DOW researcher presents plans for mule deer study
October 7, 2010
KREMMLING -The Colorado Division of Wildlife is preparing for a large study of buck mule deer survival in Middle Park to improve the Division’s ability to manage deer populations around the state through more informed modeling and harvest decisions.
The study plan will be explained by lead researcher Eric Bergman at a meeting of the Blue Valley Sportsman Club on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The public is invited to attend the meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m.
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.
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.
“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 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.”
Those who are interested in hearing more about the research project are encouraged to attend the meeting on Oct. 6. The Blue Valley Sportsman Club is located 11 miles south of Kremmling at milepost 128.1 on Colorado Highway 9.
More information about the Division’s mule deer research may be found at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Research/Mammal/Deer/.