Hunting in Rocky Mountain National Park?

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Hunting in Rocky Mountain National Park?  Before you get upset … remember that there are too many elk. From 1969 to 1999 the elk herd in the park grew 600% from 500 to
3000. 
They’ve become a problem in the park where
they are destroying all edible vegetation and they are getting into trouble in town. 
The plan is to get the herd back down to about 1700.  There are three different proposals for this, two plans and one idea, according to the Denver Post.

  1. The park’s plan is to spend $18 million to kill 200-700 elk a year for 20 years!   And that’s to "kill" the elk, not hunt them.  They will send in sharpshooters at night with silencers to kill 700 elk a year!
  2. The Division of Wildlife wants to lead guided hunts into the park.  The hunters would pay for the priviledge (money in, instead of $18 million out!), they’d get the hunt of a lifetime (good for Colorado) and we’d manage the park herd just like we manage elk in the rest of the state (experienced herd management.)
  3. Another solution might be to reintroduce wolves – a solution that would have strong supporters on both sides of the debate, however anyone who has been to the park knows how close lots of homes and the entire town of Estes Park is.  That might make introducing wolves dangerous.  As far as I can tell this idea hasn’t been planned out.

Allowing guided hunts seems to be the best idea to us. 

  • Hunters would get to access to some great hunting land,
  • the state would make a lot of money and
  • the elk population would be managed by the Division of Wildlife, an organization very experienced at managing animal populations.

Photo by creativity+.

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