Large Herbivores

Mule Deer
Photo by John Popp

The deer here in GVM are all but tame. They have a high tolerance of humans and many does can be spotted seeking shelter underneath decks. Fawns are born in the spring and it’s not uncommon to see twins or even triplets. Bucks are most prevalent in the fall when they seek sanctuary here from hunting grounds all around GVM.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was detected in local deer herds in the 1960’s and attributed to captive animals in high concentrations and close proximity to sheep. When deer are infected they become emaciated and disoriented. A recent outbreak in our area was managed by the Colorado Department of Wildlife through special hunts. Since then the local herd has looked very healthy. If you see an emaciated deer looking disoriented you should report it to Colorado Parks and Wildlife at (970) 472-4300. For further reading, click this link:  Chronic Wasting Disease.

Shiras Moose
Photo by John Popp

Another large vegetarian mammal in addition to our mule deer is the occasional moose. Moose are more typical around Red Feather Lakes but we do get visitor now and then. They are majestic animals to watch. They primarily feed on willows along streams.

Another large herbivore is Rocky Mountain elk which are all around GVM and may feed in our meadows. They are not however, a common site within the subdivision.

Big Horn Sheep
Photo by John Popp

Bighorn sheep is another species to look for but they are not typically seen within GVM proper. Look for them between Gate 1 and The Forks. They mainly inhabit steep rocky slopes but they are sometimes viewed from the road in the state wildlife areas adjacent to GVM.