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January 18, 2008

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Massive Effort To Save Colorado Mule Deer

Forty-five inches of snow plus sub-zero temperatures equals no food for mule deer in Colorado’s Gunnison Basin, according to a Denver Post article. Last week, the state Division of Wildlife announced an emergency feeding program to prevent massive deer mortality.

For the full story, check out this timeline of articles from the Post.
Jan. 9: DOW moves to prevent massive deer die off
Jan. 11: State aids socked-in Gunnison deer
Money OK'd to prevent deer die-off
Jan. 17: Deer-feeding volunteers overwhelm DOW

Comments

YooperJack

I don't know anything about Mulies. I do know that Whitetails, in the north undergo a change in their stomachs that allows the to digest some cellulose. This change, I believe is bacterial related also prevents the animals from digesting hay, potatoes, carrots, etc. Apparently, the deer have to get those foods routinely to be able to use them.
YooperJack

Matt Mallery

The mass amount of urban sprawl, mining, and drilling for gas in Colorado sure have not helped the deer population.

owenv

I was born and raised on the western slope of CO, moved to CA 23 years ago. The past 5 years I have gone back to hunt my old haunts for mulies and elk.It is so sad see all those gas wells that are now every where. The worst part are the roads they make to get big rigs to the well. 1985 I bought an over the counter tag for around $10.00,
shot a nice four point opening morning, now there is a gas well near the same spot I shot my fine buck, along with the road...

Joshua

Mulies can not eat hay it will kill them. The gas wells are out of control because people want an alternative to oil. 5 to 10 years ago they started putting in nat gas sations because it was cheaper than gas at the time. Now it is more expensive, we have alot of gas wells, and fewer deer. We need to stop having knee jerk reactions for an instant fix to get us off oil, it is going to take some time and alot of hard work, but it will be worth it.

paul Wilke

A sportsmen funded agency is saving
mule deer, with help from locale volunteers and contributions, does anyone expect to see a major effort from those "good" folks from PATA?
Excuse the sarcasm, but you have to notice the difference between actions and words.

YooperJack

Joshua
Mulies must grow the same bacteria in their stomachs that whitetails do. It makes it tough. We have to go into the yards and knock down trees so they can eat the cedar leaves and hardwood buds.
Paul Wilke
Were you referring to PETA?
If you were, I've never seen anything other than "feelgood" efforts come out of groups like that. Up here, anything that's constructive for wildlife (even non-game) will come from some group with hunting as the primary interest. The Safari Club was the prime financier of the moose import program.
YooperJack

paul Wilke

sarcasm was intended, but misspelling was not.
PETA has a long record of negative responses but, At least to my knowledge,absolutely no effort at positive actions. And I'm pretty sure every game animal and fish has a sportsman's group that works hard to insure that their charge has the best possible chance of survival.

Bubba

Western Slope areas are known for their alfalfa growing capabilities. Deer, either mulie or white tail, have no problem consuming alfalfa as it is a "legume" and a regular part of their "diet"! Other types of hay (re: forage) such as grass or straw are not that palatable nor nutritious to ungulates such as deer and elk!

Bubba

YooperJack

Bubba:
We grow a lot of alfalfa here also but the whitetails develops a bacteria in their stomachs. I don't understand the process. All biochemistry.
YooperJack

alberta hunter

not sure about the cellulose comment. I do know that the mulies and whitetails are in the hay fields all winter and as the snow increases they alternate from digging to bale stacks, and mostly whitetails like the leftover grain piles and scrounging around the bins. nice 10 pointer unseen all fall was seen couple days ago. what luck.

Bubba

YJ

From a bio class many moons back. Termites can't even digest cellulose. The termites ingest cellulose and it is "digested" (broken down) by "bugs" in their stomach! Ain't that some s**t!
Odd but little known fact!
Termites will infest warm blooded infants! Especially humans!

In the "browse" that is sought and consumed by "deer", there is some, but not much cellulose. Also the cellulose ingested with browse is in a different state of developement than say, what's found in limbs and bark!

Bubba
Bubba

YooperJack

I guess I should have taken more chemistry. I don't understand what goes on inside the animal! I do remember sportsman's clubs up here feeding deer in mid-winter. I remember my wildlife prof saying that they were finding dead deer with full stomachs of hay. He was the one who brought up the bacteria angle. These bacteria can break down the cellulose and allow it to pass. The deer get nutrients from the cedar needles and hardwood buds and probably a bit from the most tender bark near the bud. As said earlier, I'm really not too up on the subject. If I were managing a tract where deer are in danger of starvation, I would try felling some desirable feed trees first.
YJ

Bubba

If you ain't never field dressed a gut-shot deer that been feeding on cedar browse.... WHEW!!!!!
They love cedar!

