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Denver-area elk hunter Steve Wyatt looks over a map with the Division of Wildlife’s Christy Bubenheim at the DOW’s Steamboat Springs office. Bubenheim said warm temperatures have made hunting difficult so far, and will again for the first rifle season, which opened Saturday. Cooler weather could benefit an influx of hunters expected for the more busy second and third seasons, however.

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Big bucks said to be prowling high country in Northwest Colorado

Hunters were cautiously optimistic late last week as they prepared for the first of the four elk-hunting rifle windows that will represent the bulk of the big-game animal hunting season in Northwest Colorado. The first three-day season opened with Saturday morning’s sunlight and hunters already were eyeing their first prey.

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