Partnership to let hunters prowl area near Meeker

Among the game-rich management units elk and deer hunters dream about are the units in northwest Colorado harboring the White River elk and deer herds.

Hunters each fall willingly gamble precious preference points to draw a license for theses units, where some of the best late-season hunting is on private land.

Some of the landowners in the Northwest Region open their property to public hunters in the fourth season, well after the paying clients have come and gone, but that, too, is a gamble because by the time you get on the land, the elk or deer may have moved on.

There is, however, another way to hunt some private land near Meeker, thanks to a unique partnership between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and Miller Creek rancher owner Richard Bachmann.

When Bachmann established a perpetual conservation easement on his 3,100-acre ranch property, part of the agreement included allowing a limited amount of public access for mule deer and elk hunting.

This year, nine hunts are available to hunters who have already drawn limited deer and elk licenses for Game Management Unit 23 during the 2012 big-game hunting seasons.

Various hunts are offered in the third rifle season (Nov. 3–11), the fourth (Nov. 14–18) or as late as Dec. 18.

Additionally, one bull elk hunt will be available to any big-game hunter planning to purchase an unlimited, over-the-counter bull elk license for the third rifle season.

“This is a rare, high-quality private-land experience,” District Wildlife Manager Bailey Franklin said. “We encourage sportsmen to take advantage of this chance to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime hunt.”

The ranch features a variety of habitat, including high-elevation aspen and conifer forest, mountain shrub lands and lower-elevation pinyon-juniper woodland and sagebrush.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is accepting applications through Oct. 10. The hunts are open to all eligible hunters with preference given to youths and military veterans.

There is no cost associated with the application.

The application may be found at parks.state.co.us/SiteCollectionImages/parks/Misc/MeekerHuntApplication.pdf.

Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Oct. 10 to: Colorado Parks and Wildlife ­— Meeker Office; Attn: Bailey Franklin/Special Miller Creek Ranch Hunts; P.O. Box 1181, Meeker, CO, 81641.

For more information or questions, call Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Meeker office at 970-878-6090.

Hunting guide available

The 2012 Colorado Hunter magazine is out and available for free at sporting dealers and licensed agents around the area as well as The Daily Sentinel.

Included in this year’s edition are several stories from local readers who responded to a request for hunting stories.

Among the stories regaling personal hunting tales are those by Larry Claxton, David Hartmann and Jerald Hawkins.

The stories published in the Colorado Hunter were selected for a combination of reasons, including they told a interesting story, had reproducible photographs and were sent electronically, which means no retyping by me.

But, unfortunately, limited space meant many more stories worth telling never made the magazine.

Because we appreciate the efforts taken by Daily Sentinel readers to send their stories, throughout the big-game hunting season you’ll see some of the stories in this space in The Daily Sentinel.

Colorado hunters have fascinating stories to tell, and The Daily Sentinel is excited to share those tales with our readers.

The first installment will begin next week.


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