Smaller deer numbers to be discussed

RBC I To address the overall decline in mule deer populations throughout Western Colorado, state wildlife managers are participating in numerous, ongoing research projects in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties as they continue their search for answers and possible solutions for the drop in numbers. To discuss their findings so far, local wildlife managers are inviting the public to a presentation with biologists, researchers and wildlife officials on Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. at Mountain Valley Bank, 400 Main St. in Meeker.
Wildlife officials stress that the public’s understanding of the decline is critical and opportunities to have an open discussion with researchers and biologists can provide valuable insight.
“Some of our stakeholders have offered their views and opinions about what needs to happen to reverse the decline,” said Area Wildlife Manager Bill de Vergie of Meeker. “However, there is a large section of the public we have yet to hear from and we are happy to provide another opportunity for them to listen and also provide their input.
“Mule deer provide substantial economic benefits to communities across Colorado and are an important indicator species for the overall health of the environment,” he said. “Numerous factors may have led to the overall decline and wildlife researchers will continue their years-long research with goals of finding solutions and restoring herds to their management objectives.
“This is not just a concern for hunters and outfitters,” de Vergie said. “If you live in Western Colorado, a continuing decline may affect you eventually, whether you hunt mule deer, earn an income from hunting, collect antlers or just enjoy viewing wildlife.”
Among other topics to be discussed, local landowners will learn about plans for neonatal studies on their lands.