The Colorado Division of Wildlife is reminding hunters to be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions in the Colorado high country.
"While hunter success increases with snowfall, folks need to have the proper winter gear before heading out to hunt at this time of year," said Perry Will, area wildlife manager for the Division of Wildlife in Glenwood Springs.
This week's search for three hunters who failed to return to their camp near the Flattops Wilderness Area when more than two feet of snow fell in two days highlights the need for hunters to be prepared. The group was located Wednesday morning by a National Guard helicopter assisting Garfield County Search and Rescue personnel. Division of Wildlife officers are working to contact other hunters in the area to make sure that they are prepared for the conditions.
"Some of the hunters we are contacting are glad to see the snow because it makes the hunting better," Will explained. "Those are the hunters who are prepared."
Heavy snowfall tends to concentrate elk into larger winter herds and gets the elk moving towards winter range areas. In warmer weather conditions, elk tend to stay dispersed and take cover in remote, dense stands of high elevation timber making it more difficult for hunters to locate and reach the animals.
"Hunters should always carry a personal survival kit that includes signaling devices, shelter and fire starter," said Mark Cousins, hunter education coordinator for Division of Wildlife. "A larger vehicle survival kit with sleeping bag, food, water, shovel, sand and tire chains is also a good idea."
A guide to being prepared for the hunt is available on the Division of Wildlife website at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/PlanYourHunt/ResourcesTips/Survival.htm 
Hunters are currently taking part in the 2nd rifle season, which runs until one half hour after sunset on Sunday, Oct 31. Third rifle season begins Saturday, Nov. 6 at sunrise and runs through Sunday, Nov. 14. Fourth season is Nov. 17 - Nov. 21.