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Colorado wants public input on big game management

Mule Deer

Photo credit: Dreamstime

Wildlife management strategies are constantly evolving in order to come up with the best game plan to produce healthy herds. Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) held a public meeting on Jan. 16 to discuss its new herd management plan for the White River mule deer herd, the Steamboat Pilot & Today reports. This herd migrates within the Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties and is considered one of the largest herds within Colorado.

The original plan was first drafted in 1995. Since then, “a lot has changed,” said Meeker Area Wildlife Manager Bill de Vergie. “Chronic wasting disease is affecting this herd, and we’re dealing with significant loss and fragmentation of habitat.”

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“In addition, there is far more outdoor recreation occurring today, and more people means more traffic leading to more dead deer and an increased danger to motorists,” said de Vergie. “Predation is definitely a consideration as is continuing oil and gas exploration. The next plan will need to account for all these dynamics.”

CPW is also in the process of creating a new plan for the Gore Pass elk herd, which resides in southern Routt County and considering changes to how current big game seasons are structured, according to the Steamboat Pilot & Today. These changes would impact deer, elk, moose, antelope and bear seasons.

CPW held a seminar to discuss these changes on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the CPW Steamboat Springs Office. If you’d like to weigh in on these topics, you can submit your comments online here or here. The comment period ends February 13.


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Alex G. - posted 1 week ago on 02-05-2019 02:26:55 pm
Walled Lake, MI

Crucial or not isn’t the argument. I rather eat a wild animal than cattle and farmed animals. That’s my own joy and health concern. I also can tell you stats can be swayed however you want but what you can’t take away is the fact that hunters foot the bill for wildlife and we can categorize anything as a trophy. A doe with no horns is a trophy to me and many others and you can’t change that especially as someone that doesn’t hunt. Your argument is based on your emotion to seeing teddy bears in cartoons and you’re associated with a child’s feelings not reality of life. We eat meat and my kids love animals but also like to eat Bambi and that’s ok. Have a nice day.

Alafair R. - posted 1 week ago on 02-05-2019 02:13:53 pm

Ken H. Although it was a crucial part of humans’ survival 100,000 years ago, hunting is now nothing more than a violent form of recreation that the vast majority of hunters do not need for subsistence. Hunting has contributed to the extinction of animal species all over the world, including the Tasmanian tiger and the great auk.
Less than 5 percent of the U.S. population (13.7 million people) hunts, yet hunting is permitted in many wildlife refuges, national forests, and state parks and on other public lands. Almost 40 percent of hunters slaughter and maim millions of animals on public land every year, and by some estimates, poachers kill just as many animals illegally.
Many animals endure prolonged, painful deaths when they are injured but not killed by hunters. A study of 80 radio-collared white-tailed deer found that of the 22 deer who had been shot with “traditional archery equipment,” 11 were wounded but not recovered by hunters. Twenty percent of foxes who have been wounded by hunters are shot again. Just 10 percent manage to escape, but “starvation is a likely fate” for them, according to one veterinarian. A South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks biologist estimates that more than 3 million wounded ducks go “unretrieved” every year. A British study of deer hunting found that 11 percent of deer who’d been killed by hunters died only after being shot two or more times and that some wounded deer suffered for more than 15 minutes before dying.
Hunting disrupts migration and hibernation patterns and destroys families. For animals such as wolves, who mate for life and live in close-knit family units, hunting can devastate entire communities. The stress that hunted animals suffer—caused by fear and the inescapable loud noises and other commotion that hunters create—also severely compromises their normal eating habits, making it hard for them to store the fat and energy that they need in order to survive the winter.
Nature Takes Care of Its Own the delicate balance of ecosystems ensures their survival—if they are left unaltered. Natural predators help maintain this balance by killing only the sickest and weakest individuals. Hunters, however, kill any animal whose head they would like to hang over the fireplace—including large, healthy animals who are needed to keep the population strong. Elephant poaching is believed to have increased the number of tuskless animals in Africa, and in Canada, hunting has caused bighorn sheep’s horn size to fall by 25 percent in the last 40 years. Nature magazine reports that “the effect on the populations’ genetics is probably deeper.”
Even when unusual natural occurrences cause overpopulation, natural processes work to stabilize the group. Starvation and disease can be tragic, but they are nature’s ways of ensuring that healthy, strong animals survive and maintain the strength of the rest of their herd or group. Shooting an animal because he or she might starve or get sick is arbitrary and destructive.
Another problem with hunting involves the introduction of exotic “game” animals who, if they’re able to escape and thrive, pose a threat to native wildlife and established ecosystems.
Please be real men of integrity and morals. I play paintball and I think you would enjoy that more than hunting. Please stop killing animals. My 7-year-old little boy wants me to tell you all the it hurts his heart when you kill animals.

