Points well spent for GJ’s Colt Jackson

Colt Jackson of Grand Junction holds on to the six-point bull he killed in Unit 61 during the 2012 second rifle season. Jackson decided it was better to spend his preference points rather than try to catch up with hunters a decade or more ahead of him.

You’ll note the quiet sense of achievement on Colt Jackson’s face in the accompanying photo, which shows the 26-year old Grand Junction resident with the six-point bull elk he killed during the second season in Unit 61.

Jackson, like many hunters who got into the game of collecting preference points too late to catch those hunters a decade ahead of him, this year decided to stop accruing points for that dream hunt and instead get a quality hunt with the points he had.

Elk-rich Unit 201 in the northwest corner will cost you about 19 points next year, according to Colt’s father, Tim Jackson, a colleague here at the Daily Sentinel and holder of 17 points himself.

“I was thinking of spending them on 61 because I don’t know if I’ll ever have enough to hunt 201,” Tim said earlier this week. “But Colt said, ‘Don’t you dare, you’re so close.’ “

In 2005 Colorado Parks and Wildlife offered hunters a one-year point-banking system, which allowed you to use a portion of your preference points to get a license and save the rest for another year.

The idea was to reduce the number of hunters holding a pocketful of preference points, giving them the opportunity to hunt a better-than-average unit and still have points left over for a future hunt.

As it is now, if you draw your first-choice license, even if it’s for a unit that requires fewer points than you have, you lose all your points.

Many hunters don’t understand the preference-point system or why point banking isn’t allowed (do an Internet search for “Colorado preference points” for a taste of the confusion), but until the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission adopts a change, Tim Jackson and the rest of us will continue to hoard points in hopes of someday enjoying that once-in-a-lifetime hunt.

Vonn out of men’s downhill race

Few athletes have dominated their sport as has skier Lindsey Vonn. Twelve years on the U.S. Ski Team, a U.S.-record 53 World Cup wins and the only American woman to win both the Olympic downhill gold medal and four Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall titles.

She swept to the 2012 overall title by winning 12 races and resetting the women’s all-time World Cup point mark to 1,980, only 20 points short of Herman Maier’s men’s record.

So what can’t she do? Race against the men, apparently, after her request to compete in a men’s World Cup downhill race was rejected last week by the International Ski Federation.

Vonn sought to enter the men’s downhill 
Nov. 24 at Lake Louise, Alberta, a place some call “Lake Lindsey” because Vonn has won nine of her 25 World Cup downhill victories there.

But after meeting Nov. 3 in Oberhorfen, Switzerland, the FIS council “confirmed that one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other,” FIS secretary general Sarah Lewis told The Associated Press. Lewis added “exceptions will not be made to the FIS Rules.”

“It’s very clear,” Lewis said. “It’s called the men’s World Cup and the ladies’ World Cup. The men race the men’s World Cup, and the ladies race the ladies’ World Cup. FIS and World Cup points are not transferable from one circuit to another.”

Had Vonn been allowed to race at Lake Louise, she would have missed the Audi FIS Ski World Cup at the Nature Valley Aspen Winternational because they’re on the same weekend.

So her loss is our gain. Colorado ski-racing fans can watch Vonn race again the world’s fastest women skiers Thanksgiving weekend at Aspen. Spectating is free both days at the base of Lift 1A on Aspen Mountain.

Information: http://www.aspen/snowmass.com.


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