Sunday, April 3, 2011

Colorado Big Game Hunting Opportunities

The Colorado Division of Wildlife has released statistics from the 2010 big game hunting seasons in the state.

"Hunters will continue to see great chances to get in the field in Colorado and access our world-renowned herds," said Tom Remington, Director of the Division of Wildlife.

The 2010 season was highlighted by a record-setting harvest of pronghorn. With recent expansion of access to licenses and lands, hunters statewide harvested a record 12,301 pronghorn during the 2010 seasons. The season beat the previous record of 10,941, set in 2009.

Colorado's most important attraction for big game hunters continues to be elk hunting with more than 214,000 elk hunters in the field last fall. Elk hunters experienced a 22 percent success rate, harvesting 48,018 elk.

Bull elk harvest continues to be available in both the limited seasons and the over-the-counter seasons with the harvest split almost equally between the two license types. Colorado is the only state to offer an unlimited, over-the-counter bull elk tag during the second and third rifle seasons.

Now the elk hunting capital of the world, long-time hunters in Colorado will remember the days when the state was renowned for mule deer hunting and those opportunities appear to be returning. The 2010 harvest of 34,768 was up slightly from the previous year total of 33,922.

Colorado has an estimated 460,650 deer, 287,270 elk and 76,710 pronghorn, making it a top hunting destination. With more than 23 million acres of public land, the state draws hundreds of thousands of hunters every fall, contributing more than $300 million direct dollars into the Colorado economy.

Because of the large number of big game hunters in the state, the Division of Wildlife does not require hunters to report harvest on most species instead the agency utilizes phone and on-line surveys to establish harvest estimates. The statistics are extensively validated and audits have shown that the process is quite accurate.

Harvest stats from 2010 can be found at the Division of Wildlife webpage at:

source: Colorado Division of Wildlife

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