Colorado Deer News

State Hopes to Find Solution to Mule Deer Decline April 10, 2014 Colorado, The Watch 
... according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton, the state of Colorado has an estimated mule deer population of 400,000, one-third less than the 600,000 the state had in the early 2000s ... habitat fragmentation, a decline in habitat quality, a decline of winter range, which Hampton said is mostly due to human population growth, disease, predation, competition from elk and, potentially in some areas, competition from white tailed deer...

Elizabeth deer bow hunting plan drawing fire from opponents April 9, 2014 Colorado, Denver Channel ABC News
... "We love living here because of the wildlife out here," ... not a fan of the town's proposal to thin the herd by allowing a limited bow hunt within town limits...  administrators say complaints are on the rise and the deer population is out of control [Colorado's deer population is currently about one half to one third of the population in the 1940's] ... 

Elizabeth, Colorado town looks into bow hunting to limit deer April 8, 2014 Colorado, 9News 
... Colorado Parks and Wildlife says they have consulted with the town about their deer issues. They said there are a number of ways to deal with the deer population and bow hunting is one of them...

Elizabeth, Town Meeting to Discuss Deer Cull April 7, 2014
     There will be a meeting in the Town Hall, 151 Banner Streeet, Elizabeth, CO on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 7:00 pm to discuss a cull of the deer in the town.  The town, Police Chief Mike Phibbs, Elbert County Sheriff Shayne Heap, and Wildlife Resource Officer Casey Westbrook are proposing a bow hunting program in the town limits.  One resident explains that " this is a ridiculous waste of energy and goodwill by the town to quell the complaints of a few suburbia transplants who moved to the country, but are uncomfortable with the lives that were here before. I want to urge and encourage as much possible protest, press, and presence at these types of meeting to prevent the illogical, irrational, irresponsible killing of these beautiful Colorado creatures."  
     
CPW Seeking Public Input on Mule Deer Policy April 3, 2014 Colorado, Pagosa Daily Post 
... Colorado Parks and Wildlife ... is holding a series of public meetings across the state this spring in order to receive feedback on a Colorado West Slope Mule Deer Strategy. The Strategy will guide agency efforts to work towards increasing mule deer populations.  Across the West, state wildlife agencies are seeing declines in mule deer populations...

Roads closed longer for wildlife April 2, 2014 Colorado, Cortez Journal
... "This is the first year the extended closure is being implemented ... a sensitive time for deer and elk ... "They have exhausted their winter reserves, and the females are dropping calves," he said. "The extended closure provides opportunity for them to recuperate from the winter and not be stressed by folks driving through the area." ...

Mule Deer Association lands grant April 2, 2014 Colorado, Grand Junction Sentinel
... The Colorado Mule Deer Association has received a $25,000 grant for deer habitat from Colorado Parks and Wildlife ...

Elk, horses battle over water at Mesa Verde March 30, 2014 Colorado, Denver Post 
... Earth scorched by fire and drought ... a water war is taking place between two species of animals, one wild, one trespassing, both thirsty and struggling to survive... a herd of elk and a band of feral horses stand their ground ... The drama plays out every day ...

California poachers confess to multi-state cimes March 22, 2014 Colorado, Chaffee County Times
...  a trio of men from California have pleaded guilty to numerous wildlife violations in Colorado and New Mexico ...  the men hunted on private property without permission, illegally killed an elk, nine mule deer ... only removed the head, cape and antlers ...

Mule Deer Association Receives $25000 Grant March 20, 2014 Colorado,  KREX News Channel 5
... Colorado Parks and Wildlife awarded the Mule Deer Association a grant of $25,000 to assist with the purchase of firearms, archery equipment and other hunting supplies...

GMUG biologist receives national award March 14, 2014 Colorado, Montrose Daily Press
... Julie Grode a retired biologist from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests received a national award from the Mule Deer Foundation for her advocacy and partnership development to preserve and improve habitat for mule deer in Western Colorado...

... CPW was given one-time funding from the state legislature to support hunting and angling organizations as they continue their outreach toward novice hunters, including minority and underserved youth throughout Colorado...

Habitat management influences overwinter survival of mule deer fawns in Colorado EJ Bergman, CJ Bishop, DJ Freddy, GC White… - … of Wildlife Management, 2014
... many pinyon pine (Pinus edulis)–Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) woodland habitats reach late seral stages that encroach into forest openings. This encroachment typically occurs at the expense of browse species that are preferred by mule deer ... documented changes in deer vital rates in response to habitat manipulations are lacking. ... . Our study provides evidence that habitat management on winter ranges can positively influence a key vital rate for mule deer in pinyon pine–Utah juniper ecosystems ...

