New Deluxe Big Game CD Makes CO Cougar Scouting Easier


Mar 11, 2001
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CO Division of Wildlife


The new deluxe version of the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Big Game CD has just about everything a hunter needs for planning a successful big game hunt.

Big game hunters who plan to hunt in Colorado now have a tool to help increase their chance for success. Recently released is the “Deluxe” version of the Big Game CD, which has just about every important statistic for deciding where to hunt, and is as convenient as turning on a computer.

“This product really does a lot of the heavy lifting for those who take their big game hunting seriously,” said Dave Johnson, developer of the software. “Not only does it compile vital information that may take a hunter long periods of time to research on their own, when used correctly it can eliminate a lot of the guess work and up the odds of having a successful hunt.”

The Big Game CD Deluxe Edition includes all of the standard edition’s tools, plus extensive graph and mapping capabilities for all big game species, including bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose and mountain lion.

It includes harvest location plotting for big game species such as mountain lion, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats; 1:500,000 relief, land use and topographical maps; 1:100,000 topographical maps; 1:24,000 topographical maps for those with Internet access; habitat and concentration maps for all big game species; GMU maps for all big game species; and visual identification of GMUs based on license and success criteria.

“Any sportsman knows the importance of maps when it comes to practicing their craft,” said Johnson. “The Deluxe version not only gives the user several options for standard topographical maps, it also has maps giving the locations of resident herds, migration routes and maps marked with the locations of sheep, goat, moose and mountain lion kills for the last several years. It points out the areas in which hunters should concentrate their efforts.”

The software also allows high-tech hunters to mark their own points on the map based on their interpretation of the information, and export these points to a text file, database or spreadsheet for use with a global positioning system.

Harvest information on the CD dates back to 1990 for deer, elk and antelope. License and harvest information for bear, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and moose extends back to 1996. The CD sorts this information by success, number of hunters and number of animals harvested. Hunters can identify the most successful season over time in a unit, or the most successful unit for a given season.

The software also charts success trends. The numbers of applicants for each hunt code is shown along with the number or preference points each applicant had. The numbers are broken down by residency, youth and landowner status. The most successful udersubscribed units also are identified by the software.

The CD allows a hunter to do much of his or her scouting without leaving the computer. Digital maps generated using data from a more than 12-year study by the Natural Diversity Information Source Organization display areas where game concentrate during summer and winter months. The maps also show migration routes and suitable habitat for each individual GMU and species including mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, antelope, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain lion, bear, mountain goat, turkey, goose, pheasant, sage grouse and duck.

Scouting reports on the CD pinpoint the most successful season in a given unit, and allow users to evaluate seasons by unit. Herd size, including male/female ratios for elk, deer and antelope, also have been added. There are lists of guides and outfitters, elevation, terrain, weather, land status, hunter access and nearest services for each GMU, and official GMU descriptions. The research database includes recommended hunting areas for deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep and mountain goat in each unit.

“The software makes it easy to develop your own draw strategy by matching statistical draw data with hunter success and herd number data for specific GMUs,” said Johnson. “Used correctly, the product will help a hunter create a plan to use their preference points efficiently for years to come.”

For those who aren’t tech savvy, or just need a little help to benefit from the product’s full potential, online help is available at A tutorial walks a user through all the features the CD has to offer.

The CD is $99.95, plus $3 shipping and handling. A Pentium processor, 200 megahertz or faster, 64 megabytes of RAM and a 2x or faster CDROM is recommended. The CD is compatible with Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP and Windows NT. For those who want to try the CD out before they buy it, they can get a preview and see demonstrations by visiting

Updates each year for Big Game CD data tables are available on the Internet. The annual subscription fee is $14.95, and the update can be purchased through The Deluxe Big Game CD is available at most Colorado Division of Wildlife offices and on the Internet at
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