Buckskin Network keeps hunters in touch

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The Buckskin Network is a unique program between law enforcement and news media to assist hunters and their families.

Through a network of participating news media and all Colorado law enforcement agencies, emergency messages are delivered to hunters in the field during the big game season.

With proper preparation, hunters can help their families notify them if an emergency arises at home. The hunter should leave complete vehicle information (including license plate numbers), hunting locations and dates of return. When plans are changed, the hunter should notify the family to update his or her information.

Participating news media will announce or print the names and hometowns of hunters who need to call home. Radio stations announce the lists at least three times a day.

State troopers, wildlife officers, forest rangers, sheriff deputies and other law enforcement agencies are given the information and will look for vehicles and campsites, if the location is known.

Randy Hampton, a spokesman with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said the Buckskin Network is a useful tool.

"It has always been a great tool for hunters," he said. "There are so many areas hunters go. By putting out word on radio stations, they can be reached."

If hunters hear their names announced, they should call the Colorado State Patrol in Craig to receive details of the message. It is important to cancel received messages so valuable airtime can be conserved.

The Colorado State Patrol in Craig - (970) 824-6501 - is the clearinghouse for the Buckskin Network. Call any CSP office and leave or receive a message.

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