HE Johnson, JW Fischer, M Hammond, PD Dorsey… - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2014
... we investigated 3 temporary, non-lethal exclusion and repellent techniques for reducing deer and elk damage to sunflowers: 1) a polyrope electric fence, 2) the chemical repellent Plantskydd™, and 3) a winged fence. During July through October 2011 and 2012, we used a randomized block design to test the efficacy of these techniques by quantifying cervid damage to sunflowers and the number of deer and elk tracks traversing treatment and control plot boundaries. Using generalized linear mixed models we found that polyrope electric fences reduced deer and elk damage and presence within plots, while the repellent and winged fences did not reduce ungulate activity. Polyrope electric fences may be a suitable tool in areas where wildlife management agencies want to maintain deer and elk populations but reduce seasonal damage by cervids to high-value crops. In Colorado, use of an effective exclusion technique such as polyrope electric fence could also decrease the need for lethal depredation permits and damage compensation payments, and increase satisfaction among producers and the public.

Deer Found Shot In Head With Arrow February 25, 2014 Colorado, KKTV 
... The injured deer was reported to Colorado Parks and Wildlife on February 12 and had to be put down because of its injury. The deer, a fawn, was found in a neighborhood in northwest Colorado Springs, near Foothills Elementary School.. call Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648 ...
    Deaths of two deer shot by arrows in northwest Colorado Springs under investigation February 24, 2014 Colorado, Colorado Springs Gazette 
... A young deer that was found shot between the eyes with a crossbow in northwest Colorado Springs had to be euthanized ... looking into whether the incident is tied to a more recent deer killing on Feb. 22, when a deer was found dead less than five miles from where the fawn was discovered...

State will host wildlife input session Feb. 20 in Eagle February 17, 2014 Colorado, Vail Daily News
... Every five years, Colorado Parks and Wildlife hosts public meetings to gather comment about the state’s big-game hunting season structure... The CPW will host one of its regional big game hunting structure meetings in Eagle on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Eagle County Fairgrounds old exhibit hall...

A cold, foggy winter morning at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colorado. You can actually get quite close to these guys. - February 23, 2014


...  "What happens when your dog goes out and chases that deer, it utilizes some of [the deer's] energy, and that's the energy it needs to survive the winter in Colorado." ... if your pet chases wild animals, officers have authority to shoot it...

... Dogs that chase wild animals can cause extreme stress to deer and elk, wildlife officials said... also at a significant risk of being injured or killed by a wild animal ... In Colorado, the fine for knowingly or negligently allowing a dog to harass wildlife is $274 ...

Survival and population growth of a free‐ranging elk population with a long history of exposure to chronic wasting disease RJ Monello, JG Powers, NT Hobbs, TR Spraker… Colorado - The Journal of Wildlife …, 2014
...  investigations of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal, contagious prion disease of free-ranging cervids, suggest the disease can cause long-term population declines in deer ... Population declines were predicted to occur when prevalence of CWD exceeded 13% (BCI = 0, 35). ... We conclude that CWD can exceed natural rates of mortality, reduce survival of adult females, and decrease population growth of elk herds. 

... The partnered research focuses on improving natural resource management strategies for native mule deer and greater sage-grouse populations in particular as well as their habitats. The teams of researchers and wildlife managers are working to provide answers to conservation questions such as:  Preliminary results from a mule deer behavior study utilizing GPS collars indicates that deer avoid well pads during drilling, the most active phase of development...

Rangers cracking down on hikers ignoring land closures around Durango January 29, 2014 Colorado, Greenfield Daily Reporter 
... The low-elevation areas are closed to the public in the winter to give elk and mule deer alternatives to find food when they come down from heavy snow in the highlands...

...  for the past 15 years show a consistent drop in estimated populations in the region ... Brad Weinmeister, a terrestrial biologist ... the downward trend is likely a combination of the extended drought, less nutritious range, and increasing development and populations... In the urban areas they are doing OK ... Predation of deer by coyotes and mountain lions does not appear to be causing the overall mule deer decline either ...

Deer food January 20, 2014 Colorado, subletteexaminer.com
...  Well, here we go again with the bull from the Game and Fish about feeding deer, elk and large game. I say, let’s stop feeding the game wardens and feed the deer.   I have lived here in Boulder all my life and have seen deer fed, elk fed and moose fed alfalfa and hay by a game warden, one of the best ...

