Black Gold Sights
Snow data for Colorado
Mule Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Treeline 08-Mar-19
3under 08-Mar-19
Treeline 08-Mar-19
billygoat 08-Mar-19
Jahvada 09-Mar-19
Treeline 09-Mar-19
Surfbow 09-Mar-19
Buglmin 09-Mar-19
Michael 09-Mar-19
Forest bows 10-Mar-19
Treeline 10-Mar-19
kscowboy 10-Mar-19
midwest 11-Mar-19
Dale06 11-Mar-19
Treeline 11-Mar-19
HDE 11-Mar-19
Buglmin 11-Mar-19
ESP 11-Mar-19
ESP 11-Mar-19
Treeline 12-Mar-19
Chasewild 13-Mar-19
Treeline 13-Mar-19
cnelk 13-Mar-19
Whocares 13-Mar-19
Treeline 13-Mar-19
cnelk 13-Mar-19
cnelk 13-Mar-19
yooper89 13-Mar-19
Buglmin 13-Mar-19
Forest bows 13-Mar-19
tobinsghost 13-Mar-19
Cazador 13-Mar-19
HDE 13-Mar-19
cnelk 13-Mar-19
Brun 13-Mar-19
Treeline 13-Mar-19
Brun 14-Mar-19
Yasla 15-Mar-19
WV Mountaineer 15-Mar-19
Ucsdryder 15-Mar-19
hunting dad 16-Mar-19
Treeline 16-Mar-19
Jahvada 26-Mar-19
Spookinelk 26-Mar-19
Treeline 26-Mar-19
kevin3006 29-Apr-19
Treeline 29-Apr-19
Whocares 29-Apr-19
Robear 29-Apr-19
Brun 29-Apr-19
Treeline 23-May-19
Jaquomo 23-May-19
SlipShot 23-May-19
wkochevar 23-May-19
cnelk 25-May-19
cnelk 25-May-19
goelk 26-May-19
Treeline 29-May-19
From: Treeline
08-Mar-19

Treeline's Link
Just a heads up for guys planning to apply for Colorado mule deer.

We are having a pretty big winter this year. Will have to see how the next several weeks go to see if the deer get pounded again.

Let’s hope we don’t lose too many deer this winter!

Here is a link to the snowtel data.

From: 3under
08-Mar-19
I'm going out to my place in a few weeks.. can't wait to see what we got. Can I still call you sometime?

From: Treeline
08-Mar-19
Sure!

From: billygoat
08-Mar-19

billygoat's embedded Photo
Vail Pass Summit today
billygoat's embedded Photo
Vail Pass Summit today
I'm wondering about that too, 12 points for deer, may hold off a while longer

From: Jahvada
09-Mar-19
Some of the units that took the biggest hit in 2016-17 winter are getting hit real hard again.. It has been snowing here since Wednesday with another storm system lining up for 3-4 days next week and yea already a 140+% snowpack. It has been heavy snow w a crust now. Saw a group of 14 coyotes running together near town on the crust never seen that many together before...

IMO we are well past a easy even a normal winter at this point and just have to see how hard/bad it ends up. One thing is for sure that after coming off a extreme winter kill that cut 50% or more of the tags in 17 we had a extreme drought with very little growth on the winter range for this past summer.. Now into another hard winter with not as much food is not easy on the animals to say the least.

I hope they catch a break - well after this next big storm.

From: Treeline
09-Mar-19
Good point Jahvada.

Last year was extremely dry so the food sources were stressed before this big winter.

CPw is against feeding the deer or elk.

If it doesn’t warm up and stop snowing soon, we will lose a lot of deer.

From: Surfbow
09-Mar-19
Going to be a heavy runoff year for sure too...

From: Buglmin
09-Mar-19
It's not just the deep snow that's an issue, but the fact that there are layers of frozen crusted snow which makes it extremely difficult for animals to dig in to reach food. Add to the fact that the drought from last year didn't produce a lot of feed for the animals to reach. It's been a rough winter for the animals.

From: Michael
09-Mar-19

Michael's embedded Photo
Michael's embedded Photo
The wildlife could use a break by Gunnison. Seen lots today but seen lots of snow as well.

From: Forest bows
10-Mar-19
We added feet in the mountains this weekend..... Crazy

From: Treeline
10-Mar-19
Saw several basins are over 240% of last year's snow. Could use either a good warm up for a few weeks or at least a little less moisture.

From: kscowboy
10-Mar-19

kscowboy's embedded Photo
kscowboy's embedded Photo
Life size elk bronze at 9,000 feet in the Gunnison Valley. Guess I won’t be fishing anything but tailwaters until August. Really, really nervous about the winter kill.

