Fewer big-game hunting licenses to be issued | AspenTimes.com

Fewer big-game hunting licenses to be issued

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved the issuance of 79,800 limited deer licenses for fall 2012, a decrease of 5.8 percent from last year.

“Mule deer populations are being intensively monitored, and we’ve seen some declines, especially in the western part of the state,” statewide big game manager Andy Holland said in a statement. “Between severe winters, increased development, habitat decline and migration-corridor fragmentation, most Western states are seeing declines in mule deer populations. We adjusted license numbers accordingly.”

Colorado will issue 140,000 limited elk licenses, the agency announced. That is a decrease of 2.2 percent from last year. The decrease is mostly related to elk populations reaching management objectives after several years of efforts by Colorado Parks and Wildlife to reduce elk damage on private lands. Colorado also will issue an unlimited number of over-the-counter bull licenses in the archery, second rifle and third rifle seasons. Those are in addition to the limited elk licenses.

The number of black bear hunting licenses will be increased because biologists determined the statewide population is larger than previously believed.

“New estimates show that approximately 16,000 to 18,000 black bears live in the state,” the agency said in a statement.

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