SAN LUIS VALLEY— Colorado Parks and Wildlife invites residents, hunters, and landowners to provide input on concerns regarding hunter and resident safety in Game Management Unit 83. A public comment form is now available for those interested in sharing feedback on the unique challenges within this unit.
In Costilla County, elk often distribute themselves within developed subdivisions throughout the rifle seasons. With unfettered access available via an extensive public roads system, and over-the-counter licenses available, uncontrolled numbers of hunters are accessing elk within the subdivisions.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is considering putting a limit on rifle elk licenses and possibly using landowner licenses to distribute hunters in GMU 83 to alleviate public safety concerns. Some may be concerned that limiting licenses means a significant loss in opportunity. That is not necessarily the case. CPW must still manage the elk herd at appropriate levels, and sufficient licenses will be issued to accomplish that goal.
“We’ve found that the limited first and fourth rifle seasons have far fewer issues and concerns when hunter numbers are at lower levels than those experienced during the OTC seasons when hunters from other units can flood into the area,” said Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager for CPW. “To implement an alternative that accommodates a wide variety of needs, it’s important for us to hear from the community who utilizes GMU 83. Our ultimate goal is to balance the need to manage elk in the area while providing a safe experience for all.”
The public can share opinions by using the online Comment Form for Game Management Unit 83.