Colorado Hunting News

Most Wanted Poacher Nabbed
After nearly a year on the run, Colorado’s most-wanted poacher was arrested April 14 in Berrien County, Michigan, after a tip on his location was called into Michigan’s Report All Poaching Hotline. Wendell J. Cook, 41, had fled Colorado May 23, 2001, the day he was to be sentenced in Montrose County for wildlife poaching and being a felon in possession of firearms. Cook, who was living in Montrose at the time of his sentencing, and three partners killed five deer, one of which was a trophy animal under the state’s Sampson Law, two elk, two antelope and a black bear.
Western Slope Deer Culling Continues
The Colorado Division of Wildlife will begin culling deer and elk in southwestern Routt County this week in an attempt to stop an outbreak of chronic wasting disease before it becomes established on the Western Slope. The effort will be focused within a five-mile radius of the area where two captive deer with CWD were found last week. Wildlife officers will begin killing deer and elk immediately because herds are about to begin their spring migration to higher elevations. The effort is scheduled to continue through Friday, but may end earlier if the spring migration begins before that.
CWD Found in Two Wild Deer
The Colorado Division of Wildlife has found CWD in two deer that were taken as part of a culling effort around an infected ranch in western Colorado. In late March CWD was found in two deer within a private game ranch, which prompted the culling of 311 deer within a 5 mile radius of the ranch. Two of these 311 have tested postive. These are the first known cases of CWD found in wild populations in western Colorado.
CWD Found Near Craig
Chronic wasting disease has been found near Craig in a single mule deer taken by a hunter within a private elk ranch. At this time it is unknown how the mule deer contracted CWD. The DOW has started a culling operation to test for CWD in wild game within a five mile radius of the private ranch.
Big Game Harvest Down
Colorado's final elk, deer, moose, and pronghorn harvest numbers are in. The success rate and total harvest numbers are down, in some cases considerably, from the 2000 harvest. The one exception is moose, which saw a doubling in available licenses last year. The DOW blames unseasonably mild weather and low hunter participation due to the economic recession.
DOW Creating Electronic Licensing System
Colorado's Division of Wildlife has entered a contract with the Central Bank of Missouri to offer an electronic system for obtaining all hunting and fishing licenses. Deploying electronic license systems can be a major headache, as the Orgeon DFW discovered late last December. Oregon's license system was down for most of January. Colorado's system will go live in April of 2003.
2002 Big Game Brochure Available
The 2002 Colorado big game hunting brochure is now on its way to license agents, sporting goods stores and Colorado Division of Wildlife offices. It may also be downloaded at the DOW's web site. The on-line version does not contain the big game hunting applications.
Illegal Wildlife Activities Investigation Leads to Arrests
A two-year, cooperative investigation by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and New Mexico Game and Fish into the illegal sale of wildlife and the commercial trafficking of trophy heads and antlers led to the execution of a search warrant on February 4th at an Estes Park taxidermy shop. Division officers seized several trophy bighorn sheep, elk, deer, a bear cub and a computer, documents and records. Investigators are also looking into the possible unlawful sale of firearms and other items.
Western Slope DOW Rep Sought
The Division of Wildlife is seeking a sportsman or sportswoman to volunteer for the Wildlife Management Public Education Advisory Council, which educates the public about the benefits of hunting and fishing. Candidates are required by statute to have purchased big game hunting licenses on a regular basis and will represent Western Slope hunters. Candidates must be nominated by a sportsmen's organization or club with a regional or statewide membership.
Higher Bull Tags; Lower Cow Tags
The Division of Wildlife (DOW) has decided to reduce non-resident cow elk licenses for the 2002 season to $250, taking the price back to its pre-2001 level when the DOW nearly doubled non-resident tag costs. Meanwhile the DOW increased the bull elk non-resident tags to $470, to "keep pace with inflation". Colorado resident tags will remain at $30 per tag. All hunters may purchase two elk tags in 2002 as long as one of the tags is an antlerless license. The article notes that Colorado's elk herd is roughly 90,000 head over population objectives.