DENVER — Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking public input on the structure of the big game hunting seasons for 2015 through 2019.
Major issues that are considered during the big game season structure process include the number of seasons for each species, the overlap among different seasons, breaks between seasons and the beginning and ending dates of hunting seasons. The hunting “preference point” system and totally limited elk hunting units will also be discussed as part of this process.
“The five-year season structure is designed to provide sportsmen, hunting-related businesses, landowners and communities an opportunity to plan ahead for the upcoming seasons,” said Craig McLaughlin, terrestrial section manager for CPW. “The public input process gives stakeholders the chance to comment on some of the major hunting issues.”
Every five years, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission sets the big game season structure. This review process allows the commission to consider public input along with information from wildlife biologists and managers to shape the structure of deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, black bear and mountain lion seasons for the next five years.
“We want to hear from sportsmen and other constituents about how the current hunting season structure is working for them and how it can be improved,” added Bob Broscheid, director of CPW.
CPW is using multiple tools to share information on the process with the public and to collect public input into how hunting season structures or the preference point system may be improved. These include traditional and social media, the agency website, in-person meetings around the state, and a hunter attitude survey mailed to more than 7,000 big-game hunters. During the second half of February, CPW will hold 16 public meetings around the state. Public meetings are an opportunity for anyone who is interested to meet with agency staff and provide input to be considered in setting hunting season structure for the next five years.
Times and locations of meetings are posted on the CPW website and can be located by going to cpw.state.co.us and searching for “season structure.” An official public comment form is available on the website along with more information on the process and opportunities to get involved.
Colorado’s big-game hunting seasons account for a nearly $1 billion economic boost each fall to the state of Colorado.
A 2008 study found that elk hunting alone pumps $295 million into the Colorado economy and supports 3,400 jobs in the state.