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40% fewer hunting licenses likely in northwest Colorado this year

Posted at 7:30 PM, Mar 29, 2023

The number of hunting licenses in some parts of Colorado could drop by as much as 40% this year.

The reason is record snowfall.

In northwest Colorado wildlife officers are finding dead and starving animals.

They also report a higher than typical number of elk, deer and antelope getting killed on roads where they go to get out of the deep snow.

Kyle Lopez who owns KB Outdoors a hunting outfitter in Divide, Colorado said the northwest region of Colorado is a prolific area for elk.

“You know, the White River herd and the Bears Ear herd, they’re the largest two single elk herds in the world right now.”

Lopez’s family has been ranching and hunting on land in Teller County for more than a century.

He often tells people “hunting is conservation.”

He knows that healthy wildlife numbers in Colorado require good management.

Sometimes that means added hunting opportunities.

This year hunters will have to deal with the hunting license reduction.

“You know, as hunters and everybody there are times where we have to make compromises, and this is a time where we probably need to make a little bit of a compromise,” said Lopez, “You know, if we compromise one year, the next 10 years… could probably be you know, even better than they were.”

The 40% reduction is an estimate that could go up or down as officers with Colorado Parks and Wildfire further assess the situation through the spring as snow melts.
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