Big game populations are managed to achieve population and sex ratio objectives established for Data Analysis Units. A Data Analysis Unit (DAU) is the geographic area that represents the year-around range of a big game herd and includes all of the seasonal ranges of a specific herd. Each DAU usually is composed of several Game Management Units (GMUs), but in some cases only one GMU makes up a DAU.
The purpose of a DAU plan is to integrate the plans and intentions of Colorado Parks and Wildlife with the concerns and ideas of land management agencies and interested publics to determine how a big game herd in a DAU should be managed.
In preparing a DAU plan, agency personnel attempt to balance the biological capabilities of the herd and its habitat with the public's demand for wildlife recreational opportunities.
The primary decisions needed for each DAU plan are how many animals should exist in the DAU and what is the desired sex ratio for the population of big game animals e.g., the number of males per 100 females. The selection of population and sex ratio objectives drive important decisions in the big game season setting process, namely, how many animals must be harvested to maintain or move toward the objectives and what types of hunting seasons are required to achieve the harvest objective. These primary objectives are set for a 10-year period of time.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife has developed a draft management plan for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in RBS-22, referred to as the Central San Juan herd, and is seeking public comment. The draft summarizes the current and historical status of the population and presents future management alternatives. RBS-22 encompasses portions of Gunnison, Hinsdale, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache counties and includes sheep Game Management Unit’s S-22, S-36, S-52, and S-53.
The draft plan will be posted until July 9th. Interested parties are welcome to send written comments to Colorado Parks and Wildlife at:
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
attn: Brandon Diamond
300 West New York Ave.
Gunnison, CO 81230
An online survey will also be open to the public until July 9th.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will consider the plan for final adoption in November 2013.