Steamboat Springs Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager Jim Haskins has been seeing a lot of happy hunters and dead animals emerging from the woods this season.
“It seems like hunters in general are doing good,” Haskins said Wednesday.
The first rifle season wrapped up Oct. 17. The second season continues until Sunday. Things should quiet down a little after that during the third season, from Nov. 3 to 11, and the fourth season, from Nov. 14 to 18.
Haskins said most hunters have been obeying state laws, and he is unaware of any hunting-related accidents. He said there have been some reports of hunters mistaking the sex of animals and inadvertently shooting an animal for which they didn't have a license to shoot.
“Not a lot of cases with intentional violations,” Haskins said.
In some cases, hunters are mistaking spike bull elks for cow elks. Haskins said that can happen because the young bulls have not developed branched-out antlers.
In at least one case, it appears a hunter shot a moose instead of an elk. Wildlife officers are investigating a moose carcass that was found in northern Routt County. It's a situation wildlife officers were dealing with a lot more last year.
“We had a rash of that last year,” Haskins said.
There were four moose licenses issued to hunters for the area this year, and all those hunters were successful.
Haskins said a bull moose shot in North Routt County had an antler spread of 50 inches.
“That’s a big bull,” Haskins said.
One hunter issued a license for bighorn sheep was successful in shooting a ram.
“It’s been a good year,” Haskins said. “Everyone’s been safe.”
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com