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A herd of elk eats hay laid out for cattle on a ranch near the Haymaker golf course east of Steamboat Springs several years ago. Heavy early season snow is bad news for the animals, which have already have begun showing up in suburban neighborhoods around Steamboat Springs in search of food.

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Early winter tough on Yampa Valley elk

Area herd struggles to reach grass through snow base

The abundant early season snow that made Opening Day at Steamboat Ski Area so noteworthy represents grim news for the Yampa Valley’s elk herd. The animals already have begun showing up in suburban neighborhoods within Steamboat Springs city limits this month to feed.

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