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Colorado biologists boosting bighorn sheep herds

Successful transplant increases numbers in northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists take blood samples while transplanting bighorn sheep in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A herd of bighorn sheep in the Sangre de Cristo mountains gained nine new animals recently, as Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists completed a second translocation of sheep captured in the southern part of the range.

The nine bighorn sheep join 13 others that were moved into the mountains of northeastern Saguache County in a similar operation in 2010.

Before 2010, the northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains had not had bighorn sheep since the 198os. In the southern part of the range, bighorm sheep have been thriving, providing a good source for the transplant. Visit this Colorado Parks and Wildlife website to learn more about the state’s bighorn conservation efforts. Continue reading

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Elk poaching investigated near Copper Mountain

Information sought in suspected elk poaching near Copper Mountain, at Stafford Creek.

State wildlife officers want info on elk that was killed and left to rot

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Wildlife officers are seeking information that can help identify the person or persons who illegally killed a bull elk and abandoned its carcass near Stafford Creek, approximately one mile from I-70 in the vicinity of Copper Mountain.

The elk was probably killed in early September and the suspected poachers removed only the head, antlers and a few portions of the hide, abandoning the meat.

“Shooting big-game and leaving the meat to rot is a senseless waste of Colorado’s wildlife resources,” said Breckenridge District Wildlife Manager Sean Shepherd. “This is essentially stealing from the people of Colorado, and whoever did this could face felony charges. We would appreciate any help in finding who did this.”

Wildlife investigators are asking any member of the public who might have information concerning this incident to contact CPW’s Operation Game Thief. The poaching hotline is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case, and callers can remain anonymous by calling toll free, 1-877-265-6648. More info is online at Operation Game Thief.

Colorado: Can predator control stem mule deer decline?

Why is Colorado's mule deer herd declining? PHOTO COURTESY COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE.

Public invited to Aug. 15 information session in Meeker

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado wildlife researchers say the deer herd in the northwestern part of the state is shriveling due to a perfect storm of severe winters, drought, predation, and increased traffic from oil and gas exploration.

The decline has spurred some talk of predator control, which could mean increased hunting of mountain lions and coyotes. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials will approach that and other topics related to the state’s mule deer herd at an Aug. 15 meeting at the Fairfield Center in Meeker ( 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., 200 Main Street). Continue reading

Colorado: Celebrate wildlife at Grand Mesa Moose Day

Moose biology and history featured at event, along with kids activities

Moose near the headwaters of the Fraser River, Grand County, Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado wildlife enthusiasts will once again gather this weekend to celebrate the state’s growing moose population at the second annual Grand Mesa Moose Day.

“As their population continues to grow in Colorado, people’s interest has increased as well,” said Parks and Wildlife watchable wildlife coordinator Trina Romero. “Moose sightings can be a great experience and we encourage people to learn more about them and how to watch them safely.” Continue reading

New Colorado state wildlife & parks board to meet

A northern goshawk in the forest near Breckenridge, Colorado. PHOTO BY JENNEY COBERLY.

July 7 – 8 meeting set to discuss merger of agencies, elect officers and conduct regular business

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The first meeting of the new combined Colorado Parks and Wildlife Board will include the election of officers that will set regulations and policies for the new Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, as well as a two-hour discussion about the merger of the former Colorado Division of Wildlife and Colorado State Parks.

The two-day meeting is July 7 and July 8 at the Hunter Education Building, located at the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife’s campus at 6060 North Broadway. Audio from the meeting will be streamed live online at the wildlife commission website. Continue reading

Colorado predator control programs approved

Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists may help a transplanted population of desert bighorn sheep survive by kiilling mountain lions. PHOTO VIA THE CREATIVE COMMONS.

State wildlife agency wins permission to kill coyotes and mountain lions to protect sage grouse and desert bighorn sheep

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists this week won permission from the state wildlife commission to protect sage grouse and desert bighorn sheep by killing coyotes and possibly mountain lions.

One of the predator control programs is aimed at preventing the predation of sage grouse nests in and around the Dan Noble state wildlife area, near Telluride. The second program involves controlling mountain lions that may be preying on a small re-introduced herd of bighorn sheep in Middle Dolores Canyon. Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving: Wild turkeys thriving in Colorado

The wild turkey — Benjamin Franklin's first choice as the national bird.

Turkey restoration among the state’s most successful wildlife programs

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Never mind all the domesticated turkeys that will end up in roasting pans tomorrow — America’s wild turkeys have made a magnificent comeback in the past few decades thanks to restoration programs by wildlife agencies and nonprofit sportsmen’s groups across the country.

In Colorado, there are more wild turkeys than ever, according to the Colorado Division of Wildlife. The state wildlife agency started developing strategies to increase turkey populations in the early 1980s.

Since then, turkeys have been released, or colonized on their own, into most of the available habitat in the state. Wild turkeys now live in 53 of the state’s 63 counties. Colorado’s program ranks among the most successful species conservation efforts in the agency’s history. Continue reading

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