Tag: Mule deer

Wildlife: Wintry weather to take toll on Colorado mule deer

Mule deer enjoying an abundance of January forage as a sustained warm spell has melted low-elevation snowpack in Colorado.
Last year, mild winter conditions eased foraging conditions for ungulates, but this year’s cold temps and deep snow could result in increase mortality. @bberwyn photo.

‘Wildlife has been experiencing and surviving severe weather for eons without human intervention’

Staff Report

Harsh winter conditions in northwestern Colorado may take a toll on already struggling mule deer herds, state biologists said last week, explaining that they’ve started a limited feeding program to try and keep ungulates from invading cattle grazing areas.

The recent storms have created conditions ranking among the most extreme in the past 35 years. Temperatures dropping well below zero and deep powder snow atop brittle crusts are making it harder for deer and elk to forage and could lead to increased wildlife mortality in portions of the region unless the weather moderates significantly, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Continue reading “Wildlife: Wintry weather to take toll on Colorado mule deer”

Environment: Why are Colorado wildlife biologists apologizing for the energy industry?

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Mule deer populations in northwest Colorado have taken a bit hit from energy development

‘Just pointing fingers at the energy industry is not a helpful solution to this difficult issue’

Staff Report

FRISCO — A recent study showing that energy development in northwest Colorado significantly affects wildlife habitat drew national attention, and a curious reaction from Colorado’s wildlife agency, which seemed to be apologizing on behalf of the energy industry.

The study showed that the region’s dwindling mule deer population shies well away from active drilling, to a distance of at least 800 meters. Deer displayed more nuanced responses to other infrastructure, avoiding pads with active production and roads to a greater degree during the day than night.

When they added up the impacts, the researchers found that the responses equate to alteration of mule deer behavior by human development in more than 50 percent of the critical winter range in the study area during the day and over 25 percent at night. Continue reading “Environment: Why are Colorado wildlife biologists apologizing for the energy industry?”

Colorado: Mule deer summit set for Aug. 9

Colorado mule deer.
Colorado mule deer. bberwyn photo.

State biologists to unveil plan aimed at bolstering deer herds

Staff Report

FRISCO — After studying the decline of Colorado mule deer populations for the past few years, state wildlife biologists are ready to unveil a new strategy aimed at stabilizing an bolstering deer numbers. Western Slope residents will be able to get an early look at the plan during the upcoming Aug. 9 mule deer summit in Glenwood Springs.

The event is free and open to the public. CPW and The Keystone Center invite public review and comments on the West Slope Mule Deer Strategy draft as it serves as a guide to future CPW efforts to increase mule deer populations in Western Colorado.
Continue reading “Colorado: Mule deer summit set for Aug. 9”

Declining populations spur Colorado mule deer strategy summit

Stakeholders to help hash out a plan in facilitated meeting format

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A Colorado mule deer near Missouri Creek. Photo courtesy Kim Fenske.

By Summit Voice

*More Summit Voice mule deer stories here

FRISCO —Colorado wildlife managers are trying to develop a strategy to confront the continued decline in the state’s mule deer population. To get some input on shaping a plan, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in coordination with The Keystone Center, an independent facilitator, is holding a series of seven public meetings across the state, including three in the northwest region during May. The resulting strategy will guide agency efforts to work towards increasing mule deer populations. Continue reading “Declining populations spur Colorado mule deer strategy summit”

Colorado: Wildlife experts to offer update on mule deer studies

Mule deer in winter. Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Mule deer in winter sagebrush habitat. Photo courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say they want feedback from public

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — With several extensive research projects on northwest Colorado mule deer populations under way, biologists say they want to update the public on those efforts. A long-term trend of declining populations has spurred several studies, as scientists look at predation, food supplies and energy development as possible factors.

To discuss their findings so far, wildlife managers are inviting the public to a presentation with biologists, researchers and wildlife officials, Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. at the Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main Street in Meeker. Continue reading “Colorado: Wildlife experts to offer update on mule deer studies”

Colorado: ‘Trophy hunter’ sought for questioning

A mule deer in Colorado. PHOTO COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE.

Wildlife officers say mule deer carcass was left to rot in a dump near Granby with its head cut off

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — State wildlife officials are asking the public for help in tracking down a trophy hunter who left a headless mule deer carcass in a dump site along the Colorado River, a few miles west of Granby.

The carcass was discovered March 20, but based on evidence at the scene, wildlife officers believe the deer was harvested legally during last year’s hunting season, but never skinned and prepared for human consumption as required by law. The condition of the carcass suggests it was dumped only days before it was discovered.

Leaving the meat to waste is illegal in Colorado.

“This was a waste of Colorado’s wildlife resource, and we take it seriously,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife district wildlife manager Scott Murdoch. “It appears that the person who did this hung the animal after it was killed months ago, but never got around to actually preparing it for consumption.” Continue reading “Colorado: ‘Trophy hunter’ sought for questioning”

Colorado: Can predator control stem mule deer decline?

Why is Colorado's mule deer herd declining? PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE.

Public invited to Aug. 15 information session in Meeker

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado wildlife researchers say the deer herd in the northwestern part of the state is shriveling due to a perfect storm of severe winters, drought, predation, and increased traffic from oil and gas exploration.

The decline has spurred some talk of predator control, which could mean increased hunting of mountain lions and coyotes. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials will approach that and other topics related to the state’s mule deer herd at an Aug. 15 meeting at the Fairfield Center in Meeker ( 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., 200 Main Street). Continue reading “Colorado: Can predator control stem mule deer decline?”