Colorado Deer News

2015 High country scouting in Colorado. Sheds, mule deer, and elk. Justin Moore Small Town USA - June 28, 2015



Plague confirmed in mule deer in Colorado Springs June 26, 2015 Colorado, Colorado Springs Gazette 
... It is rare to find it in a mule deer, said Tom Gonzales, deputy director of the health department. It is more common in prairie dogs, rabbits or squirrels...

High Country News is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) independent media organization that covers environmental news and other important issues and stories that define the American West. Through insightful, in-depth journalism, it strives to inform and inspire people to act on behalf of the West's diverse natural and human communities. - June 25, 2015



Elizabeth, Cities are just deer in the headlights June 14, 2015 Colorado, m.durangoherald.com
... Elizabeth ...To date, it is the only town in Colorado that has taken on a deer-culling program ... hunters were allowed to use bows and arrows or crossbows ... a goal of culling 15 deer [a recreational level of deer control] ... How much opposition was there from the people who like the deer?  “Last year, they mounted a real campaign, and we had all the television stations from Denver here,” he said. “This year, there was nothing.” ....

CDOT warns of wildlife accidents as deer, elk migrate May 20, 2015 Colorado, 9News
...  3,437 wildlife-vehicle collisions reported in Colorado in 2013, down from 4,016 in 2012 and below the 10-year average of 3,605...

Hoophouses save the garden from havoc May 15, 2015 The Daily Sentine
...  we had built mini-hoophouses with netting to protect the garden from our own chickens’ destructive tendencies, and they doubled as deer-proof fencing.  They’ve also proven to protect against wild birds, which sometimes eat new seedlings...

Deer declining across Colorado and West May 14, 2015 Colorado, Denver Post
... Colorado Parks and Wildlife data also show a statewide deer population decrease since 2005 by about 36 percent. Across the West, deer decreased by at least 10 percent... the latest CPW population estimates, provided in response to Denver Post queries, show a statewide decline in mule deer — the main deer in the West — down to 390,600 in 2013 from 614,100 in 2005...

... Statewide deer populations have increased for the first time since 2005, and demand for deer licenses is strong. In 2014, 169,000 hunters applied for Colorado deer licenses. In 2015, 83,200 deer licenses will be available, about 400 more licenses than 2014. The predicted deer harvest from these license recommendations is 34,000, similar to annual harvests over the past four years...

Wildlife Corridors Set To Be Installed Along Highway 9 May 8, 2015 Colorado, CBS Denver 
... A series of over and under passes on Highway 9 between Kremmling and Silverthorne will allow wildlife like deer and elk to cross safely. Nearly 500 animals have died trying to cross in the past decade, and 16 people have been killed by such an incident over the past 20 years... [photo from Colorado Department of Transportation]

Presence of moose near Colorado Springs shrouded in mystery May 7, 2015 Colorado, Colorado Springs Gazette
... For the past four years, a female adult moose has prowled the wooded hills north of Colorado Springs ... moose generally stick to lakes, rivers and wetlands ... She's thought to be the only moose residing in El Paso County...

Drivers beware: Deer, elk crossing roads May 7, 2015 Colorado, Durango Herald
... estimated 40,000 mule deer and 40,000 elk that make up the herds between Cortez and Pagosa Springs are migratory... Over the 10-year period 2004-13, the average day that mule deer cross U.S. Highway 160 heading north to summer range was May 12. Conversely, on the return trip to winter range, the average day that mule deer crossed Highway 160 heading south was Oct. 24...

This video was captured on one of ACES (Aspen Center for Environmental Studies) trail cameras on Sunday April 26th, 2015 at 10:39pm. Here in this trail camera video, a Mule Deer is seen up close. As you can see, this deer's antlers have just started to grow. Each spring, a buck's antlers start to regrow almost immediately after the old antlers are shed. The buck's antlers will typically shed in January or Febuary each winter. - May 3, 2015


Alamosa, Deer may be issue — or not April 30, 2015 Colorado, Alamosa Valley Courier
... Judging by the lack of attendance at a city work session last night to discuss deer issues in Alamosa — and the relatively few incidents and accidents reported between residents and deer in the city — city councilors came to the conclusion there may not be that many deer problems in Alamosa after all...

Man faces 18 charges in Jan. mule deer poaching April 14, 2015 Colorado, Aspen Times
... If the average male mule deer weighs around 200 pounds, and John Aaron Golman is convicted on all 18 criminal charges stemming from allegedly poaching four mule deer, he could face fines of as much as $442,250...

The threat of CWD in the Estes Valley April 13, 2015 Colorado, Estes Park Trail-Gazette
... a small biopsy of rectal mucosa tissue is taken and sent to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory for analysis. The elk is given a radio transmitter collar and released. If the animal tests positive for CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease), it is located and culled from the herd... This technology represents a significant advance in live field testing for CWD...