ken h. - posted 2 weeks ago on 02-05-2019 11:00:59 am

Love the anti hunting rant. Hunters have footed the bill for conservation since early 1900's. Most big game animals where quite rare by late 1800's due to unrestrained market hunting. Hunters, hunter donations, regulated hunting seasons, and taxes on firearms have changed that picture. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and state game departments have moved elk back to states where they were effectively extirpated. All other hunting organizations have poured time, money, and sweat into making the North American hunting model the envy of the world. Quit crying and do something productive. There are givers and takers in this world. The anti's are generally takers.

Steven W. - posted 3 weeks ago on 01-23-2019 01:36:54 pm

I think all game should be managed to where it is going to be here long after us, when it was here long before us. And realize the affect we play on the natural world.

Alex G. - posted 4 weeks ago on 01-21-2019 07:18:22 pm
Walled Lake, MI

Ya, to the anti trolling here, I like to hunt my own food instead of buy it from the grocery store or just eat plants. Sorry but wearing camo and doing that is a part of life and just remember we are animals. We are in the circle of life just like everything else and we have changed things as we have continued to populate. Hunting is a tradition as much as it is a way to life and eat. You can't force that upon anyone else. If you don't like to eat that or want to live otherwise, you can do that but remember we are going back to our ancient roots and aren't Here impressing anyone. We do however share out pictures of trophies, whether big or small and share food as a tradition just like you would for Thanksgiving. The best part is we pay for conservation and as hunters we want to continue to hunt and preserve it for the long run. If we just killed things, nothing would be around and conservation wouldn't have worked.

Alafair R. - posted 1 month ago on 01-19-2019 08:23:40 pm

[Please delete my duplicate comment 4 hours previously, had to fix type-os in the other one]

Whenever people who kill and steal others lives they always have some ready-made EXCUSE (one of these days i think I'm going gather them all in a book) they always spit out these EXCUSES as if they cover the killer in a coat of justification that allowed you to go on about your day and may be eased the guilt and worked well on the public but that no longer works and I want to shout out "The Emporer has no clothes" so you would know just how stupid and wrong you all look. No one, except perhaps one of your own, is buying it any longer. We all watch as you are all dressed in your camouflage clothing and your posted selfies of you and life you snuffed out and we all feel sick, and when I say we I'm not just referring to the advocates or the "anti's" as you call us, I'm referring to the general public.
And we all feel so helpless to stop something we have allowed for so long, but now we can see with our own eyes, and its not ok, and when we see parents with their tiny kids dressed tiny camouflage teaching them to kill we helplessly look on while we watch a brand new human being stripped of their newly sprouted empathy that will now grow up without that quality that is so vital to every stable human being. I can only hope that change comes soon, and you realize nature does take care of itself and does a fantastic job of managing its animals, plants, soil, trees, rivers, and weather and doesn't need any interference from delusional men and their vapid women dressed in stupid camouflaged clothing.

John W. - posted 1 month ago on 01-19-2019 03:39:38 am
Pittsburgh, PA

Links for comments on the topics don't seem to be working.

Tim B. - posted 1 month ago on 01-18-2019 06:43:00 pm

I would recommend the decrease with the non-resident tags fees for big game hunting. I have hunted Colorado since 1991. I have paid elk tags fees of $150.00 now they are $661.00. I’m sure there has been a decrease in non residents as they can not afford the expense. The revenue of having 100-200 more non residents hunting in Colorado and not to mention the other expenses during their trip. Or is the idea of raising the fees to keep the non residents from hunting.

Justin F. - posted 1 month ago on 01-18-2019 02:01:45 pm

Probably time for this area to go to a limited draw for bikers and hikers. They'll need to build up their preference points for a chance at the prime hiking and biking areas and dates. They can have an option to buy a point if they're not going to hike or bike in the current year.

Might be a few more people living in Colorado since a couple million. Probably time to update the mgt plan.

Ron J. - posted 1 month ago on 01-18-2019 12:11:53 pm
Denver, CO

Some rumors I overheard from a CO P&R officer at the sportsman expo is that they are going to stop archery season for the week of Muzzy and then restart for one week after. Has anyone else heard anything like this?

Matthew J. - posted 1 month ago on 01-18-2019 11:39:10 am
Littleton, CO

They need to do this in every region in the state. Things are not as great as their marketing dictates