Big game hunting is a tradition for a lot of Craig families, but it also comes with certain inherent risks. And with the Elk and Mule Deer rifle seasons well under way Lt. KC Hume of the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office said now is not the time to forget the cardinal rule of hunting — be sure of your target and beyond.
Due to warm weather dominating most of the fall, hunting has not been as productive as Craig and the surrounding area is accustomed to. According to Mike Porras, the Public Information Officer for Colorado Parks and Wildlife northwest region, two seasons of hunting have been less successful than normal. Elk hunting in Parks and Wildlife’s area six, which includes Moffat, Rio Blanco and parts of Garfield and Routt Counties, has been characterized as below-average by a small margin.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are seeking help from the public in solving a pronghorn poaching case that occurred near Lamar, the agency announced in a news release. Wildlife officers found two pronghorn antelope Oct. 13 dumped near North 13th Street and Canal Road. Portions of the animals were missing but the meat was still present, according to the release. Anyone who saw any suspicious activity or has information should call Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer Kevin Mahan at 719-940-0233 or call the toll-free poaching tip line at 1-877-265-6648. Verizon cell phone users can dial #OGT, or tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, the release stated.
The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use recreation sites over the Veterans Day holiday weekend, Nov. 10-12, the agency announced in a news release. The fee waivers are offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. According to the release, day-use fees will be waived at all standard amenity fee sites operated by the Forest Service. Concessionaire operated day-use sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.
Pitkin County landfill manager Chris Hoofnagle is out of a job after an employee was cited for illegally hunting a bear on county property without a permit. According to the Aspen Daily News (http://tinyurl.com/9chfhgn ), two people, including a landfill employee, were cited by state wildlife officials for illegally killing a bear without a permit at the facility last month. The two men face large fines if convicted.
As Colorado’s main hunting seasons progress, Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds hunters that good judgment and ethical behavior are critical to ensure a safe and successful hunting experience, the agency said in a news release. The wildlife agency said in that release over 250,000 hunters enjoy the big game seasons in the state each year, adding billions of dollars annually to the state's tourism economy. Based on the number of incidents versus the overall number of hunters, it appears that the vast majority are careful in the field. However, officers say that even one incident of carelessness is too many, the release stated. "We ask for 100 percent compliance," Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde said in the release. "Because of the serious consequences of an accident, avoiding this kind of mistake entirely should be every hunter's primary goal."
PRICE, Utah (AP) — Three Colorado men have been fined and banned from hunting in Utah after a doe and buck were killed illegally last fall. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says Ostan Ware, Ryan Hagin and Kody Kean didn't have proper permits for either animal. Officials say the men posted pictures of the dead deer online, and left the doe to rot. A tipster calling the state's Turn-in-a-Poacher hotline reported the incident, which wardens say happened in November about three miles away from the Colorado border in Utah's Book Cliffs.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say two Tennessee men have been sentenced for killing a bear out of season and throwing the carcass off a cliff. The agency said Tuesday that Harley Boss Manley, of Martin, and David Ronnie Coleman, of Union City, pleaded guilty earlier this month to killing a black bear north of Glenwood Springs just before fall bear hunting season started Sept. 1.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gun-rights groups perceive President Barack Obama as a threat to unfettered access to firearms. They once had qualms about Mitt Romney, too. But times and circumstances have changed for Romney, the GOP presidential nominee now in tune with the National Rifle Association and similar organizations, whose members are motivated voters. In the tight White House race, every bit of support helps, especially in the most closely contested states and particularly from groups that claim millions of members nationwide. Romney's prior embrace of weapon-control proposals had put him crossways with the NRA and others. These days, Romney is on their good side by opposing renewal of a federal ban on semiautomatic weapons, additional regulations on gun shows and suggested federal gun registration requirements.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK (AP) — A wildfire burning on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park has prompted evacuations of a nearby campground, along with backcountry campsites and trails in the area. No structures are threatened, and no evacuations have been ordered in the town of Estes Park to the east. The fire was reported around 2 p.m. Tuesday about 2 miles west of the Fern Lake trailhead. It had grown to about 300 acres by 5 p.m.
lorado Parks and Wildlife officers are investigating a case of suspected poaching involving a large buck deer found near mile marker 85 on Colorado Highway 96 east of Pueblo, the agency announce in a news release. According to the release, the head and antlers were removed. "It looks like the deer might have been shot somewhere else and dumped along Highway 96," Quentin Springer of Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in the release.
CARBON COUNTY, Wyo. (AP) — The 20-gauge shotgun rode easily in my hands as I walked down a trail on the north slope of a tangled ravine that cradled a trickling stream. The light was crisp with the fleeting, brief perfection of fall. The aspen leaves shimmered their best yellow and orange against the pale blue Wyoming sky. The breeze carried the tang of spruce warming in the sun. The dog zigzagged tightly up and down the slope ahead of me. He had cut a pad badly earlier in the day but continued hunting hard without complaint. He was methodical, intent and good at his work. Suddenly, two blue grouse broke cover close in front of me. The sound of their beating wings throbbed in the air as they pumped hard to make it across the ravine and into the safety of the dark forest. The gun came up fast as I worked the slide to chamber a round. The barrel settled on the bird on the left.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is planning to stock several thousand large, whirling disease resistant Hofer rainbow trout into a section of the Colorado River where a large, natural fish kill occurred earlier this year, the agency reported in a news release. Wildlife managers will begin stocking operations on Tuesday between Dotsero and the Cottonwood boat ramp. After a heavy, monsoonal downpour last July, a large amount of silt and debris was washed into the Colorado River below Dotsero and through the Glenwood Canyon, eventually killing several thousand fish in this section, according to the news release.
