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CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

 
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:32 PM
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CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

Just back from elk hunting in CO. Our tag comprised two units. One wilderness unit and a regular hunting area. The DOW and the Gunnison Forest Service have closed all access roads to only foot or horse traffic or for their administrative use only. Big fines if caught farther than 100 yards off the road. This effectively turns this unit into an undesignated wilderness area. I feel this is elitist and discriminatory. If you are by yourself, it is tough to pack out an animal or you must rent a horse or sign up with an outfitter. Many of our friends are older and cannot hike back that far into the country. And even if they could they could never get a big bull out by themselves before it spoiled or was eaten by animals. I was under the impression that this is our land and we have a right to use it responsibly. If I want to go to the wilderness area, fine. If I want to go to the regular hunting area because of health, age or a disability I am now screwed. Our group plus our many friends we have made over the years are very upset with this policy and many have said they are done with CO. They will not come back if this stands. We have urged them to write the Gov and make their feelings known. I hope this can be corrected or I too will be looking for a hunter friendly state and no longer spend my money or vacation or hunt in CO. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:45 PM
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Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

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Last edited by Boss Hoss; 11-07-2011 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 10-21-2011, 03:56 PM
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Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

I hate that a few jerks ruin it for everyone. I've seen canyons completely destroyed in 2 years by idiots on their 4 wheelers, motorcycles, and trucks. It does suck to not have vehicle access on some roads but it's to protect the land from being torn to pieces by irresponsible people who think they have the right to tear up all our land. Sorry that it ruined your hunt :(
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:14 PM
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Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

They did the same thing in Michigan to the area I have hunted Deer on as long as I can remember, people were dumping Garbage at the foot of Old Baldy..On all sides there is one of the bigest cedar swamps covering over 5000 acres. I cant even park in the area.
They tore the hell out of it the 4 weelers and trucks were distroying the area.
so there is a gate now.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:13 PM
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Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

We were warned about this last year in our GMU. A ranger told us they were trying to shut down a large percentage of the roads to traffic. Later in the week we were reassured by a DOW ranger that it wouldn't happen in our unit, but that there were others that were being hit hard.

I understand your frustration, but I also understand the frustration of those who are tired of seeing people road hunting and blazing their own trails on 4 wheelers.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:14 PM
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Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

I am 63 years old and pack out my elk on my back and then give them away.

The restriction of off road vehicles to prevent them from going into the woods is great for those of us who hunt on foot and do not wish to be run over by drunks on ATVs.

Here are a few pictures I took of the damage ATVs did to a trout stream.
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CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom-atvdamage.jpg   CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom-atvdamage-1-.jpg  

CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom-atvdamage-2-.jpg  
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:09 PM
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Re: CO Elk Hunting and Loss of Freedom

What part of Gunnison natl forest did they do this? I know when we hunted in 55 near Gunnison, the forest roads were a hwy for 4wheelers all day. How they did any hunting is beyond me. They could of saved themselves the cost of the tags, and just rode, because thats all they did. Lot of public lands are seeing this, way too much OHV traffic, especially during hunting season. We are our worst enemy here. Its not the 4wheelers, trucks, or the hunters doing the damage, as they practice tread lightly. Its the rejects that buy the things, and believe they can do whatever they like. All we can do, is try to correct the behavior of our friends, and maybe down the road, people's mentality will improve.

I wouldnt say the DOW has hurt your freedoms by not allowing vehicle traffic into the area. Its a priviledge to drive a vehicle, whether it be on roads, or public land, there is no right to do so. You are still allowed to go onto the land, via foot or likely horse. They are likely doing this, to control the hunting numbers in the area, and to let the area rehab from abuse. There are lots of other areas of the state still open, so there is still access by vehicle, especially for those with physical limitations. While I do wish to drive closer to an area I am hunting, I want to get away from the goons that are road hunting, and if that means limiting vehicle travel, then so be it. Everyone needs to pitch in and help fix the problem, even it if means to start reporting abuse.
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