Prescribed burn planned on Basalt Mtn April 10, 2015 Colorado, Aspen Times
... The intent of the project is to promote nutrient recycling of fire-adapted vegetation communities, provide an improved food source for wildlife and create habitat conditions that will encourage wintering deer and elk to stay in the area rather than move onto lower elevation private land where they may become a nuisance...

Curtis Keetch wins award for work with mule deer April 5, 2015 Colorado, The Daily Sentinel 
... Keetch received the award based on his work implementing the first Stewardship Agreement with the Mule Deer Foundation in the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Region...

     Colorado State University is hosting an international conference — never before held in the United States — focused on prions, the rogue misfolded proteins that cause chronic wasting disease in deer and hold clues to human diseases, such as Alzheimer’s... “It’s somewhat like a zombie movie, or like a right-handed person transferring that trait to a left-handed person simply by touch,” said University Distinguished Professor Ed Hoover, a veterinarian and infectious-disease authority who co-founded CSU’s Prion Research Center with the center’s director, Glenn Telling...



State drought and exotic deer lice March 28, 2015 Colorado, Sterling Journal-Advocate 
... the first deer to be found in Colorado with exotic chewing lice was discovered east of Denver. Chewing lice, Bovicola tibialis, is a species of lice that comes from Europe. ... For more information on the exotic chewing louse

State's 1st case of exotic chewing lice confirmed in deer March 25, 2015 Colorado, 10 TV
... the deer, which has been euthanized, was found struggling to survive by a Watkins-area rancher Feb. 13...

Denver Post 
... In an effort to reduce stress and disturbance of wintering big game animals, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has implemented new regulations that limit the increasingly popular pastime of shed antler collection ...
... It's nearly a constant problem in Colorado ... and is particularly serious in the winter when dogs can run down deer and elk in the snow and injure or kill them... "On a cold day those elk should have been bedding down so they could conserve energy," ...

Colorado CPW approves big game regulations February 17, 2015 OurayNews.com
... Archers may now use lighted nocks on arrows, which can help aid in recovery of game animals. New rules are also in place that allow recording devices to be mounted on a bow. Antler shed collection in the Eagle and Roaring Fork Valleys now has restrictions in place for collecting sheds at certain times of the year. This helps minimize disturbance of animals on their winter range...

New Colorado big game hunting regulations to take effect this fall February 15, 2015 Denver Post
... new restrictions for moose hunters in game management units 20 and 29 are aimed at preventing a repeat of the public-relations nightmare that ensued when a bowhunter shot and killed a bull moose in front of an unsuspecting audience gathered to observe wildlife ...

Please, spring, wait your turn February 12, 2015 Colorado, The Dur ...ango Herald
... For deer and elk, February’s warm spell may be a welcome respite from winter’s harsh realities.  Late summer and early fall rains allowed deer and elk to enter winter in good shape ...  if dry conditions persist through the spring, elk and deer could start to feel a pinch ...

Deer, elk birth rates in Aspen area concern wildlife officers February 8, 2015 Colorado, Aspen Times 
...  a ratio of 32 calves per 100 cows in Game Management Unit 43, which covers the south side of Highway 82 from Glenwood Springs to Castle Creek Valley south of Aspen and the Crystal Valley.  The ratio was 35 calves per 100 cows in Game Management Unit 47 on the north side of the Roaring Fork Valley and up to Independence Pass...  something’s wrong ...

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission OKs new hunting regs February 8, 2015 Colorado, The Chaffee County Times
... Archers may now use lighted nocks on arrows, which can help aid in recovery of game animals. New rules are also in place that allow recording devices to be mounted on a bow.
Antler shed collection in the Eagle and Roaring Fork valleys now has restrictions in place ... Recorded discussion of those topics and other meeting discussion can be found at cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/CommissionMeeting2015-1.aspx.

... after deer fencing was installed in 2013 at a cost of $810,000 on both sides of a five-mile stretch in Aurora and northern Douglas County, collisions dropped from 20 in 2013 to three last year...

...  Dogs chasing wildlife is nearly a constant problem in Colorado. The issue is particularly serious during the winter when dogs can easily rundown deer and elk in the snow and injure or kill them.  So far this winter, wildlife officers in every corner of the state have filed reports of chasing incidents...

Brothers from Kansas, Colorado pay hefty fines in Teller County poaching case January 30, 2015 Colorado, Colorado Springs Gazette
... Two brothers have pleaded guilty and paid hefty fines in connection to myriad wildlife charges stemming from a more than three-year poaching investigation into illegal bait sites near the Pike National Forest...

... It's a become a problem throughout the state...dogs chase wildlife and run them down to the point of serious injury or death.  Large game like elk and deer are particularly vulnerable during this time of year because of reduced body weight and strength...

...  695 acres of wildlife habitat. Most of the acres are adjacent to the Rio Blanco State Wildlife Area, located a few miles west of Meeker... some limited big game hunting opportunities. It will also provide winter range for deer and elk, which is critical for their survival...

