Wildlife Commission to Set Limited Big Game License Totals
The Colorado Wildlife Commission (CWC) will set limited license number for black bear, deer, elk, pronghorn, and moose at its meeting May 1 and 2 in Delta.
The meeting will begin Thursday, May 1, at 10 a.m. at the Bill Heddles Recreation Center, 530 Gunnison River Dr. in Delta.
Division of Wildlife (DOW) game managers will recommend the number of limited licenses to be issued for the 2003 big game seasons including antlerless, either-sex and antlered licenses for deer and elk.
Hunting is the primary tool the DOW uses to manage the state’s big-game herds. With elk populations being above long-term objectives in some areas, the DOW is recommending issuing more than 146,000 antlerless and either-sex licenses, an increase compared with last year. However, the situation with deer is not the same, with fewer numbers of herds being at or above the long-term objective. As a result, managers are recommending that just over 31,000 antlerless and either-sex deer licenses be made available for 2003.
“Last years record harvest of more than 61,000 elk allowed us to reach our harvest objectives for elk,” said John Ellenberger, the DOW’s big game coordinator. “We’re recommending a record number of limited license for 2003 is to reach a similar harvest, though weather conditions will be the primary factor in determining how good the hunting season will be.”
The CWC will also consider final regulations governing the use of DOW properties and adoption of regulations to clarify existing regulatory provisions or new restrictions on more than 150 properties the DOW leases from the State Land Board. The properties provide access to wildlife-based recreation including hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing.
The CWC will consider draft regulations for the five-year season structure for small game hunting and management and for allowing additional antlerless deer, elk and pronghorn licenses for ranching for wildlife properties where populations exceed long-term objectives.
Modifications to regulations pertaining to non-native large cats such as African lions and tigers will also be up for consideration.