Wednesday, June 04, 2008

COLORADO NEWS: Winter Feeding of Elk a "Success"

While 90% of the elk survived the winter, the feeding also weakened the gene pool and increased the population's susceptibility to disease.

KUSA – The Colorado Division of Wildlife is counting last winter's deer feeding program in the Gunnison Valley a tremendous success.

Extremely heavy snow all winter kept deer in the area from reaching normal forage, according to the DOW.

More than 200 DOW volunteers and staff provided food for much of the winter. The cost of the feeding program was approximately $1.5 million.

According to a DOW spokesperson, they were able to feed about 9,600 deer in the valley, saving more than 90 percent of the population.

DOW was unable to reach all the deer in the valley during last winter's heavy snow storms because many were in inaccessible areas.

The number of 2008 fall hunting licenses for doe mule deer will be extremely limited in the Gunnison Valley. DOW is using caution this season to ensure a healthy, stable population of deer.

Division of Wildlife's winter feeding program in the Eagle valley was also a success. Licenses in the Eagle Valley area will not be cut back as dramatically as in the Gunnison Valley.


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