Bubba

YooperJack

Apparently, up here, they don't eat Cedar much until after deer season. Never shot one in muzzle-loading season and I don't bow hunt so I've never seen it when gutting.
Aside: We were reminiscing last week. It was between 1953 and 1955. I went to a real small K-12 school. If there was a road kill deer, it went to our school hot lunch program.
Yooper

Bubba

I had the opportunity once upon a time to hunt the "cedar break" country out in Palo Pinto county in Texas near the city of the same name! It was one of those "Just kill one, there's too many!". I had a little wormy looking buck come out. I still don't know why, but I flinched. I hit the major artery in the stomach so he didn't go far but, oh Gawd! What a mess to clean!

Bubba

YooperJack

Bubba
What kind of Cedar treesare those? I didn't know any grew in Texas.
I made that mistake once too. Boy, what a mess! I got it cleaned up pretty good, cut it up myself but it took a lot of nerve to take that first bite. It actually tasted pretty good but every time I ate it, I kept thinking about cleaning it. I almost quit hunting.
YooperJack

Bubba

I'm not real sure YJ, it's either what they call "salt" cedar or it's the dreaded "red" cedar! The "red" is almost as bad a mesquite about taking over a place. They cut it for fence post mostly because the stuff will last nearly forever. The "red" is considered a nuisance, the "salt", I think is a native species though not loved any more than the "red".
Don't quote me on this, but best I remember, this is the thought train!

Bubba

Bubba

You know YJ, now that you mention it. Texas has about as diverse a forest variety as there is in the U.S..
There's cypress in the swamps along the eastern border with La. out to the Nat'l Forest near Big Lake, Tx where the trees are no taller than six (6) inches. It looks like a little bush, but it's characteristics qualify's it as a tree! Some area's, no trees! Ergo: the town named; Notrees, Texas!

Bubba

Tommy S.

Paul,

Hell yeah!
Someone should roll up this article and go slap every peta person within twenty miles of this action in their faces and ask...where the hell were you?

Hopefully no one will hunt these temporary feed sites. If so, they should be punished severely.

I would also add that it would be foolish to worry about cwd in this case..because the deer would gather and feed in great numbers at ANY food source in this case, if they could get there; be it man-offered or natural.

And if they all died off from starvation because of the elements, we wouldn't have to worry about cwd anyways. If this ends up being blamed later for spreading cwd, well then... we will have to worry about that at that point - with LIVE mule deer.

I think the folks in Gunnison would rather worry about potential illnesses in their herd, instead of ASSURED, catastrophic losses the herd faced if they did not feed them.

Great Story.
Once again - hunters care - petas where?

peta pan

wouldnt not hunting increase the number of deer in that area???

YooperJack

peta pan
Okay, we've identified the problem. Too many deer, not enough food. Why would anyone but a sadist want to increase the number of deer. Granted, I know a lot of sportsmen and women. Idon't don't know anyone from PETA. Ergo, I don't know anyone who wants to watch ANY animal starve to death.
YooperJack

Tommy S.

Yooper,

Maybe peta pan meant that we should hunt the emergency food plots to help the problem. Because I said I hoped no one would. Get it?

If, and that is a big if, that is what he meant, it is not without merit, but, one should not hunt emergency food plots, that would be un-sporting. However, I suppose if the locals wanted to extend the season, that could be an option to lower the numbers of deer, to therefore decrease the demand on the natural food sources.
Anyway, at any rate, I think the people of Gunnison did a wise, thoughtful thing, and they should be commended for thinking of their resource, and acting. Of course, some die-off is to be expected in regions with extreme temps, although no one should want to see massive death rates; and that is something peta folk should REALLY think about.

Hey peta folks, where are you now? Where are you when sportsmen ACT in ways YOU SAY we will not act. Why do you stay silent when we obviously do good things? If peta folk would really pay attention, and take some time to see what conservation, not preservation means, they might actually learn that hunters are ALWAYS DOING THE RIGHT THING!!!!!

Blue Ox

Peta Paaaaannnn, peanut butter!! LOL!

Matt Mallery

Guys,

I understand your anger at PETA and feel it as well. But the Repulsivcans are the ones selling off our public land and wilderness heritage to the highest bidder. So while we rant against animal rights activists, let's not forget who allows the bulldozer on the land in the first place.

YooperJack

Matt Mallery
Please document the above assertion. National Forests in MI, WI and MN have been stable for a long time. No one is buying N.F. land. Its not for sale. Timber is for sale but all sales are reviewed by wildlife and fisheries biologists to ensure that these sales do not denigrate, and hopefully enhance the habitats.
YooperJack




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