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Herd Management (DAU) Plans
Herd Management (DAU) Plans
Bull elk with cow herd
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2017 Herd Management Public Meetings​

Elk and deer management plans are under review for South San Juan Mountains, San Luis Valley, Game Management Units 80 and 81 and West Elk Mountains/Gunnison and North Fork Valley Game Management Units 53, 54 (elk only), and 63. Deer management plans are under review for the South Grand Mesa Game Management Units 52, 411, and 521. 

Public meetings for these GMUs have past. Your opinions matter and will help shape the future management of big game herds in Colorado. Please refer back to this page for opportunities to review draft plans and to provide additional input. Open public comment periods are listed to the right.​​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​About Big Game Herd Management (DAU) Plans

Big game populations are managed t​o achieve population and sex ratio objectives established for Data Analysis Units. A Data Analysis Unit (DAU) is the geographic area that represents the year-around range of a big game herd and includes all of the seasonal ranges of a specific herd. Each DAU usually is composed of several Game Management Units (GMUs), but in some cases only one GMU makes up a DAU.

The purpose of a DAU plan is to integrate the plans and intentions of Colorado ​Parks and Wildlife with the concerns and ideas of land management agencies and interested public to determine how a big game herd in a DAU should be managed.​

In preparing a DAU plan, agency personnel attempt to balance the biological capabilities of the herd and its habitat with the public's demand for wildlife recreational opportunities.

The primary decisions needed for each DAU plan are how many animals should exist in the DAU and what is the desired sex ratio for the population of big game animals (e.g., the number of males per 100 females). 

The selection of popu​lation and sex ratio objectives (which are set for a 10-year period of time) drive important decisions in the big game season setting process, namely: 

  • ​How many animals must be harvested to maintain or move toward the objectives 

  • What types of hunting seasons are required to achieve the harv​est objective

​​Finalized Data Analysis Unit Plans

Bear

Map

Bighorn Sheep

Map

Deer

Map

Elk

Map

Moose

Map

Pronghorn

Map

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