Arapaho Wildlife Refuge open for hunting

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in North Park is among 10 refuges recently opened for hunting or offering expanded hunting and fishing opportunities.

The expanded programs are part of the 2011-2012 Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations published Friday in the Federal Register.

Arapaho NWR will offer elk hunting for the first time. The refuge also offers fishing and waterfowl and upland bird hunting.

“The National Wildlife Refuge System, a vital part of our shared natural heritage, offers Americans more than 320 hunting programs across the country,” Service Director Dan Ashe said.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to these programs — especially for youth and those with disabilities — wherever they are compatible with refuge purposes.”

Among the other refuges offering expanded recreational opportunities is Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, 30 miles south of Vernal, Utah.

The refuge, which includes 12 miles of the Green River and already offers fishing and migratory bird hunting, will open for turkey and elk hunting for the first time.

According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, of the more than 250 comments received during the public comment period, only 18 were opposed to the amended regulations.

Other refuges affected by the changes are located in Louisiana,  Mississippi, North Carolina, Minnesota and Texas.

Late hunter ed classes: With hunting season already upon us — the early goose season ended Friday, archery hunters are out until Sept. 25 and blackpowder season started Saturday and runs through Sept. 18 — it’s time to check your hunter education card.

Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1949 is required to pass an approved hunter education course prior to applying for a license or a preference point.

You might think this matter would have been taken care of several months ago, but this late in the summer there always are a few hunters looking for a hunter education course.

There are several courses available this month in Grand Junction, including one beginning Monday and another starting Sept. 17.

For information on other local and regional hunter education courses, call the Northwest Region office at 255-6130, or go online to wildlife.state.co.us, then click on Hunting and Hunter Education.


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