Hunters be aware: CPW seeking comment on potential limits to elk archery hunting licenses in Grand Mesa area

Archery on the Grand Mesa has exploded in recent years, leading some to call for restrictions...
Archery on the Grand Mesa has exploded in recent years, leading some to call for restrictions on hunting licenses.(Nora Logue / Colorado Parks and Wildlife)
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 2:15 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking public comment on potential changes to elk archery hunting licenses for the Grand Mesa area.

CPW states that over-the-counter license sales are currently unlimited and not restricted by sex for the entirety of the Grand Mesa hunting areas. It is currently seeking comments from the public about a possible limit to the amount of OTC elk archery licenses available.

Parks and Wildlife explained that the Grand Mesa area has traditionally been managed for maximum hunter opportunity where licenses are generally unlimited on an over-the-counter basis.

Wildlife managers intentionally reduced the Grand Mesa elk herd from a high of over 20,000 elk thirty years ago, to approximately 14,000 elk in 2021, according to CPW.

Since then, hunters have flocked to the Grand Mesa, doubling the amount of archery hunters in ten years. CPW states that increased crowding during the archery season paired with a reduced elk population triggered the discussion.

CPW cited the following factors as considerations:

  • Archery hunter crowding
  • Reduced archery hunter satisfaction
  • Declining archery hunter harvest success
  • Changing elk distribution between public and private lands

If you’d like to provide comment, you can submit them through the CPW’s online poll.