If only other agency’s from more state’s were this thoughtful, and informed. Yes, I know, Whitetail Deer are the number one game animal hunted, but, I am, and always will be a dyed in the wool Mule Deer fan!

KREMMLING, Colo — The Colorado Division of Wildlife is preparing for a large study of buck mule deer survival in Middle Park to improve the Division’s ability to manage deer populations around the state through more informed modeling and harvest decisions.

The study plan will be explained by lead researcher Eric Bergman at a meeting of the Blue Valley Sportsman Club on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The public is invited to attend the meeting which will begin at 7 p.m. at the Blue Valley Sportsman Club.

Management of deer populations has become more complicated since the state responded to mule deer population declines by moving from over-the-counter deer licenses to limited licenses in 1999.

During the initial two to three years of the study, the Division will establish a baseline by monitoring mule deer in Middle Park. Then the Division will temporarily adjust the allocation of hunting licenses in the area in an effort to change the ratio of bucks to does in the herd. During this period, Bergman and his team of researchers will monitor the population to assess how the license allocation actually affects the population of deer in the area.

“It’s extremely important for managers to know if there are differences between survival rates of bucks, does and fawns when we manage herds for different objectives,” said Bergman. “For instance, in some areas we may be managing for a post hunt ratio of 45 bucks per 100 does while in other areas we may be managing for a post hunt ratio of 25 bucks per 100 does. We’ve learned that we can effectively accomplish this, but we don’t know if the over-winter survival of bucks under these two conditions is different.”

Those who are interested in hearing more about the research project are encouraged to attend the meeting on Oct. 6. The Blue Valley Sportsman Club is located 11 miles south of Kremmling at milepost 128.1 on Colorado Highway 9.
More information about the Division’s mule deer research may be found at:

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  2. mainenowandthen Says:

    No mulies in the wilds of Maine (unfortunately), but for several decades we have had extensive research performed to help in the management of the herd. After two very severe winters in a row, our whitetail herd in the northern half of the state has been extremely hard hit, resulting in the banning of antlerless deer permits in those wildlife management areas. The deer population in the southern half was spared the deep snows that caused so many deaths up north and currently is somewhat diminished, but still healthy.

    Most of the Northeast has profited from the research centered around the whitetail population, although fine tuning each state’s policies will be forever an ongoing project.


  3. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Having been in Colorado during the so-called boom days I seriously have to wonder if the populations really have bounced back all that well. In particular since so many areas were over targeted levels. Much to the delight of Mule Deer hunters such as myself. However, the Buck / Doe ratio was terribly out of balance, so perhaps these new figures are in fact better. That’s where the fine tuning comes in that you referred to I think.


  4. mainenowandthen Says:

    Yep, that’s the holy grail that all the researchers pursue.


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