GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT News)-- Almost anywhere in northwestern Colorado, people are gearing up for the thick of the hunting season.
“Colorado has a reputation for being one of the best places to hunt in the country,” says Mike Porras with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The main rifle seasons are starting this weekend. Hunters like Joshua Dewitt say he’s already had a chance to explore in the Craig area.
“Bear, elk, deer, mountain lions,” says Dewitt.
Even with the drier summer and now drier fall that we’re starting to see: “I’ve seen some pretty eaten down grasses but we had a pretty good snow pack last year so those levels were a lot higher than normal,” says Dewitt.
CPW says it takes in a good chunk of its funding through those that hunt. Those that have purchased hunting or fishing licenses make up for a large part of funding for the biologists and officers.
“There’s a lot of money that the hunters bring in to the local economy and as well, going back into the land to conserve it and create better habitat for those animals,” says Dewitt.
It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, that preserves much of the natural lands for those that hunt and for those that don’t.
“Whether you hunt or don’t, that is something that benefits you. It benefits everyone in the community. And it certainly keeps our wildlife populations healthy as well,” says Porras.
But if you do go out to explore, CPW wants to make sure you have a plan.
“If you don’t carry enough water bring some extra iodine tablets and first aid stuff,” says Dewitt.
“Check you’re gear, check you’re survival equipment, your knife: anything that you might need to survive in the back country,” says Porras.
To learn more about hunting and fishing licenses and the application process go onto: https://cpw.state.co.us/licenses