DOW to host another deer meeting

PHOTO BY BOBBY GUTIERREZ

RBC I The Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) will host another meeting Aug. 15, to discuss the declining deer herd in Rio Blanco County, according to CDOW area manager Bill de Vergie.Rio Blanco County is home to the largest deer herd in the state of Colorado. At the first meeting held in June, CDOW officials said the White River deer herd has declined more than 30 percent since 2000, affecting the number of licenses issued, which in turn, impacts the local economy with fewer hunters.“Coyotes” was the only word listed next to de Vergie’s name on the most recent agenda for the Rio Blanco County commissioner’s meeting.“Are you putting them on the endangered species list?” Commissioner Shawn Bolton jokingly asked de Vergie.“No we are not going to protect them yet,” de Vergie replied.

The CDOW held a well- attended meeting regarding the area’s  declining deer population last month, discussing the current status of the herd and what the CDOW has been doing to improve the habitat for deer in the county.According to de Vergie, several attendees brought up predator control and the suggestion to reinstate a bounty on coyotes was raised and discussed with Moffat County commissioners.“They are considering forming a committee to flush it out,” de Vergie told the commissioners.Rio Blanco County used to offer a bounty in the 1970’s and early 1980’s but a state statute allowing government entities to pay a bounty was repealed in 2006.“Federal, state and local government entities can’t do it but an individual, like a fur buyer or groups like the woolgrowers or the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation could,” de Vergie said. “The CDOW can’t be the leaders.”“I just wanted to let you know the discussion has started,” de Vergie said.The time and place of the next meeting has not been determined at this time.

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