In recent years, mule deer populations in Colorado have decreased in several areas on the West Slope. The agency hosted a series of public meetings in 2014, designed to gather input from sportsmen and women and others interested in conserving the species.
The outreach culminated in the development of the West Slope Mule Deer Strategy, a plan consisting of seven components specifically aimed at addressing the decreasing numbers. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the strategy December 2015 and CPW managers recently implemented the plan in May 2016.
Utah and Wyoming are working on similar strategies to address plummeting mule deer numbers in their states.
$500,000 has been allocated initially to implement the strategy and CPW may spend approximately $5 million over the next ten years. These funds will be used for continuing efforts to stop the slide, including monitoring, extensive research and habitat improvement projects.
"We are very determined to keep mule deer number from declining any further," said CPW's Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde. "The strategy is very specific in terms of how we will turn this around, but it will take hard work, substantial funding and the support of our sportsmen."
Colorado's Mule Deer Story from Colorado Parks & Wildlife on Vimeo.
They’ve got big ears. They bound around on spring-loaded legs. Tourists love to see them. Hunters enjoy the sport they offer and the meat they provide for the table. They live throughout Colorado and are a valuable part of Colorado’s wildlife heritage. They’re mule deer, the iconic deer of the American West. Download a PDF version of The Story of Colorado's Mule Deer.
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TOPIC: Mule Deer Strategy: Summary of Public Input: Julie Shapiro, Brooke Trainum: The Keystone Center. Update provided at the July 2014 Commission Meeting