Craig briefs: Artists, chocolate makers are needed for Art Walk
The Downtown Business Association is looking for artists, chocolatiers, musicians and businesses for the 20th Annual Artwalk that takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 14 in downtown Craig. The fee for artists and businesses is $35. Please contact Nadine at the Kitchen Shop at 970-824-8148 or Yvonne at Favorite Things at 970-824-5833 to sign up or for more information.
CPW set to host virtual archery tournament
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will host the first 2015 National Association in the Schools Program Virtual Tournament in Colorado as a part of the Colorado Archery in the Schools Program at participating Colorado schools staffed with a certified Basic Archery Instructor, according to a press release.
Registration runs from Feb. 2 through 20.
CASP trains educators across Colorado to incorporate international-style target archery into the physical education curriculum. CASP promotes student interest and skills development leading to a life-long love of the shooting sport.
The virtual tournament gives every student who participates in the NASP curriculum during physical education class the chance to demonstrate their skills and compete with other archers around the state from their own gymnasium.
Schools can participate in the tournament by holding a formal competition on their school grounds within the open dates using the 2015 CO NASP Tournament Rules and Format guide.
Team registration at http://www.nasptournaments.org ends Feb. 20. After a school holds the competition, coaches gather student’s scorecards and submit the tournament scores online into the NASP Tournament database where they are tallied electronically.
Top scoring teams will be selected by division with trophies and medals awarded to the schools and team members. Individual boy and girl champions in each division will be awarded a state champion bow.
In addition, qualifying teams are invited to participate in the 2015 NASP National Tournament, May 7 through 9, in Louisville, Kentucky.
For further information and tournament resources, visit http://cpw.state.co.us/learn/pages/tr-archery-tournament.aspx or contact CASP Tournament Coordinator, Catherine Brons at email@example.com.
Dogs chasing wildlife is an ongoing problem
Dogs chasing wildlife is nearly a constant problem in Colorado, according to a press release.
The issue is particularly serious during the winter when dogs can easily rundown deer and elk in the snow and injure or kill them. So far this winter, wildlife officers in every corner of the state have filed reports of chasing incidents. During the first week of January just north of Durango, one dog chased a herd of about 20 elk into the Animas River, explained Matt Thorpe, area wildlife manager in Durango.
“On a cold day those elk should have been bedding down so they could conserve energy,” Thorpe said in a statement. “But because of that dog they stood in the cold water of the river for most of the rest of the day burning up calories they couldn’t afford to lose.”
The owner of the dog was located and ticketed. He paid a fine of $276.50. During the winter, deer and elk can lose up to 40 percent of their body weight. The animals continue to feed on dormant grass and woody plant material, but dry vegetation holds little nutritional value.
“Deer and elk are barely surviving during the winter,” Thorpe said. “They store up fat during the summer, but most of it gets burned off during the winter. If an animal has to run from a dog, it’s using up calories that can’t be replaced.”
In another incident, four dogs recently killed three elk near Crestone in the San Luis Valley. Fortunately, CPW officers found the owners and wrote three tickets for $275 each. Colorado law also allows CPW to impose a fine to compensate the state for the loss of an animal.
Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager in Monte Vista, said that big game animals suffer horribly when they’re attacked by dogs.
“So often we see injured and mangled deer that survived the initial attack. They are barely clinging to life and have no chance of making it through the winter,” Basagoitia said.
Many pet owners believe that their dogs would never chase wildlife. The fact is that most dogs, given the chance, follow their ancient predator instincts and will chase wildlife.
“Once a dog or group of dogs starts this behavior they rarely stop because they quickly learn to enjoy the chase,” Basagoitia said.
But such behavior can also lead to a dog’s demise. If a wildlife officer or other law enforcement officer sees dogs chasing deer or elk, Colorado law allows the dog to be shot.
“We don’t like to take drastic action against dogs. Dealing with the dog owners is the best way to prevent these types of incidents,” Basagoitia said.
There are many reasons dogs should be kept on a leash when walking in areas where wildlife are present. One dog owner in the Gunnison area found out the hard way early in January while walking his pet in the popular Hartman Rocks recreation area. The dog was running free and disappeared over a rise. A couple of minutes later the dog reappeared — running from a mountain lion. The cougar caught the dog and injured it slightly before being chased off by the owner. The dog survived and the pet owner learned a lesson.
Even in seemingly controlled environments like state parks, dogs are required to be on a leash. At Ridgway State Park dogs often chase wildlife, other dogs and even people.
CPW officials know that people in Colorado love their dogs. But they also have a responsibility to assure that their animals don’t become a hazard to wildlife, people and other dogs.
As the United States honors the many individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day, multiple ceremonies in Moffat County will pay tribute as part of the holiday.