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Colorado: Too many turkeys?

Wild turkeys are becoming a nuisance to farmers and landowners in some parts of eastern Colorado.

State parks and wildlife commission to consider changes to hunting regulations to reduce conflicts

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado’s turkey restoration program has been so successful that large flocks of the wild birds are becoming a nuisance to farmers and homeowners in parts of the state. As a result, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will consider some changes to turkey hunting regulations at its Sept. 15-16 session in Colorado Springs

Current regulations provide few options to deal with the turkeys during late winter, when limited food resources cause the problems to escalate, so the commission will consider ways to curb their populations. Continue reading

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Colorado: Hunter education classes starting

A bull elk in Colorado. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE/MICHAEL SERAPHIN.

The big game season is almost here

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Upcoming hunter education classes in Grand Junction will cover everything from outdoor survival to an introduction on primitive hunting methods, including archery and black powder firearms, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials said, reminding Coloradans that the big game season is just around the corner.

“Hunter education is especially important for anyone anticipating their first hunt, but this class offers many benefits even for people who don’t hunt,” said regional manager Ron Velarde. “The knowledge gained from these classes is very useful for hikers, bikers, campers, anglers or anyone who enjoys the outdoors.”

By Colorado statute, anyone born on or after January 1, 1949 must successfully complete an approved hunter education course before they apply for a Colorado hunting license or preference point. Continue reading

Colorado: Wildlife agency sets 2011 big game licenses

Division of Wildlife tweaks elk licenses in some parts of the state

Colorado moose hunting opportunities will expand as moose populations continue to grow.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado Wildlife Commission has set license numbers for most big game species for the 2011 hunting seasons, making some changes to hunting in the Bears’ Ears herd near Craig, the White River herd near Meeker and the San Juan herd east of Durango. Cow tags in those areas have been cut significantly in an effort to nudge the herd toward the upper end of the objective range in response to requests by hunters and outfitters for more elk, according to CDOW big game manager Andy Holland.

“We’re constantly trying to balance different interests like hunter satisfaction and opportunity with minimizing game damage,” Holland said. “Experience is teaching us the upper and lower social thresholds for elk in many areas.”

With elk herds in parts of the state nearing objective, Holland said, license numbers are being cut in some units to maintain population levels. This represents a change from 10 years ago, when the Division increased licenses and opportunity to achieve population objectives and respond to landowner complaints of damage to fences and crops. Continue reading

Colorado hunter fined $5,177 for killing moose

Conviction could lead to permanent loss of hunting privileges

A Colorado hunter must pay a $5,177 fine for mistakenly shooting a moose.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A Highlands Ranch man was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $5,177 fine after pleading guilty to shooting a moose (thinking it was an elk) and failing to report it to the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The case highlights a growing concern for Colorado wildlife managers — hunters who fail to correctly identify big game animals.

Joel D. Eady, 30, was charged with willful destruction of wildlife – a Class 5 felony, as well as hunting out of season, illegal possession of wildlife and failing to properly care for a harvested animal.

During an October 2010 hunting trip in the Missouri Creek Basin, east of Meeker, Eady mistakenly shot a cow moose after misidentifying it as an elk. According to witnesses, Eady told those at the scene that he would turn himself in, but never did.

“The biggest concern here is that Mr. Eady never reported this to us,” said District Wildlife Manager and lead investigator Jon Wangnild.  “We understand that mistakes happen and we will usually be more lenient with someone who reports an accident right away, but failing to report this incident turned a careless mistake into a felony.” Continue reading

Colorado: Wildlife officials release 2010 hunting stats

Colorado hunters harvested a record number of pronghorn antelope during the 2010 big game season.

Pronghorn harvest reaches record number; elk and deer hunters also reported successful seasons

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Antelope hunters in Colorado had a record year in 2010, harvesting more than 12,000 animals during the season, while elk hunters bagged more than 48,000 animals, state wildlife officials said last week in a press release announcing results from the 2010 big game season.

The overarching theme is opportunity, said  Colorado Division of Wildlife director Tom Remington.

“Hunters will continue to see great chances to get in the field in Colorado and access our world-renowned herds,” said  Remington said.

The recent expansion of access to licenses and lands, helped hunters statewide harvest a record 12,301 pronghorn during the 2010 seasons. That tops the previous record of 10,941, set in 2009.

“We’ve been working with landowners to reduce agricultural damage and increase hunter opportunity,” said Dan Prenzlow, southeast Regional Manager.” The partnership between the Division and landowners paid dividends for sportsmen and we should be able to continue to increase the pronghorn opportunity.” Continue reading

Colorado: Illegal hunting leads to $40,000 in fines

Illegal hunting can lead to big fines in Colorado.

Long-time guide and out-of-state hunters fined after violating several hunting laws

Source: Colorado Division of Wildlife

SUMMIT COUNTY — A longtime Parker outfitter and three out-of-state clients have been fined almost $40,000 after pleading guilty to illegally hunting deer, including a trophy white-tail buck, on the high plains of eastern Colorado.

The investigation by law enforcement officers with the Colorado Division of Wildlife centered on outfitter Thomas E. Tietz, 56, and involved incidents that occurred in Lincoln and Elbert counties from 2006 to 2008.

According to the DOW, Tietz accepted $5,000 each from three friends in the fall of 2008 for guided hunts. All three clients engaged in “party hunting,” where one individual would place their carcass tag on an animal shot by another, resulting in the illegal transfer of a license. One of the clients hunted outside of the game management unit where her license was valid. As their guide, Tietz was complicit in these violations. Continue reading

Near-record pheasant numbers for Colorado hunters

A ring-necked pheasant. PHOTO BY GARY NOON, VIA THE CREATIVE COMMONS.

Ideal weather conditions have improved habitat on eastern plains

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado hunters heading out for the opening of the pheasant season found plenty of birds this past weekend, as populations have soared to near-record levels during the past two years.

Wildlife managers said the recent population surge of the popular, ring-necked, game bird is due to ideal weather conditions that have improved nesting habitat and ground cover across most of the state’s core pheasant range.

“Pheasant production has just been phenomenal,” said Ed Gorman, Division of Wildlife small game manager.  “Because of the improved habitat, pheasants appear to have continued on an upward trend from the excellent numbers that hunters found in 2009. Landowner reports and our own observations indicate a highly successful nesting effort again this year.” Continue reading

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