Results for big game draw in

The results of the Colorado Division of Wildlife's annual big game draw won't hit mailboxes until later this month, but hunters can find out how they fared by visiting the DOW's Web site.

The DOW will mail out licenses to those who drew one, or issue refund checks to those who didn't.

The notices have been mailed for some species, including bear. Information about the deer and elk draws should arrive soon, said Tyler Baskfield, a DOW spokesman. Those who applied for antelope licenses will have to wait a bit longer, Baskfield said.

Hunters with access to the Web can check the status of their preference points by entering their conservation certificate number on a form at http://wildlife.state.co.us. There is a hunting section, which contains a big game section with a link to draw results. Those who don't know their conservation certificate numbers can use the form by entering a last name, date of birth and a zip code.

The search yields a breakdown of a hunter's preference points and draw results back to 2002. If hunters have trouble checking the status online, they can call the DOW's service center at (303) 297-1192.

The Colorado Wildlife Commission approved a record number of elk licenses for the coming season. More than 147,000 antlerless and either-sex licenses were approved. It was 1,000 more than were issued in 2003, which also was a record year. The record issue was a response to overgrown herds, particularly in Northwest Colorado, Baskfield said.

An unlimited number of antlerless elk licenses were approved for several units near Craig in the fourth rifle season, which begins Nov. 6. The move to unlimited fourth season cow licenses is significant, Baskfield said, because there are high success rates for late season cow hunts.

However, some hunters have been angered because bull tags will not be sold over the counter for fourth-season hunts in the same areas, said Tony Stoffle, the sportsman's information specialist at the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

Still, the increase in antlerless licenses may draw more hunters to the area if word gets out, Stoffle said.

"That's a pretty good deal for a late cow season hunt," Stoffle said.

Several upcoming dates will be of interest to big game hunters, Baskfield said.

Unlimited bull elk licenses will go on sale on the DOW's Web site July 15. The licenses also will be available at local license outlets. On Aug. 10, licenses left over from the draw will go on sale. Hunters can acquire one at a license dealer. In previous years, hunters had to wait in line at DOW offices to pick up a leftover license, Baskfield said.

The next day, the leftover licenses will be sold on the Internet.

For those who successfully drew a license, Stoffle offered advice. Stoffle said hunters should check the license carefully to make sure the season, unit and species is the same as the one applied for. It's the hunter's responsibility to check the details, Stoffle said.

"Make sure everything you applied for is correct on your license," Stoffle said. "If not, get ahold of a DOW office in Meeker or Steamboat to get it corrected."

The phone numbers for the Steamboat Springs and Meeker DOW offices, respectively, are 870-2197 and 878-6090.

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