Rifle season starts in Northwest Colorado | CraigDailyPress.com

Rifle season starts in Northwest Colorado

Patrick Kelly

It’s a banging time of year in Northwest Colorado as rifle-hunting season fires off on Saturday.

The season brings hunters from all over to seek the prized elk that roam this part of Colorado.

Jauneth Madsen, co-owner of Thunder Run Survival and Security in Craig said she is starting to see the hunters filter into her downtown business to check out the hunting and camping gear.

“They’re here,” she said. “Absolutely.”

The visitors are important to Craig’s businesses and hunting season is an exciting time for sportsmen, but there is also serious responsibility that comes along with rifle season.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokesman Mike Porras said if of primary importance when hunting and hunters should be aware of regulations.

One of the first rules is wearing the proper amount of blaze — orange or pink — to ensure visibility. In Colorado, at least 500 square inches of blaze, part of which must be a hat, a required for rifle hunters.

“You want to be visible,” Porras said.

On the same note, Porras said always make sure you are 100 percent sure what your target is and that it is indeed the species for which you have a tag.

“If you accidentally shoot the wrong animal, that is your responsibility,” he said.

If you do shoot the wrong animal, Porras said the best course of action is to field dress it to be used for human consumption and contact CPW immediately.

“If you self report promptly, that will be taken into account when assessing charges,” he said.

Another important piece of advice is to know your physical limitations and don’t get in over your head.

Having enough gear to survive one or two nights in the wild is also crucial. Essential items include adequate clothing, fire starters, water and water purifiers, first aid equipment and signaling device.

When planning a hunt, let someone know the details of the outing and if you are lost stay put.

“If you followed that simple rule, rescuers will find you,” Porras said.

Additional questions can be answered by calling the local CPW field offices in Meeker and Steamboat or online at cpw.state.co.us

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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