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Location: Powderhorn, Colorado
Joined: 04/07/2003
Posts: 167
Mule deer declining population

Tooooooo many people and to much developement...............that,s a no-brainer!! lol

cowgal's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
Mule deer declining population

Not everything can be blamed on people and development. Look at the explosion in the elk and antelope populations. They basically share the same habitat as the muley, and have flourished. Even in ideal situations, like in our national parks, the muley has suffered. There is more to the story and I'm not willing to accept a blanket statement that its just about development and people.

Many years ago (maybe 20 or so?) there was a lot of controversy over development around Steamboat Springs and how it would hurt the elk herds and interrupt their seasonal migrations. Steamboat has grown by leaps & bounds and so have the elk herds.

The mule deer appear to be rebounding some and herds appear larger and healthier, so hopefully the situation has reversed, at least here in Colorado.

In other areas such as Idaho, I believe the mortality rate has a lot to do with the wolf population and severe winters.

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Location: Powderhorn, Colorado
Joined: 04/07/2003
Posts: 167
Mule deer declining population

unfortunately everything can be blamed on people. it is real simple.........no people, no problems.

Alamosa's picture
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Location: Southern Colorado
Joined: 03/25/2005
Posts: 245
Mule deer declining population

In S.E. Colorado I hear a lot about competition from whitetails and mule deer coming out on the short end. In the Arkansas river drainage I have seen whitetail in one river bend and then mule deer in the very next one. I have also heard of people asking permission to hunt private land and being told they had permission for whitetail only.
I have never heard whether or not there is sound biology to support this theory.

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Location: Kentucky/ Colorado
Joined: 06/23/2005
Posts: 1744
Mule deer declining population

Alamosa, Thankfully, Whitetails haven't moved all the way across Colorado yet. They have been west of Fort Collins for a while now and followed the Arkansas river west but other then that they're pretty rare in the mountains. In Montana and Wyoming they have really moved in. It seems that muleys and whitetails can stay in they same general area and do OK for a while but over time the whitetails seem to take over. That is one of the reasons that CO, WY & MT are having special whitetail seasons. Most of the areas in MT & WY will let you shoot either sex WT but only Muley bucks, if any Muleys at all.

bitmasher's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
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Mule deer declining population
Alamosa wrote:
I have never heard whether or not there is sound biology to support this theory.

I thought I had read some studies that showed whitetails will breed out mule deer, because the mule deer bucks are not as agressive as the whitetail during the rut.

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Location: Kentucky/ Colorado
Joined: 06/23/2005
Posts: 1744
Mule deer declining population

Bitmasher, I had a game warden tell me something like that. She did a study on WT & Muley cross breeding and almost every case, it was the WT buck that stayed on the Muley doe until she finally gave in.

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Location: Bonne Terre Missouri
Joined: 10/11/2006
Posts: 21
Mule deer declining population

if the no. is down then why is Co. leting out so many tags?
i am hunting unit 4 2cd season elk and the last i check there
was still over 1000 doe & 500 buck leftover tags.
guys i have talked to say the deer are thick in this area.

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Location: Powderhorn, Colorado
Joined: 04/07/2003
Posts: 167
Mule deer declining population

because that area is basically a migration route for the deer. sometimes they are there and sometimes not, and are on private property. so they issue a good quanity of licenses to thin them out if you are there at the right time.

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Location: Austin Colorado
Joined: 10/26/2006
Posts: 52
Mule deer declining population

GMU 4 also has some CWD issues. I hunt quite a bit in GMU 15 and for the last 3 years since CWD was found in the area the DOW has been very liberal with tags. This year infact you could get two additional tags in that unit including one buck and one doe. Seems like the DOW is trying to stay ahead of CWD by thinning out the deer herd around areas that have it bad? In areas like GMU 54 they gave out more tags this year but total for the three last seasons were about 700. In some areas like just south of GMU 54 in 67 they are only giving out 90 deer tags for all the seasons.

I spend about 200 days a year in the field working and I think the declining population problem is predator driven. I have seen more single fawns this summer then ever before. I was working a private piece of ground this summer and saw three yotes working one doe and two fawns. One yote would work the doe while the other two would go after the fawns. By the time it was all said and done neither of the fawns survived. The owner of the property was anti hunting so there was little I could do to intervein whichh really bummed me out.

yotes are not the only problem. Bears are getting their share also and ever since the bleeding heart voters of CO banned the use of baits and banned spring bear hunting their numbers have increased. GRRR I hate when wildlife management is left to folks that don't know about or don't understand whats best for our critters (AKA voters that get all their information from a campain ad on TV while watching "Reality Show's". Brick Wall,)

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