Colorado hunters kill fewer elk in 2007 |

Colorado hunters kill fewer elk in 2007

Aspen Times Staff Report
Aspen, CO Colorado

The number of elk killed by hunters dropped by about 8,000 last year compared to 2006, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has announced.

On the other hand, hunters killed the highest number of deer in a decade in 2007, the wildlife division said.

For all 2007 big game seasons, hunters killed 49,012 elk. That was the first time since 1999 that the “harvest” fell below 50,000, the wildlife division report.

There were 227,262 elk hunters in the state last year. They had a success rate of 22 percent. The number of elk taken in the first and second rifle seasons was consistent with the average. Kills were down in the third and fourth rifle seasons, probably because the weather was so mild and elk were more inaccessible, according to wildlife experts.

“Another factor that may have decreased the harvest is the state’s elk population numbers,” the wildlife division said in a statement. The DOW dropped the number of 2007 limited elk licenses by 5,000 because elk numbers approached objective in some traditionally high harvest areas.

There were also 10,000 fewer elk hunters in the field during the 2007 seasons. Some of the decrease was due to fewer limited licenses being available, but weather and economic conditions also played a role, the wildlife division said.

Deer hunters in Colorado harvested the highest number of deer since 1997 with 98,283 hunters killing 45,026 deer for a 46 percent success rate in 2007. Deer license numbers were the highest since 1999.