Deer food January 20, 2014 Colorado, subletteexaminer.com
...  Well, here we go again with the bull from the Game and Fish about feeding deer, elk and large game. I say, let’s stop feeding the game wardens and feed the deer.   I have lived here in Boulder all my life and have seen deer fed, elk fed and moose fed alfalfa and hay by a game warden, one of the best ...

Salida, Intern offers deer task force update January 10, 2014 Colorado,  Mountain Mail Newspaper
...   recommendations the task force provided....  A deer count is the first step before any of the other steps or recommendations ... survey the citizens of Salida to find out what, if any, concerns residents have about the deer population... Recommendation 4: Birth control for urban does ...

... It is a known fact that hunters feed deer, known as baiting, all the time... Wildlife enforcement needs to get the proverbial stick out of their asses and let this man do what he does. ... I hunt and I see nothing wrong with what he does. He is just a kind hearted soul. We need more of people like him ...

Dry streak a lifesaver for deer? January 3, 2013 Arizona, Aspen Times
...  Perry Will, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, recently said that weather conditions in November and early December were “really tough” on deer in mountains and valleys surrounding Aspen. Snowfall was well above average in the fall, and there was an extended frigid period in December. Deer had a difficult time pawing through the snow and reaching food sources...

Northwest Colo. hunting improves in 2013 December 11, 2013 Colorado, Glenwood Springs Post Independent
...  In 2013, elk and mule deer success rates climbed slightly,  ... Mule deer hunters also had a high rate of success in the area ... That could be the continuation of a trend from the last couple years, with very few hunters receiving licenses to hunt mule deer... “We’re so limited on our mule deer licenses. The folks that had them had no problem with success,” ...

... will be in low-flying helicopters and airplanes from early December through March ... will captured and radio-collar 75 elk, 90 moose, 20 desert bighorn sheep, 25 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and 1,300 mule deer ...

Deer study requires trapping December 8, 2013 Colorado, Chaffee County Times 
...  deer are captured and fitted with radio collars... The fact that bobcats take about as many deer as coyotes was a bit of a surprise.Another interesting fact is how far our wintering deer migrate.  Most deer that winter in our valley just move to higher locations. Some, however, are travelers.  ...

Deer antlers: A rack to show off December 3, 2013 Colorado, Vail Daily News
... Beginning around 5-8 years, a mule deer buck will be in his prime or healthiest years. This is when the best antler growth will occur ... During the summer and fall, the antlers are soft and covered with a velvet-like fur. They continue to grow through late August. At that time, the velvet dries up and the bone hardens... When any tine points out to the side (kickers) or down (drops), they are considered atypical...

Keep wildlife in mind when decorating for the holidays November 27, 2013 Colorado, Sky Hi Daily News
... “Deer, elk, and moose often find themselves tangled in material or stuck in pools, skate parks, etc.” said Jennifer Churchill, public information officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Although some may find these interactions ‘cute’ or think that the animal is having fun, these situations can be very stressful to the animal...

Euthanized buck puts Pinery deer issue back in the spotlight November 19, 2013 Colorado, Our Colorado News
...  a buck gravely wounded by an arrow ... Officials are unsure whether the buck was hunted legally on nearby private property or targeted by an angry homeowner in the Pinery. Wildlife authorities are trying to determine the origin of the arrow and are encouraging anyone with information to call 303-291-7227...

WAOW
...  "culling" to harvest antlerless deer. City leaders said they've been doing it for about 17 years ... "We've been doing it quite regularly, we think that the number of deer is roughly the same as it was," said Elbert Rackow, Stevens Point Deer Management Committee...  looking for a new way to cut down on deer in the city...

... The buck, which appeared be three to four years old, was bedded down in high grass with the arrow sticking out of its back... 

CPW seeks comments about deer management November 7, 2013 Colorado, Cortez Journal
... Over the past 15 years, the deer population in these areas has declined significantly. Reasons for the decline are unknown, but contributing factors may include drought, harsh winters, disease, predators and changing land-development patterns that have impacted critical winter range... [comment at]  www.research.net/s/d24dauplan;  www.research.net/s/d29dauplan. They’ll be posted through Dec. 10.


Don't let your dogs harass, chase or attack wildlife October 26, 2013 Colorado, examiner.com
... Tremendous energy is required by wildlife to endure the cold of winter and for the development of the babies inside them. A hard run caused by a dog chase can cause exhaustion and result in the death of the animals... Deer frequently break their legs during flight from predators such as dogs ...

