Outside briefs, Feb. 25, 2017

Learning opportunity for young, 
inexperienced hunters available

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering six inexperienced young hunters an opportunity to learn from knowledgeable mentors during a spring turkey hunt on private land near Meeker.

The hunt, which will be held April 8-9, is part of the CPW’s Hunter Outreach Program.

Novice youth hunters are encouraged to apply. However, those that have no prior hunting experience, have special family circumstances or have health conditions that limit their ability to hunt have priority over experienced youth that come from hunting families.

“We are focusing on true beginners,” Bailey Franklin, hunt organizer and District Wildlife said. “This is about education, not just a chance for a private land hunt. We ask folks to respect that.”

The opportunity is open to all youth under the age of 18 that possess a Hunter Education card.

Applicants must mail their entry by March 25 to: DWM Bailey Franklin, P.O. Box 1181, Meeker, CO 81641.

More information can be found by calling the CPW office in Meeker at 970-878-6090.

To learn more about Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Hunter Outreach Program, go to http://www.cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/HunterOutreach.aspx.


Colorado Parks and Wildlife concerned about unethical antler harvests


Colorado Parks and Wildlife managers are concerned about the irresponsible and unethical habits of some people collecting shed antlers late in the cold weather season.

Officers are concerned over the growing number of collectors looking for sheds in closed areas, or pressuring big game while the animals are struggling to survive winter conditions.

While shed antler hunting is allowed in most of Colorado, wildlife officers say they have received reports of several unethical collectors entering restricted areas. A few have been seen chasing deer and elk in hopes the startled animals drop their antlers. Officers have ticketed several shed hunters for harassing wildlife this year.

“This is about protecting these animals,” Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will of Glenwood Springs said.

“People need to understand that when big game expends critical energy by running from human activity this time of year, it will lead to higher mortality. We will do what we need to do to prevent that.”

There are a number of game management units that have restrictions for collecting shed antler to protect wildlife.

For more information about shed collection restrictions in the Northwest Region, contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Glenwood Springs office at 970-947-2920.

For information about restrictions in Gunnison County, call the CPW office in Gunnison at 970-641-7060.


Tax-deductable wildlife donations sought


People have the opportunity to help threatened and endangered wildlife with a voluntary contribution through the “nongame and endangered wildlife cash fund” when filing Colorado tax returns this year.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is one of the organizations included on Colorado state income tax form 104A as part of Checkoff Colorado, which allows taxpayers to make voluntary contributions to the organizations of their choice when filing a state income tax returns.

Donations are tax deductible and help support around 750 species of wildlife that cannot be hunted, fished or trapped. Funds go to projects that manage or recover wildlife including birds of prey, lynx, river otter, black-footed ferret and others.

The nongame and endangered wildlife cash fund will also help to support wildlife rehabilitation centers that work to care for injured and orphaned wildlife ranging from the Colorado chipmunk to the great blue heron.

CPW is an enterprise agency funded primarily by license sales, state parks fees and registration fees. The nongame program receives no state tax dollars.


Holiday campers reminded to reserve spots for established campgrounds


Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds campers that now is the time to make reservations for popular camping locations in the spring and summer.

Many state park camping locations are already booked over Memorial Day but expeditious campers can still snag some prime locations for the May or July 4 holidays.

Over Memorial Day weekend, only three state parks still have wide availability. Paonia State Park near Paonia, Mancos State Park in southwest Colorado, and Yampa River State Park, in northwestern Colorado, have reservations available in all locations. Mancos, which is a 40-minute drive west of Durango, offers yurts as well as tent camping.

Information/reservations: 1-800-678-2267 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Reservations for established campsites during the summer is reccomended.


Maintenance issues shut down ski resort


A western Colorado ski area has voluntarily shut down after state inspectors found maintenance problems and operational issues.

The Durango Herald says Hesperus Ski Area has been closed since Tuesday after a routine inspection by the Colorado Passenger Tramway Safety Board.

The safety board issued a short statement that gave no specifics about Monday’s inspection or what problems were found. The board says it will need to verify that the problems are fixed before Hesperus can re-open.

Hesperus, located 11 miles west of Durango, was bought last year by businessman James Coleman. It’s now part of a ski area collective in the Southwest that includes the nearby Purgatory Resort.

Hesperus passes will be honored at Purgatory during the closure.


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