OUT: Moose hunt considered for Grand Mesa herd

DON ZIPPERT/Special to the Sentinel
THE COLORADO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE is planning a limited moose hunt for the herd on Grand Mesa. Information about management plans is available on the DOW Web site.

Colorado Division of Wildlife biologists are considering a limited moose hunt starting next year for the herd on Grand Mesa.

The hunt, which in its initial years will likely be limited to one bull moose per year, is part of the overall management strategy developed when the DOW proposed re-establishing a moose herd on Grand Mesa in 2001.

The first moose, two young bulls and an adult cow, were transferred to Grand Mesa from a herd near Creede in January 2005. Over the next two years, 91 more moose, including 56 cows and 35 bulls, were moved to Grand Mesa, most of them coming from herds near Salt Lake City. Those transplants, along with migrants from other moose herds in Colorado and natural reproduction, have increased the
Grand Mesa herd to approximately 125 animals.

Since the first introduction near Harrison Creek on Grand Mesa, moose have spread as far as the Crystal River Valley.

The last moose were transferred in 2007 and no other transplants are planned, said DOW terrestrial biologist Stephanie Duckett.

“Some type of limited moose hunting was part of the reintroduction plan from the very beginning,” said DOW spokesman Randy Hampton. “The majority of people who sent us comments supported both hunting and watchable wildlife opportunities.”

Hampton said the first hunt will be offered next fall if approved by the Colorado Wildlife Commission.

The DOW is formulating a management plan for the moose herd on Grand Mesa.  The draft plan for Data Analysis Unit M-5, which includes game management units 41, 42, 43, 411, 421, 52 and 521, can be seen on the DOW Web site at wildlife.state.co.us. Click on Hunting, click on Big Game and click on Herd Management Plans.


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