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Special elk hunt set for Grand Teton National Park

Park Service says hunters are switching to non-lead ammo

Elk in Grand Teton National Park. Photo courtesy National Park Service.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — First you feed ‘em, than you shoot ‘em.

That seems to be the theory of game management in Wyoming, where Grand Teton National Park officials announced the Oct. 8 start of the annual elk reduction program mandated by Congress when the park was created in 1950.

The legislation  directs Grand Teton NP to jointly develop this annual program with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and for the Governor of Wyoming and Secretary of the Interior Department to approve the plan.

Biologists and administrators from both agencies have reviewed available biological data and concluded that the 2012 program is necessary to keep the Jackson elk herd at or near objective and maintain a desired summer distribution of elk throughout their natural range.  Continue reading

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Colorado: Elk poacher hit with $11,500 fine

Grand County case solved with help from hunters

Bull elk, Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo courtesy Kim Fenske.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A West Virginia man will pay an $11,500 fine for poaching Colorado wildlife. The fine includes a $10,000 penalty that applies when trophy-quality wildlife is poached — in this case a 6×6 bull elk taken on Devil’s Thumb Ranch property in Tabernash earlier this month.

David Lee Burner, 61, was cited for “hunting on private property without permission” and “illegal possession” of the elk after wildlife officers got a tip from another hunter.

“We first received a tip from a concerned hunter who witnessed a suspected trespassing incident in Devil’s Thumb Ranch,” said Lyle Sidener, area wildlife manager in Hot Sulphur Springs. “After the ranch owners found evidence of trespass on their property, they informed us and then assisted us in the investigation.” Continue reading

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 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

Special deer hunting opportunity near Meeker

Teddy Roosevelt, one of American's best-known sportsmen and conservationists, models in his buckskin in this 1885 photo.

Youth and vets invited to apply for private-land deer and elk licenses

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Thanks to the generous support of two private landowners, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is offering hunters the opportunity to hunt deer and elk on private land near Meeker this fall through its hunter outreach program.

The first hunt is a private-land deer hunt for one lucky youth. Applicants for this hunt must be between the ages of 12 and 18. The hunt will take place during the 4th rifle season, which runs Nov. 17 through Nov. 21. Applicants can’t have a 2010 deer license.

The second opportunity is a private land late cow elk hunt. These hunts will take place in late November and December. The hunt is open to any hunters but preference will be given to youth and military veterans. This will be an unguided hunt on the 2,900 acre Berryman property. Hunters selected for this hunt must have a valid late season private land cow elk license for unit 23 or an unfilled youth elk license from an earlier rifle season. Continue reading

Wintry weather spurs warning to hunters

The onset of wintry weather prompted state wildlife officials to contact hunters in the field, urging them to be prepared for the conditions.

Proper gear needed for high country elk hunt, wildlife officials say

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Division of Wildlife officers are contacting hunters in the field, urging them to be prepared for wintry weather in the high country after an intensive search for three hunters in the Flattops Wilderness Area ended only after a National Guard helicopter was called in to assist with the search.

“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. “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.” Continue reading

Hunters: Don’t shoot a moose by mistake

These are moose -- not elk! PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.

Spotting scopes, binoculars can help hunters recognize the distinctive differences between the two species.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — As Colorado‘s big game hunting season begins, the Colorado Division of Wildlife is asking hunters to learn the difference between moose and elk in order to avoid accidentally shooting moose.

Almost every year moose are accidentally killed, according to the state wildlife agency. The most common error is mistaking a cow moose for a cow elk.

Moose are the largest members of the deer family and have adapted to a variety of habitats. They favor willows along streams and ponds. But be aware, some moose also inhabit lodgepole pine, oak brush, aspen, spruce, fir and even sagebrush – in other words, the same areas where elk live. Moose can be found in almost all the high-country areas of Colorado.

Elk hunters need to be sure to know the difference between these two ungulates. If a hunter without the proper license shoots a moose, the fine can be more than $1,000. Continue reading

Colorado lodgepole die-off increases elk habitat

Colorado Division of Wildlife managers say parts of the state could sustain higher elk populations than currently targeted.

Mild winters, changing landscape and absence of predators combine to affect management plan

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The local elk herd could grow significantly in the next few years, as dead and dying lodgepole pine forests make way — at least temporarily — for knee- and waist-high grasses that provide rich feeding grounds for the ungulates.

Combined with warmer winters, the changing landscape in Summit County could support a higher population than is currently targeted by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, according to Kirk Oldham, the terrestrial biologist for the agency who is currently revamping the 10-year plan for the game animals. Continue reading

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