...  zones had a reduced night time speed limit, increased signage and even increased fines for speeding... It worked a little ... "Overall, it looks like collisions went down, but it didn't show in the speed study that people were slowing down,' ...

... The Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust (CCALT) recently completed a conservation easement on one of the largest working ranches in Northwest Colorado. Multiple partners contributed to the protection of 16,000 acres of key sage grouse habitat on the Cross Mountain Ranch in Moffat County, close to Dinosaur National Monument... Moffat County supports an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 sage grouse, the largest population remaining in Colorado. The largest elk populations in Colorado also rely on this breathtaking expanse of sagebrush and bunchgrasses, as do mule deer and pronghorn...

Elizabeth, 9 deer killed by hunters in Colorado culling program January 14, 2015 Colorado Springs Gazette 
... the deer were killed on town-owned land between early October and late December by five bow hunters...

Density dependence in mule deer: a review of evidence EJ Bergman, PF Doherty Jr, GC White, AA Holland - Wildlife Biology, 2015  Colorado
... Wildlife managers and hunters expressed concern over a recent decline in western Colorado mule deer herds, yet the underlying cause of this decline is yet to be determined... Similar declines that occurred during the 1960s and early 1990s ... The conventional working hypothesis in Colorado is that mule deer herds are limited by winter range habitat....

Herd of Elk Die in Southern Colorado as Ice on Reservoir Gives Way January 2, 2015 Tech Times
... which killed about 20 animals ... the herd ventured into the ice about 50 feet from shore but the ice gave way due likely to the combined weight of the animals...

Colorado man fined for harassing deer December 24, 2014 KOAA 5 
... release his dog, with shout of encouragement, to chase three grazing does nearby...

Two mule bucks with B&C scores over 190 battle it out on the Colorado winter range! Press play to see which buck bests the other! - December 26, 2014



... Hunting licenses in the state have decreased six to ten thousand every year...  idea is to increase resident hunting license fees which haven’t changed since 2006, that would bring in four to ten million dollars a year...

Colorado data: Deer populations are up in 2015, the first time since 2005.  The 2014 post-hunt population was estimated at 424,000 compared to 391,000 in 2013.  The objective is 500,000 to 556,000.  Deer are generally doing well in the central and northern mountains.  
About 390,600 mule deer and 20,000 whitetails in 2013 and 2014.  CPW estimates the total deer population has fallen by 36 % since 2005, from 614,000.  Deer licenses have been reduced in 2014 to help boost the population. Licenses have been reduced from 130,106 in 2007 to about 80,000 in 2014.  The post hunt deer population in the spring of 2012 was estimated at 408,000 - 418,000 deer. Colorado statistics. About 461,000 in 2011, 600,000 in 2000.  The current population is one half to one third of the herd size in the 1940s and far below the pre-settlement numbers. Causes for the decline are thought to include habitat fragmentation and decline quality, a decline of winter range from human population growth, disease, predation from mountain lions, harsh winters in 2007 and 2008, competition from elk, migration barriers, drought, and outdoor recreation.    The nation's largest mule deer herd in northwest Colorado has fallen from 105,900 in 2005 to about 32,000.  A peak of 625,000 mule deer in 1983. Does make up about one quarter of the harvest.  The mule deer buck-to-doe ratio is about 31 to 100. The Middle Park deer herd of about 15,350 has been extensively studied.  The success rate for the state's 74,000 hunters in 2013 was about 44 percent, about 48 percent in 2014 for 57,000 hunters.  Total deer and elk license revenues in 2013 were about $46 million.   Bucks were 77 percent of the 2014 deer harvest. 
    Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), caused by misfolded proteins, was first detected in 1967 at the Colorado Division of Wildlife Foothills Wildlife Research Facility in Fort Collins among captive deer held in a pen next to sheep with Scrapie. In the 1980's it was found in wild mule deer and elk in Colorado and Wyoming. Through the 1990's it spread to Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Oklahoma,Nebraska, and Montana.
     The 2014 post hunt elk population was estimated at 280,000, about 264,000 in 2013, about 280,000 in 2012, down from the peak of about 305,000 in 2001. More than any other state, a managed decline 
    The pronghorn post-hunt estimate for 2014 is 73,000 up from 66,000 in 2013 and at about the state objective of 67,000 to 76,000.
     The moose population was estimated at 2,400 in 2015.  Colorado's moose population was repopulated stating in the 1970's.  In 1978, state wildlife officers transplanted 24 male and female moose from Wyoming and Utah into North Park in the northern part of the state. By 2012, the breeding population of moose in Colorado was estimated at 2,300.
     The 2015 bear population is estimated at 17,000 to 20,000

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 Parks and Wildlife 2015 Strategic Plan
- Colorado Mule Deer Story prepared to help understand declining mule deer populations
Colorado Mule Deer Association
Tweet on this timeline using #Colorado #Deer

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