State adding big game licenses to meet demand | PostIndependent.com

State adding big game licenses to meet demand

Scott Willoughby
The Denver Post
ESTES PARK, CO. - January 23, 2015: Grazing Elk after the sunrise color has faded near Horseshoe Park in the Rocky Mountain National Park January 23, 2015 Estes Park, CO (Photo By Joe Amon/The Denver Post)
DP | THE DENVER POST

GRAND JUNCTION — The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission approved the limited hunting license recommendations for deer, elk, pronghorn, moose and black bear, as recommended by CPW staff at last week’s meeting in Grand Junction.

Statewide post-hunt population totals for all those animals except black bear increased in 2014, translating to a nominal (1 percent) license increase of 3,400 for all four species combined, totaling 241,870 limited licenses. Colorado’s bear population remains robust at about 17,000-20,000 but does appear to be declining based on monitoring benchmarks. Reiterating its commitment to continue pressing bear population decreases in most parts of the state, the commission approved a bear license increase of 3,000 licenses over 2014.

Here’s the synopsis by species, according to CPW big game manager Andy Holland and carnivore biologist Jerry Apker:

Deer

Statewide deer populations have increased for the first time since 2005, and demand for deer licenses is strong. In 2014, 169,000 hunters applied for Colorado deer licenses. In 2015, 83,200 deer licenses will be available, about 400 more licenses than 2014. The predicted deer harvest from these license recommendations is 34,000, similar to annual harvests over the past four years.

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