Wildlife managers try to fine-tune herd populations, doe to buck ratios with license allocations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado Division of Wildlife is trying to fine-tune its management of mule deer herds in the Middle Park area by closely monitoring the ratio of does to bucks. State game managers will give an update on their research at a pair of upcoming meetings in Granby and Kremmling.
“It’s extremely important for managers to know if there are differences between survival rates of bucks, does and fawns when we manage herds for different objectives,” said lead CDOW researcher Eric Bergman. “For instance, in some areas we may be managing for a post-hunt ratio of 45 bucks per 100 does while in other areas we may be managing for a post-hunt ratio of 25 bucks per 100 does. We’ve learned that we can effectively accomplish this, but we don’t know if the over-winter survival of bucks under these two conditions is different.”
So far, biologists have collared 100 bucks in the area and Bergman will explain the progress he’s made on the study. The information will improve the Division’s ability to manage deer populations around the state by improving population models and informing harvest decisions.
Management of deer populations has become more complicated since the state responded to mule deer population declines by moving from over-the-counter deer licenses to limited licenses in 1999. The state’s numerous deer herds are managed at a smaller scale and gender ratios and license numbers are more tightly monitored.
During the initial two to three years of the study, the Division will establish a baseline by monitoring mule deer in Middle Park. Then the Division will temporarily adjust the allocation of hunting licenses in the area in an effort to change the ratio of bucks to does in the herd. During this period, Bergman and his team of researchers will monitor the population to assess how the license allocation actually affects the population of deer in the area.
Granby, Tuesday, Feb. 1 – 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Granby Community Center.
Kremmling, Wednesday, Feb. 2 – 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Blue Valley Sportsman Club (located 11 miles south of Kremmling on Highway 9).
More information about the Division’s mule deer research may be found at:
Filed under: Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Environment, Summit County Colorado, wildlife Tagged: | Colorado Division of Wildlife, deer hunting Colorado, Middle Park Colorado, Mule deer, Summit County News