Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a long history of studying and managing mule deer, dating back to the agency’s origins. In recent decades, CPW has invested millions of dollars annually to manage, monitor and study mule deer, with many of these efforts focused in western Colorado. To capture this history and set the stage for moving forward, CPW produced a three-page publication titled Colorado's Mule Deer Story.
Together with the public and stakeholders, CPW will work to stabilize, sustain and increase mule deer populations in Colorado and, in turn, increase hunting and wildlife-related recreational opportunities.
CPW is conducting several ongoing studies to determine the role that predation, energy development, recreation, and development play in mule deer survival. Studies are made available upon publication, which follows extensive peer review. Learn more about research projects on the Mammals Research page.
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 sportspeople 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 initially allocated up to $5 million through 2024 to support the Strategy. These funds are used for continuing efforts to monitor mule deer, conduct research, and improve habitat.
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