As winter settles into the Gunnison Basin, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) biologists and district wildlife managers continue monitoring the local mule deer population. We at CPW understand the deep concern that the Gunnison community holds for the basin’s wildlife resources. So, we thought you might want to know what we are doing, why we are doing it and what we do with the information we get from it.

Each year in December the monitoring begins with the “whupp-whupp-whupp” of helicopter blades cutting through the crisp winter air. The ’copter swoops down on deer, and a crew member uses a specialized net gun to launch a net to capture a deer. The helicopter spins back and hovers just long enough for a crew member to jump to the ground, secure the deer and fit it with a telemetry collar. In just a few minutes the deer is released unharmed.

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