hunting tips

Hunting Tips – Big Game Options in Colorado

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Deer and elk are the most commonly hunted species in Colorado. But hunters also go to the high country to pursue other magnificent big game animals: bighorn sheep, mountain goats, bears, moose and mountain lions. 

The numbers of these animals in the state are significantly lower than deer and elk, so licenses are few and difficult to get. But those who obtain a license can look forward to a high-quality hunting experience. 

Bighorn Sheep 

Hunting Tips – Moose or Elk – Be Sure of Your Target

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Reintroduced to Colorado more than 30 years ago, moose are thriving in many parts of the state. Unfortunately, almost every year hunters inadvertently shoot moose. During the last few years more than a dozen moose have been killed during each season by hunters who thought they were shooting elk. 

Elk hunters need to be sure to know the difference between these two ungulates. If a hunter without the proper license shoots a moose, the fine can be more than $1,000 and hunting privileges can be lost. 

If You’re Hunting, Leave the Drone At Home

PICT Hunting Mule deer - CPW

Colorado Parks and Wildlife Law Enforcement and Public Safety Assistant Director Heather Dugan says CPW is seeing more cases of Colorado hunters illegally using drones.

"The bottom line is, if it's related to a hunt in any way, you can't do it," Dugan said. "For scouting, locating, anything. If they fly before they take an animal, they're illegal. If they use the drone to locate an animal they may have shot and wounded, they're illegal."

Hunting Tips – Long-term Efforts have Saved Colorado’s Wildlife

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In Colorado 150 years ago wildlife faced a dire future. 

To provide food for miners and settlers streaming west during the gold rush and land rush of the mid- and late-1800s, market hunters slaughtered deer, elk, bear, buffalo, bighorns, pronghorn and any type of bird that could provide meat. Fish fared no better as nets and even dynamite were set in rivers and streams. Polluted water flowing from mining operations also devastated hundreds of miles of rivers and streams. 

Hunters Can Expect Another Good Waterfowl Season

PROMO 660 x 440 Animal - Aleutian Canada Geese - USFWS

Colorado hunters can expect another good waterfowl season in 2017-18, although CPW avian program leader Jim Gammonley said there are signs that duck numbers may start to see declines in the future due to drier conditions to the north. Waterfowl hunting opportunities in Colorado extend from mid-September teal seasons to light goose conservation seasons ending in April.

Hunting Tips - Hunting Gear Checklist

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Preparing for a hunting trip is a major effort. Listed below are a few common items that hunters often forget as they get ready to go into the backcountry. 

* First aid kit (include mole skin/duct tape for blisters); 

* Compass and high-quality maps; 

* Fire starter for use in the field; 

* Knife sharpener; 

* Extra batteries; 

* Rain gear; 

* Blaze orange vest and cap; 

* Extra fuel for camp-stove; 

Hunting Tips - Hunting and Wildlife Management in Colorado

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Hunting provides tens of thousands of people in Colorado a unique recreational experience. But hunting goes far beyond the realm of recreation--it also provides an important wildlife management tool. 

When few humans roamed the Rockies and the Great Plains more than 150 years ago, wildlife could move over hundreds of thousands of square miles of open range. But while wild critters still have room to move around in Colorado, their interface with humans requires the attention of professional wildlife managers.