and quantity of forage and nutritional carrying capacity of forest stands, and diet quality and nutrient intake of tractable black-tailed deer as they forage.  See video below.

Donate Now

We are conducting extensive field studies on mule deer in Washington, and have begun a captive mule deer herd to examine their nutrition and reproduction. Animals were hand-raised by faculty and students and reside at the Wild Ungulate Facility.

Help care for these amazing animals and support this research!

[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

» Learn More

School of the Environment, PO Box 642812, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-2812, 509-335-3009, Contact Us
© 2017 Washington State University | Accessibility | Policies | Copyright | Log in