DOW seeks public input on five-year big game hunting structure

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— The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) will hold a workshop to allow the State Wildlife Commission to hear comments on the "first cut" of draft alternatives for the 2000-2004 big game hunting structure.

The workshop will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the Best Western Ramkota Inn in Greeley and is open to the public.

According to the DOW, the purpose for making the meeting public is to give the people the opportunity to comment on the development of draft alternatives and get more public input.

State commissioners will use the input from the August meeting to develop formal draft alternatives that will be presented at the September meeting.

According to the DOW, alternatives to the current 1999 season structures have been identified for moose, deer and elk.

Todd Malmsbury, chief of communications for the DOW, believes some of the proposals that will be presented to the commission could substantially change big game hunting in Colorado.

One of the proposed changes is a fourth formal season for cow elk to make sure harvest objectives are met.

"This is one of the ideas that has been mentioned both inside and outside of the Division," said Malmsbury.

According to Malmsbury, another proposal the commission will be taking a hard look at is a possible restriction on non-resident elk and deer hunters.
The DOW has been doing its best to encourage public input on the possible changes to Colorado big game hunting. Malmsbury believes hunter input is critical to long-term big game hunting.

"We want this process to produce regulations that benefit both the herds and the hunter and we can't do that if hunters don't participate in the process," said Malmsbury.

Bear and antelope structures have had no proposed alternatives to the current regulations at this time.

The new alternative regulations for moose, deer and elk for the 2000 through 2004 seasons may be seen on the DOW Web site at www.dnr.state.co.us/wildlife.

The DOW will also give the public additional opportunities to provide input on the proposed regulation changes in September at public forums. There will be meetings Sept. 9-10 in Grand Junction with times to be announced.

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