Spatial ecology of female mule deer in an area proposed for wind energy development SL Webb, MR Dzialak, D Houchen, KL Kosciuch… - Western North American …, 2013
...  We investigated the spatial ecology of female mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus; n = 18) equipped with global positioning system collars from 23 February 2011 to 15 January 2012 in an area along the Wyoming–Colorado border that has been proposed for wind energy development. .. Annual size of home ranges averaged 2495 ha (SE = 121), whereas size of core areas averaged 310 ha (SE = 30). Seasonal site fidelity was substantial (81.1%, SE = 5.7) between successive cool-season ranges. Migration distances between cool- and warm-season home ranges were minimal (spring migration = 1319 m; autumn migration = 1342 m)...

Denver iJournal
CSU researchers have investigated the puzzling properties of prions for decades, since they first identified CWD in deer in northern Colorado, and this week they will host national and international colleagues to consider new scientific questions related to these rogue proteins ...Prusiner, a neurologist and biochemist ...is credited with first proposing that misfolded proteins with infectious properties cause the family of degenerative neurological diseases now known as prion disease ...

... The property represents the third phase of conserved lands between RMEF and the Flying Diamond Ranch. When combined with previous work by the RMEF, Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife on the Flying Diamond Ranch in Routt County, 1,928 acres of the 3,095-acre ranch are now permanently protected.  “This transaction is a testament to the continuing commitment to elk, elk country and conservation by the Adams family,”

Colorado Hunter 2013: Grand County Grand for big game October 14, 2013 Steamboat Pilot & Today
... the Middle Park deer herd is modeled at more than 15,350 ... “Historically, this region has always been known for its deer hunting,” says Lyle Sidener, CPW Grand County area wildlife manager. “It has lots of low-lying central sage brush areas surrounded by mountains, which is what gets deer through winter. There’s also a long history of deer research here, from habitat use to nutrition. Deer here have probably been studied more than they have anywhere else.” ...

Colorado Deer Season 2013: Hunting Forecast October 4, 2013 Outdoor Life
... our mule deer buck-to-doe ratio is about 31 to 100 ...  Brutal winters in 2007 and 2008, mountain lion predation and urban sprawl have substantially reduced the mule deer population ...  about 390,000 remain  ... The whitetail population sets at about 20,000 ...


Search for deer news and information by keyword above or find links to state news stories organized by topic. 

Colorado data: About 390,000 mule deer and 20,000 whitetails in 2013 and into 2014.  The post hunt deer population in the spring of 2012 was estimated at 418,000 deer. Colorado statistics. About deer 461,000 in 2011. About 600,000 in 2000. The current herd is one half to one third of the herd size in the 1940s and far below the pre-settlement numbers. Does make up about one quarter of the harvest. Causes for the decline are thought to include habitat fragmentation and decline quality, a decline of winter range from human population growth, disease, predation, competition from elk and white tailed deer...
      At the beginning of 2012 there were about 280,000 elk, more than any other state, and about 71,000 pronghorns. In 2011 Colorado had an estimated, 214,526 elk, and 76,710 pronghorn sheep; 3,500 to 4,500 mountain lions. Another estimate for 2011 was 430,000 deer and 286,000 elk. An estimated 16,000 to 18,000 bears.

Report Poaching:  call Operation Game Thief at 1-877-265-6648 or email a tip to game.thief@state.co.us

Other useful links:
Colorado Department of Natural Resources
Colorado Division of Wildlife
Goal of Wildlife Commission: "The Commission shall actively promote, encourage, and provide sufficient opportunity for public participation and input for the purposes of carrying out duties and decision-making processes." from Colorado Wildlife Commission Policy
Goals: Minimize loss of quality fish and wildlife habitat. Fish and wildlife disease do not significantly impact fish and wildlife. From Colorado Division of Wildlife Strategic Plan, 2010
- The Cooperative Research Unit 
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife News Releases to support the Department of the Interior’s strategic goal of linking science to decision making through Adaptive Management."
Colorado Mule Deer Association

Tweets about deer in Colorado


Historical Deer Population
"Historical records testify to the original abundance of mule deer encountered by early settlers ... As a result of this large-scale harvesting, the Colorado Territory established its first wildlife protection agency in 1879 ... mule deer populations didn't fully rebound until after the dust bowl era of the early to mid 1930s. While exact numbers were not collected until the 1970s, wildlife professionals generally agree that herds reached modern highs in the 1940s, with populations between two or three times as large as the current 2012 post-hunt estimate of 420,000." John Ceballos 


Tweets about Colorado Parks and Wildlife



Mule deer captured by a helicopter for a Colorado Parks and Wildlife study

Draft SCIF Mule Deer 2