Colorado Hunting News

Over-The-Counter Cow Elk Licenses Will Not Be Available
A misprint in the 2002 Big Game Brochure indicated there were over-the-counter cow elk licenses available. However, as in past years, the Division of Wildlife will not be selling over-the-counter licenses for cow elk. The Division has never sold over-the-counter cow elk licenses, because biologists want to keep track of how many cows are in each game management unit in order to maintain viable breeding populations. Some units already are at objective for cow elk, so over-the-counter cow licenses would be problematic, since they are unlimited in number and could be used in an area where cows did not need to be culled.
Mandatory CWD Testing
The Colorado Wildlife Commission has adopted an emergency regulation requiring that hunters submit the heads of deer and elk they kill in the area of northeastern Colorado where chronic wasting disease (CWD) is endemic and in game management unit 38 for testing. The Division will pay for the testing of those animals. Testing in the endemic area has been voluntary in recent years.
Forest Fire Impacts Remain to be Seen
Multiple forest fires raging through Colorado this summer can be measured in numbers of acres and buildings burned, and the risk to human lives, but there is another factor that is harder to measure. Forest fires have a major effect on wildlife. Many of the latest forest fires -- likely to be remembered as the largest fires in Colorado's recent history -- have been very hot and very fast and happened during a time when many animals are tending newborns or still nesting. Wildlife biologists speculated there were a number of individual animals lost in the blaze, particularly young and newborn animals that were unable to travel quickly.
Six State Wildlife Areas Closed
Colorado Division of Wildlife Director Russell George has ordered the indefinite closure of six state wildlife areas because of active fires or the threat of fires due to extremely dry conditions. The opening of Mount Evans State Wildlife Area in Clear Creek County west of Evergreen has been indefinitely postponed. The other five state wildlife areas closed by George's order include: Cherokee in Larimer County, Dome Rock in Teller County, and James M. John, Lake Dorothey and Bosque del Oso in Las Animas County. "We are closing these state wildlife areas either because there are fires currently burning in or near them, or conditions are so extraordinarily dry that we're concerned fires can occur at any time," George said.
Wildlife Commissioners San Luis Valley Public Meeting
Colorado Wildlife Commissioners Olive Valdez and Brad Phelps will host an open meeting July 2 to hear public input on a number of wildlife issues. The meeting is from at 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. in the Colorado Room at the Alamosa Inn. "This meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to talk about wildlife issues that concern them, and find out whether or not such issues can be addressed by the Colorado Wildlife Commission," Valdez said.
Hunter Orientation Rescheduled Due to Fires
The Sheep and Goat Hunter Orientation scheduled for this Saturday, June 15th at the Douglas County Fairgrounds is postponed. The new date is July 13th, right before the best scouting period. The DOW regrets that Hayman Wildfire, burning southwest of Denver, forced this difficult decision. The Douglas County Fairgrounds is now a firefighter staging area and "emergency shelter" for large animals evacuated in the fire.
Lone Mesa State Park
There is a new public hunting opportunity in Colorado. The Colorado State Parks is managing a recently purchased 11,760-acre parcel of previously privately owned ground about 24 miles north of the town of Dolores. The area includes fantastic elk, bear, and mule deer hunting, and State Parks will be permitting limited public access to the property to hunt those three big game species through a limited drawing being held in July.
Elk Attacks Woman
A protective mother elk attacked and seriously injured a 71-year-old Estes Park woman late Monday afternoon after she unknowingly came too close to its calf. "The woman went out to do some gardening in her back yard, and she got too close to the calf elk, which was in hiding," said Rick Spowart, wildlife manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Estes Park district. "She also didn't see the cow elk, which approached her from behind and started stomping on her."
Culling Continues Near Ante Grande Elk Ranch
Employees of the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) continue to cull deer and elk in the vicinity of the Anta Grande elk ranch near Del Norte. In September 2001, an elk at the Anta Grande facility died of CWD. Based on an investigation by the Colorado Department of Agriculture, it was determined the captive elk inside the facility were exposed to CWD by elk purchased from another captive elk ranch. Because of the exposure, the Department of Agriculture required all elk inside the ranch destroyed and tested for CWD. Two of the Anta Grande elk tested positive.
No CWD Postive Elk Found
The test results for 135 wild elk and 285 deer culled outside the Motherwell captive elk facility near Craig examined for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) showed that none of the elk tested positive for the disease.