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The images of Colorado Hunter 2011

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Courtesy of David Dietrich

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Courtesy of David Dietrich

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Lake Catamount and the Flat Tops

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Rob Schmitzer, sportsman information specialist for the Craig Chamber of Commerce, stands July 21 outside the Chamber. Schmitzer cautions hunters to take in consideration weather and how it affects herds while planning their hunts this year. Photo by Joshua Gordon

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Courtesy of David Dietrich

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Grouse is one of several smaller game species in Northwest Colorado.

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Diminishing herd: The White River deer herd has declined as much as 40 percent since 2003.

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Rick Sanny with his Boone and Crockett cat.

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Rick Sanny with his prize bear, which took first place from the Colorado Bow Hunter Association in 2010.

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Rick Sanny with a bull elk in 2010.

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Craig, Colo.

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Hayden, Colo.

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The Roan Plateau, north of Rifle

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Gary Nichols, left, and daughter Tiana Nichols, 8, share a smile in a tree stand during the 2010 archery elk season in Moffat County. Although Tiana is too young to purchase an elk tag, she accompanies her father on nearly all of his hunts. Her first outing with her father was during bear season when she was four days old. Courtesy of Gary Nichols

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Tiana Nichols, 8, stands with her archery gear during the 2010 archery elk season in Moffat County. Tiana is too young to purchase an elk tag, but she accompanies her father on nearly all of his hunts. She said she can’t wait until she’s 12, so she can harvest her first elk. Courtesy of Gary Nichols

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Tiana Nichols, 8, peers upward from a tree stand during the 2010 archery elk season in Moffat County. Tiana accompanies her father on nearly all his hunts. Courtesy of Gary Nichols

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Olympian Todd Lodwick with his elk in 2010. Courtesy of Ralph Ramos

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Habitat development studies could last until 2018.

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Craig taxidermist Scott Moore stands in June next to the prize-winning piece, “Can’t Kill the King,” which he created with local taxidermist Leland Reinier. The two men won first place for collective artist at the Colorado State Taxidermy Competition earlier in June in Salida. The piece, which features an African lion whose skin was purchased from eBay, is on display at Moore’s business, Mountain Man Taxidermy in Craig. Photo by Ben McCanna

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Leland Reinier, owner of Big Cat Taxidermy, works on a customer’s leopard in May 2010. Reinier worked with taxidermist Scott Moore to create the piece, “Can’t Kill the King,” which won first place for collective artist at the Colorado State Taxidermy Competition earlier in June in Salida.

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This mounted turkey is an example of the work of Scott Moore, owner of Mountain Man Taxidermy in Craig. In June, Moore and collaborator Leland Reinier, owner of Big Cat Taxidermy in Craig, won first place honors at the Colorado State Taxidermy Competition in Salida. Photo by Ben McCanna

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Craig taxidermist Scott Moore stands in June next to the prize-winning piece “Can’t Kill the King,” which he created with taxidermist Leland Reinier. The two men won first place for collective artist at the Colorado State Taxidermy Competition in June in Salida. The piece, which features an African lion, is on display at Moore’s business, Mountain Man Taxidermy in Craig. Photo by Ben McCanna

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Five-time Nordic combined Olympian Todd Lodwick with his record-book bear in 2010. Courtesy of Ralph Ramos

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Olympian Todd Lodwick with his elk in 2010. Courtesy of Ralph Ramos

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Three-time Olympic silver medalist Johnny Spillane at home on the waters of the Yampa River. Photo by John F. Russell

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Olympic downhiller Craig Thrasher with his bull. Courtesy of Craig Thrasher

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Olympic downhiller Craig Thrasher hiking out with the rack. Courtesy of Craig Thrasher

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Olympic downhiller Craig Thrasher with the fruits of his favorite hunt. Courtesy of Craig Thrasher

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Moose numbers continue to grow in Northwest Colorado. Photo by Michelle Balleck

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The Lawton family, who live in Craig and Grand Junction, and their families pose on Indian Run in Northwest Colorado. The Lawtons have had friends come from Arkansas and Virginia to hunt for more than 20 years. Courtesy of Tracy Lawton

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Tony Lawton, of Grand Junction, poses last hunting season with an elk he shot on Indian Run in Northwest Colorado. Courtesy of Tracy Lawton

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Craig resident Richard Kendall, left, stands with the 703-pound black bear he killed Nov. 20, 2010, by crawling into the mouth of a cave. The hunt has become a source of statewide controversy. Courtesy of Richard Kendall

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Kendall poses with his trophy black bear Nov. 20, 2010, in the Wilson Creek area of Moffat County. The Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife determined Kendall did nothing wrong, but revised the rules to ban the hunting of bears within dens. Courtesy of Richard Kendall

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The bow is a popular weapon among Colorado’s hunters. Ben Rice, manager at Rocky Mountain Bow Strings in Meeker, said expandable broadheads are the best arrow for mule deer while a cut-on-contact broadhead is better for elk.

