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Herd Management (DAU) Plans
Herd Management (DAU) Plans
Bull elk with cow herd

​​​Draft Plans Open for Public Comment​​

​Colorado Parks and Wildlife has developed two draft management plans for Elk in the E-27 and E-28 Data analysis Units (DAUs), referred to as the Sangre de Cristo (E-27) and Grape Creek (E-28) herds, which are currently under review. The drafts summarize the current and historical status of the populations and presents future management alternatives.

E-27 Draft Plan encompasses portions of Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, and Huerfano counties and includes Game Management Unit’s 86, 691 and 861.

E-28 Draft Plan encompasses portions of Custer, Fremont, Huerfano and Pueblo counties and includes Game Management Unit’s 69 and 84.​​​

CPW is soliciting a public comment period, ending on August 13th. We encourage all interested to comment.

If you are interested in commenting on the two herd management plans, please send comments to Allen Vitt at with E-27 DAU comments or E28 DAU comments in the subject line.

For questions please contact:

Area 11 Terrestrial Biologist Allen Vitt
Phone: 719-561-5306


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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



Bighorn Sheep