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Herd Management (DAU) Plans
Herd Management (DAU) Plans
Bull elk with cow herd
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​​​​​​Draft Herd Management Plans - seeking public comment


White River Deer Herd 

Colorado Parks & Wildlife is accepting public comments on a new herd management plan for the White River deer herd in northwest Colorado. The White River deer herd management plan covers more than 4,000 square miles. The area includes hunting Game Management Units (GMUs) 11, 211, 12, 13, 131, 231, 22, 23, and 24. The area covered by the plan centers around the community of Meeker and stretches north to Maybell, Craig, and Steamboat Springs. The proposed herd management plan offers several alternatives for setting population and buck-doe objectives. These objectives will be used to set harvest goals and hunting license numbers in coming years. 

Please review the draft plan and email your comments to Darby Finley at darby.finley@state.co.us by August 8, 2020.

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

Big game populations are managed to 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 population​ 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 harvest objective

Finalized Data Analysis Unit Plans

Bear

Map

Bighorn Sheep

Map

Deer

Map

Elk

Map

Moose

Map

Pronghorn

Map

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