Parks and Wildlife accepting limited license big-game hunting applications

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Colorado Parks and Wildlife is accepting limited license applications for the fall 2013 big game hunting season.

Applications for deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, sheep, goat and bear are due April 2, according to a Parks and Wildlife news release.

Hunters are encouraged to apply for licenses online. In 2012, more than 80 percent of the 474,000 big game hunting applications were completed using the online system.

“Applying online means almost no chance for entering an invalid hunt code or making some other simple application errors,” Devon Adams, limited license draw coordinator for Parks and Wildlife, said in the release. “There were 22,000 applications last year that came in with errors — less than 100 of them were online applications.”

There are a number of changes hunters need to be aware of in 2013, the release states. The biggest is a modification to the youth late season elk hunting program.

Originally developed to help address overpopulations of elk on private agricultural lands in western Colorado, the youth late season elk hunting program will continue during a time when elk populations are nearing desired long-term levels, the release states.

In 2013, youths with an unfilled limited cow or either-sex elk license will be able to hunt late seasons in the general area of their original license, but will be restricted to smaller areas than in previous years.

“Allowing youth to hunt late seasons has been very popular because the late seasons typically overlap the holiday breaks from school and that makes participation easier,” Parks and Wildlife Director Rick Cables said in the release. “Given the changes this year to the program, we'll be looking for other ways to provide additional youth opportunity.”

Parks and Wildlife hunt planners are available again this year to help hunters who have application questions or are looking for areas to hunt. Hunt planners can be reached from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 303-291-7526.

By state law, hunters ages 18 to 64 must have a current 2013 Habitat Stamp or a lifetime Habitat Stamp before applying for or purchasing a hunting or fishing license in Colorado. The online system assures that applicants have a Habitat Stamp in advance of application.

Only one $10 stamp is required per hunter per year. A lifetime Habitat Stamp is available for $300.

Hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1949, also are reminded that they must complete an approved state or provincial hunter education course before applying for a hunting license in Colorado.

A complete list of upcoming hunter education classes can be found online at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/HunterEducation/CourseCalendar/.

Big game hunting brochures are available at outdoor sports retailers throughout the state. The interactive version of the brochure can be accessed online at www.bit.ly/coloradobiggame.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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