GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Colorado's mule deer population is well below the number desired by state wildlife officials, and at a summit Saturday they're unveiling strategies to reverse the slide.
Two years ago, Colorado's post-hunt deer population was estimated to be 408,000, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife. That's well below the population objective range of 525,000 to 575,000.
On the Western Slope, the estimated population was just over 300,000, or more than 100,000 short of the objective. Population declines also have been experienced in the White River National Forest.
A draft of a new Western Slope Mule Deer Strategy was to be released at the summit, Colorado Public Radio reported (http://bit.ly/V9clTN).
"Unlike previous times in history when mule deer populations have bounced back, we're in a time right now where mule deer populations are continuing to decline," CPW's Jody Kennedy said.
The Glenwood Springs meeting is the eighth held to discuss efforts to revive the state's deer population.
Deer are doing OK in some areas of Colorado, including the central mountains and the plains. But Kennedy said that is not the case on the Western Slope.
"There are these areas in the western part of the state, particularly in the northwest where we have our largest mule deer populations and we've seen some dramatic declines," she said.