The Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife reminded hunters in a news release that good judgment and ethical behavior are critical to ensure a safe and successful hunting experience.
The reminder was prompted by several incidents of hunters shooting the wrong game during the first part of the main hunting seasons this year, including moose that have been mistakenly shot by elk hunters and at least one case of a hunter that shot a mule deer he thought was an elk.
“Every hunter should know that if they are not 100 percent certain about the target, do not pull that trigger,” Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde said in the release. “It is a serious concern that some hunters are either unable to properly identify their target or are simply too impatient to take a responsible shot.”
The penalties for shooting the wrong game can be serious. If a hunter compounds the accident by abandoning the carcass and failing to report the incident, he or she could face felony charges, thousands of dollars in fines, the permanent loss of hunting privileges and possible imprisonment, according to Parks and Wildlife.
Hunters that mistakenly kill the wrong animal are urged to field dress the animal and contact Parks and Wildlife as soon as possible. Wildlife officers will seize the animal and donate the meat and will take prompt reporting into consideration when assessing penalties, according to the release.
Anyone who sees suspicious activity in the field is asked to call 1-877-265-6648. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward if the information leads to a poacher, according to the release.
Part of Buffalo Pass Road closed for tree removal
The Parks Ranger District portion of the Buffalo Pass Road (U.S. Forest Road 60) will be closed to the public for removal of beetle-killed hazard trees, according to a release.
The road will be closed from 7 a.m. Mondays to 5 p.m. Fridays, and work is expected to be completed by Dec. 1, according to the release.
“I recognize the importance of not shutting down this popular route all week and have decided to keep it open on weekends and holidays,” Parks District Ranger Mike Wright was quoted as saying in the release. “While I do understand that this will still impact some hunters in the coming months, this project is needed to ensure long-term public safety.”
For more information about the project, call the Parks Ranger District at 970-723-8204.
VNA is offering quit kits for smokers trying to stop
The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is offering free quit kits for those trying to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco. Stop by the VNA in Craig, 745 Russell St., or in Steamboat Springs, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101. Call Community Health Educator Vicki Barron at 970-875-1883 for more information.