(AP) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are investigating two cases in which hunters illegally killed an elk and abandoned the carcass. Officials say that in one case near Telluride last month, someone shot a bull elk with a rifle, removed its head and partially field dressed it. They say the elk was dragged by an all-terrain vehicle and was left in within a gated community, where it was found Sept. 28.
CANON CITY, Colo. (AP) — The public is getting time to comment on a proposal to expand the Garden Park Fossil Area north of Cañon City and designate it a national natural landmark. The National Park Service says the existing boundaries of the 40-acre area don't include five significant dinosaur quarries, including ones where some of the most complete Stegosaurus skeletons have ever been found. Some of the first known remains of dinosaurs like Camarasaurus, Ceratosaurus and Diplodocus also have been found there.
(AP) — Environmental groups hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's rejection of an appeal challenging a federal rule that bars development on 50 million acres of roadless areas in national forests, ending one of the main legal battles that had left the rule in doubt for more than a decade. "The Supreme Court action validates arguably one of most important public land conservation polices in a generation," said Jane Danowitz, a director of the Pew Environment Group, which has worked on the rulemaking since 1998. "Without the roadless rule and its national standard of protection these millions of acres of pristine forest land could be opened to a variety of development, including logging, mining and drilling." The justices said Monday they will leave in place a federal appeals court decision in a case brought by the state of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association that upheld the so-called roadless rule that took effect late in the presidency of Bill Clinton. Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association said closing so much forest land to development has had serious consequences for residents of Western states and the logging, mining and drilling industries.
(AP) — Drought conditions have affected waterfowl habitat on the Eastern Plains so much that hunters may have to work harder to find ducks and geese this fall and winter. Jim Gammonley is an avian research program leader for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. He says the lack of moisture in Colorado this year may force many birds from the north to migrate elsewhere in search of better conditions.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is advising hunters heading to Game Management Unit (GMU) 23 in the White River National Forest that the southeast portion of the unit will be temporarily closed by the U.S. Forest Service during the upcoming big-game seasons due to concerns about an active wildfire in the area, CPW reported in a news release. Although recent rainfall has dampened the fire, USFS officials are concerned about the number of weakened trees and snags caused by the heat and flames, as well as concerns that the fire could re-ignite as temperatures rise and rainfall moves out of the area. The closure extends through Dec. 31, but could end sooner if conditions warrant, according to the release. USFS officials say the Middle Elk fire was caused by an unattended campfire. Since it was discovered, it has grown to 257 acres, burning in a mix of spruce and fir trees, open areas and high elevation aspen groves west of Forest Road 245, also known as the Buford - New Castle Road. The road is not currently included in the closure and remains open to hunters, the release stated. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding hunters and other outdoor recreationists to observe closure notices and to follow campfire rules and regulations as they head to their camps.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission will receive an update on research involving black bears and cutthroat trout when the Commission meets in Durango Thursday and Friday, the agency reported in a news release. The meeting will be held at The Strater Hotel, 699 Main Ave. in Durango. The Commission agenda begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, when agenda includes general updates on agency strategic priorities and a financial update, according to the release. Thursday briefings from Colorado Parks and Wildlife staff will include an overview of ungulate population management plans. Commissioners will also receive a briefing on black bear research taking place in the Durango area, the release stated.
Last week Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., hailed U.S. Senate action that will bring S.3525 to the floor for final passage during the lame duck session following the November general election. S. 3525, also known as the Sportsmen’s Act, includes Udall’s Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support provision. If passed during lame duck the bill would provide states with greater flexibility to use funds collected from sporting equipment and ammunition sales to create more accessible gun ranges for safe target practice and recreational shooting.
A Meeker outfitter was convicted last month in federal court in Denver of six felony violations of the Lacey Act. Dennis Eugene Rodebaugh, 72, of Meeker, faces a stipulated maximum sentence of five years in prison for each felony conviction and up to a $250,000 fine, according to a Colorado Department of Justice news release. According to the indictment, between 2002 and 2007 Rodebaugh, operator of D&S Guide and Outfitter, allegedly guided numerous out of state clients on multi-day big game hunts in the White River National Forest where deer and elk were allegedly shot from tree stands. The stands were located in close proximity to where Rodebaugh annually placed each spring and summer hundreds of pounds of salt as bait.
(AP) — The National Park Service acted properly when it ruled out using wolves to control the elk population in Rocky Mountain National Park, government lawyers argued Thursday before a federal appeals court. The government also defended the use of trained volunteers to help Park Service employees shoot and kill excess elk, saying it didn't violate a hunting ban in national parks. In a hearing before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a law student representing the wildlife advocacy group WildEarth Guardians argued the Park Service did not give enough consideration to the wolf option and rejected it without giving the public a chance to comment. The group also said letting volunteers shoot elk instead of limiting the shooting to Park Service employees was tantamount to hunting.
Program aimed at reducing trespassing, limiting access to critical mine operating zones
The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office recently entered into a contract with Colowyo Mine to conduct patrols during the 2012 to 2014 hunting seasons. Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said deputies have been patrolling the boundaries of Colowyo Mine for about the past five seasons in an effort to minimize the number of trespassing violations by hunters. Colowyo Mine is private property.
(AP) — Fifteen years ago, the U.S. Forest Service boldly announced a goal of eradicating hazardously overgrown forests nationwide by 2015. That goal is long gone. The threat to Colorado homes in 2013, it now appears, will likely be as high as ever. Forest restoration and bush clearance have lagged even as new housing is built in threatened areas. And, for a variety of reasons, little progress was made this year in reducing the fire danger. Instead, 2012 saw a drastic change in Forest Service policy. Officials say the shift was done for just one year because of the unusual emergency but that, nonetheless, the overall picture remains one of stretched resources, dry woodlands and endangered homes.