From: midwest
11-Mar-19
Bad news for wildlife. Hope things turn around soon!

From: Dale06
11-Mar-19
How is the snow depth in southern colo, along the new mex border? I have an elk hunt planned there in Sept.

From: Treeline
11-Mar-19
Deep Dale06.

Go to the link I put up and click on the basin you are interested in. 121% in the Rio Grande, 141% in the Gunnison, 138% in the San Juan.

The elk are not as hammered by snow as the deer but the elk numbers in several SW Colorado units have been dropping quite a bit over the last several years.

From: HDE
11-Mar-19
Wolf Creek summit has 154" as of yesterday.

From: Buglmin
11-Mar-19
And we are expecting up to another 24" of snow on wolf creek over the next three days, with another 10" to 12" here in town. Wonder how the poor sheep are doing up there?

From: ESP
11-Mar-19
How is the Gunnison basin doing this year for snow?

From: ESP
11-Mar-19

From: Treeline
12-Mar-19
Looking like we are going to see a Historic Storm event over the next several days. Yippie!

75 mph winds over the Eastern half of the state and then across eastern Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and points east.

Up to 24” of fresh snow across the SW mountains and up to 20” across the central mountains. 6 to 12” across the eastern plains.

Being called a “Bomb cyclone”.

Our critters are getting pounded by this winter for sure... Can’t wait for spring!

From: Chasewild
13-Mar-19
It just hit Durango.

It rained yesterday at 7,200 feet, froze last night, and now its dumping. Those are the conditions that wipe out animals if we don't get a warm up.

From: Treeline
13-Mar-19
Blasting the front range now.

Will be interesting to check the basin graphs tomorrow after this one blows through. Heck the SW corner was up to 147% as of yesterday.

From: cnelk
13-Mar-19
One has to keep in mind when the 'percentages' are listed, that 125% is actually 25% over 'average'.

And since we havent seen '%s' like this for a while, it seems like more than it actually is.

From: Whocares
13-Mar-19
My daughter in Kremmling said they're getting hammered now and they closed hwy 40 from Kremmling to Utah border.

From: Treeline
13-Mar-19
Actually looking at the graphs, WY 2017 was pretty big in parts of the state.

So CN, it hasn’t been that long ago that we had a good snow year!

Last year was really low across the state though.

Kind of crazy that, in the SW part of the state including Gunnison, as of yesterday they were from around 250% to almost 300% more than last year.

Will certainly add up after this storm! Bumper crop!

From: cnelk
13-Mar-19
EVERYTHING is closed in North/Central/Eastern Colorado today!

From: cnelk
13-Mar-19

cnelk's Link
See link

From: yooper89
13-Mar-19
Johnstown police posted the following:

We are currently on Accident Alert which means if you are involved in an accident, there are no injuries and drugs/alcohol are not suspected you will need to report your accident online at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dmv/report-accident. There are white out conditions on most roadways and multiple vehicles either stuck in ditches or at a standstill on the roadway.

Hell, they don't even want to be on the roads today.

From: Buglmin
13-Mar-19
What most folks don't understand is 100% normal snowpack is over 12 feet in the high country and over six feet in town. So when they say they are 145% above normal, we are talking over 15 feet up high and over 8 feet in town. Add to the fact the way the snow came in, cleared off, froze and snowed again. When you've got 18" of wet heavy snow on top of 10" of frozen crusted snow, and this goes on for over six feet, you've got issues. Then the rains, snow settles, six feet becomes four and a half feet of heavy compacted snow that's very crusted and hard to move, even for a man. Deer are in town, on the sidewalks cause they can't walk in the snow. Folks are feeding them. We had 18 head of elk come by the house on Sunday, heading towards town. Hopefully they continued farther south.

From: Forest bows
13-Mar-19
Almost like the winters we had when I was a kid....

From: tobinsghost
13-Mar-19
Outside of Colorado Springs, Black Forest and it is crazy snow and wind. Riding it out.

From: Cazador
13-Mar-19

Cazador's embedded Photo
Cazador's embedded Photo
You guys sure you're from Colorado? Sound like a bunch of old ladies. Its March, next week the deer and elk will be looking for water it's so hot.

From: HDE
13-Mar-19
180" at the summit in Wolf Creek.

From: cnelk
13-Mar-19
The one and only real reason there is data kept for Colorado snow is because of the WATER it becomes and is sent downstream to other states.