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Mike Swaro, Craig district wildlife manager, said when hunters are deciding on a rifle, they should take into consideration their skill level and what game they are after. Even with a .243-caliber rifle, an accurate hunter can take down an elk, Swaro said.

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Courtesy of David Dietrich

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Johnny Spillane

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Courtesy of Chris Jurney Outfitting

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Courtesy of David Dietrich

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Many elk migrate to lower-elevation areas to avoid harsher winter conditions. Courtesy of David Dietrich

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Courtesy of David Dietrich

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Courtesy of David Dietrich

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Tony Lawton, of Grand Junction, poses last hunting season before heading out for a hunt on Indian Run in Northwest Colorado. Courtesy of Tony Lawton

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Craig resident Luke Schafer poses with a 4-by-4 buck, which he scored in the Marapos Creek area in western Moffat County. Courtesy of Luke Schafer

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Matt Hill, of Pennsylvania, poses with a bull elk he shot on the Three Springs Ranch in Uniot 10 near Elk Springs by Dinosaur in Moffat County. Courtesy of Chris Jurney Outfitting

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Chris Jurney, left, of Craig, and Rick Callison, of Denver, are shown with a bull elk in Unit 201 west of Maybell in Moffat County. Courtesy of Chris Jurney Outfitting

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Dave Colburn, of Denver, scored his bull elk in Unit 201 west of Maybell in Moffat County. Courtesy of Chris Jurney Outfitting

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Bob Bugden, of Pennsylvania, killed this buck last year in western Moffat County. Courtesy of Chris Jurney Outfitting

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Jeff Keith, of Denver, earned this buck last year in western Moffat County. Courtesy of Chris Jurney Outfitting

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Hawken White, of Buena Vista, killed this cow elk in Unit 13 south of Craig in Moffat County. Courtesy of Chris Jurney Outfitting

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Wayne Grishamber, of California, scored this buck last year in Unit 4 north of Craig in Moffat County. Courtesy of Chris Jurney Outfitting

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"All of these shots were taken near Buffalo Pass at a heavily used water hole," says local hunter Bill Van Ness. "The bull moose was the boss of the woods and actually came by me at 10 years, tearing up every tree in his path. He had a pretty severe attitude. The elk was in front of my trail cameras daily. He was fun to monitor. One morning he passed through a camera, then four hours later he passed through another one two miles away. The bear is one of nine different bears I was able to catch on camera in the area. You couldn't set foot in the woods without coming across a bear up there." Courtesy of Bill Van Ness Trail Cam

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"All of these shots were taken near Buffalo Pass at a heavily used water hole," says local hunter Bill Van Ness. "The bull moose was the boss of the woods and actually came by me at 10 years, tearing up every tree in his path. He had a pretty severe attitude. The elk was in front of my trail cameras daily. He was fun to monitor. One morning he passed through a camera, then four hours later he passed through another one two miles away. The bear is one of nine different bears I was able to catch on camera in the area. You couldn't set foot in the woods without coming across a bear up there." Courtesy of Bill Van Ness Trail Cam

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"All of these shots were taken near Buffalo Pass at a heavily used water hole," says local hunter Bill Van Ness. "The bull moose was the boss of the woods and actually came by me at 10 years, tearing up every tree in his path. He had a pretty severe attitude. The elk was in front of my trail cameras daily. He was fun to monitor. One morning he passed through a camera, then four hours later he passed through another one two miles away. The bear is one of nine different bears I was able to catch on camera in the area. You couldn't set foot in the woods without coming across a bear up there." Courtesy of Bill Van Ness Trail Cam

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Courtesy of David Dietrich

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"The photo ... in the snow was taken in October 2010 in north Routt County," says long-time hunter Dawn Obrecht. "We call it 'Dawn's Deer.'" Courtesy of Dawn Obrecht, MD

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This photo of Dawn Obrecht was taken in September 2010 west of Craig. Courtesy of Dawn Obrecht, MD

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Eric Scherer proudly holds up the head and hide of his 2010 elk, shot in the Cow Creek area. Courtesy of Eric Scherer

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Rebecca Traester poses with her quarry, taken during second season on public land. Courtesy of Rebecca Traester

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Rebecca Traester poses with her quarry, taken during second season on public land. Courtesy of Rebecca Traester

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Courtesy of David Dietrich

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