High quality big-game hunts announced in Meeker

Colorado Hunter magazine

For more information about hunting in Northwest Colorado as well as stories from local residents, see the 2012 Colorado Hunter Magazine. Click here to see the e-edition.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Miller Creek Ranch in Meeker are offering big-game hunters an opportunity to apply for a limited number of private property, high-quality elk and mule deer hunts beginning Nov. 3, the agency announced in a news release.

Interested hunters must submit a written application by 5 p.m. Oct. 10, 2012, to:

Colorado Parks and Wildlife - Meeker Office

Attn: Bailey Franklin/Special Miller Creek Ranch Hunts

PO Box 1181, Meeker CO 81641

The application can be found at: http://parks.state.co.us/SiteCollectionImages/parks/Misc/MeekerHuntApplication.pdf

Nine hunts will be available to hunters who have already drawn limited deer and elk licenses for Game Management Unit 23 during the 2012 big-game hunting seasons. In addition, one public bull elk hunt will be available to any big-game hunter that plans to purchase an unlimited, over-the-counter bull elk license for the third rifle season in 2012, according to the release.

"This is a rare, high-quality private land hunting experience," District Wildlife Manager Bailey Franklin said in the release. "We encourage sportsmen to take advantage of this chance to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime hunt."

The unique opportunity developed through a working relationship between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Miller Creek Ranch landowner Richard Bachmann. As part of their efforts in a large-scale big-game habitat protection and improvement project, local wildlife managers reached a mutual agreement with Bachmann to set aside a perpetual conservation easement on his 3,100-acre ranch property, located in GMU 23, the release stated.

A portion of the agreement stipulates that a limited amount of public access for mule deer and elk hunting will be made available annually and will be cooperatively implemented by the agency, Bachman and property manager Joe Collins. The Miller Creek Ranch is within the White River mule deer and elk herd units, two of the largest big-game populations in the state of Colorado. The ranch features a variety of habitat, including high elevation aspen and conifer forest, mountain shrub lands and lower elevation pinyon-juniper woodland and sagebrush, according to the release.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is now accepting applications until the Oct. 10 deadline. The hunts are open to all eligible hunters, however preference will be given to youth and military veterans that apply, the release stated.

There is no cost associated with the application. The following hunts will be available and hunters should be specific about which of these hunting seasons/opportunities they are interested and eligible to apply for:

• One unguided antlered/buck deer hunt on Miller Creek Ranch

Third regular rifle season - Nov. 3 through Nov. 11 2012

OR

Fourth limited rifle season - Nov. 14 through Nov. 18 2012

To be eligible, applicants must have drawn a limited deer license in either:

-DM01203R

-DMO1204R

-DE011P3R

Applicant must confirm eligibility and indicate interest in buck mule deer hunt in the application.

One hunter will be selected from a pool of eligible applicants to hunt a buck deer during only one of the two potential buck deer hunt dates specifically listed above for 2012.

• One unguided antlerless/doe deer hunt on Miller Creek Ranch

Third regular rifle season - Nov. 3 through Nov. 11 2012

Applicant must have drawn a limited antlerless deer license in either:

-DF01203R

-DE011P3R

Applicants must confirm eligibility and indicate interest in doe mule deer hunt in the application.

One hunter will be selected from a pool of eligible applicants to hunt a doe deer during the hunt dates specifically listed above for 2012.

• One unguided antlered/bull elk hunt on Miller Creek Ranch

Third regular OTC rifle season - Nov. 3 through Nov. 11 2012

OR

Fourth limited rifle season - Nov. 14 through Nov. 18 2012

All hunters are eligible to apply for this public bull elk hunt during the third rifle season.

Applicants that have drawn a limited, either sex license for EE01204R are also eligible to apply for this bull elk hunt but would be restricted to the fourth, limited rifle season.

Applicant must confirm that they are planning to purchase an over-the-counter bull elk license for the third rifle elk season, or have already drawn a fourth rifle limited elk license.

Applicants must indicate interest in the bull elk hunt in application.

One hunter from the pool of eligible applicants will be selected to hunt a bull elk during only one of the two potential bull elk hunt dates specifically listed above for 2012.

• Seven unguided cow elk hunts on Miller Creek Ranch

-Third regular OTC rifle season - Nov. 3 through Nov. 11 2012

-Fourth limited rifle season - Nov. 14 through Nov. 18 2012

-Latter portion of the late, private-land-only rifle season: Oct. 24 through Nov. 11 2012

-Late rifle December PLO cow elk season - Hunt 1: Dec. 1 through Dec. 6 2012

-Late rifle December PLO cow elk season - Hunt 2: Dec. 7 through Dec. 12 2012

-Late rifle December PLO cow elk season - Hunt 3: Dec. 13 through Dec. 18 2012

In order to be eligible to apply for one of the seven public cow elk hunts, applicant must have drawn a limited antlerless or either-sex elk license in either:

-EF01203R

-EE01204R

-EF011P5R

-EF023P5R

Applicant must confirm eligibility and must specifically indicate which of the cow elk hunts listed above that they are applying for in the application.

CPW will select seven hunters from pool of eligible applicants to hunt cow elk during any of the six potential cow elk hunt dates specifically listed above for 2012.

The ten hunters will be notified by mail soon after the deadline. In addition, those selected will receive specific dates and details from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, including a special hunt packet, detailing special travel restrictions and hunting access rules.

For more information or questions, call Colorado Parks and Wildlife's Meeker office at 970-878-6090.

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