From: Brun
13-Mar-19
Don't want to get in a big argument because we all need the water, but the only water "sent" anywhere is the water diverted under the continental divide from the western slope to feed the growth in eastern Colorado that everyone on here is always whining about.

From: Treeline
13-Mar-19
Brun,

That water would more accurately be described as “taken” from the basin via a trans-basin diversion.

It is then sent via stream flow and pumps and pipelines to the users on the front range.

Stream flows allowed to continue to other states are actually sent via gravity to those downstream users.

From: Brun
14-Mar-19
Agreed Treeline.

From: Yasla
15-Mar-19
I was thinking about going for mule deer for first time ever this year....looking for advice. Is an area i elk hunt, 3 yrs ago tons of mule deer, 2 years ago zero sighted, doe or buck over 5 days and multiple basins. elk were fine though, and present. So I considered adding mule deer tag this year to hunt same area i elk hunt, but not sure if I should. Area peaks are north of 12,000feet. Would you still give mule deer a shot or pass for now?? Do not need a trophy.

15-Mar-19
I sure hope the wildlife gets through it ok. But, I hope it kills every domestic sheep in CO.

From: Ucsdryder
15-Mar-19
Looks like a 10 day warmup all over Colorado. Should help these deer find some barren ground!

From: hunting dad
16-Mar-19
On the bright side, how much of this will end up in the Colorado river system? Powell and Mead sure could use every drop.

From: Treeline
16-Mar-19
All the stuff on the west side that isn’t diverted to the front range. The Colorado basin is in good shape!

From: Jahvada
26-Mar-19
Well not the best news for the gunnison basin deer.. I will keep it short but this winter kill got bad as in real bad the past couple of weeks. Too late to feed and at this point fair to say this year will be similar to 2008 and 2016 winter kill.

Just flat sucks the amount of deer/elk that are still getting hammered on 50. Literally hundreds of them. They just cant get any lower.. After 2 of 3 real bad winters with a drought it will take most of the decade of the 20's to recover.

Sad to see.

From: Spookinelk
26-Mar-19
I was up around Gunnison over the weekend, south facing slopes along the highway were the only open ground. The deer are really hurting, saw a lot of fawns that didn't look too good.

From: Treeline
26-Mar-19
Very sad. Would be good to see CPW just close deer hunting in the Gunnison for a few years to let them get back on their feet. Combine that with unlimited predator hunting and some dedicated feeding areas for the winters and the herd would bounce back quick.

From: kevin3006
29-Apr-19
Any new updates?

From: Treeline
29-Apr-19

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
April has been warm and opened up a lot of areas for the critters to eat. A few small storms but not killer cold or deep snows. Not sure how bad the winter kill was but it did take out some deer and even elk.

From: Whocares
29-Apr-19
That picture is classic!

From: Robear
29-Apr-19
Average mortality on collared mule deer for the gunnison basin this winter.

From: Brun
29-Apr-19
Very cool shot and I agree that April has been beneficial for the deer and elk. All of the major river basins have seen their snowpack percentages drop this month. A lot of moisture happening right now, but most of it is rain where the animals are, and even if it turns to snow we shouldn't have a prolonged cold snap that makes for difficult conditions.

From: Treeline
23-May-19

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
Guess it’s still a little early for goat or treeline buck scouting... Up near Silverton May 15...

From: Jaquomo
23-May-19
These late storms have been pounding the high country and many of the deer have moved up alreadyduring rhe late April melt. Not sure about mortality but in the past couple weeks there have been some big dumps. More on the way today and tomorrow. All of the major drainages have 150-200% right now.

The good news is we're not getting deep cold that will crust-over and kill animals.

From: SlipShot
23-May-19

SlipShot's embedded Photo
SlipShot's embedded Photo
The state is at 250% of normal

From: wkochevar
23-May-19
Be careful around the rivers and streams in the next several weeks....that's a LOT of water to come down yet!

From: cnelk
25-May-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
These are the Rawahs in Northern Colorado. Pic taken 10am this morning.

It’s gonna be awhile.

From: cnelk
25-May-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
I went camping for a couple days at 9k’.

The elk aren’t that high yet. Only moose.

First one up the road this spring.

From: goelk
26-May-19
Entire state Colorado is 99.99 out of the drought

From: Treeline
29-May-19

Treeline's embedded Photo
Treeline's embedded Photo
Still about 2' of snow up in the Flattops around the CTAS shoot location. Solid ground cover, not patches...

Snowed all day yesterday up here at my house. Luckily, it's warm and the snow is mostly water. It will melt out quick around here.

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