Colorado expects thousands of hunting violations this year
August 16, 2011
Common hunting violations can be costly By Colorado Parks and
Every hunting season, officers for Colorado Parks and Wildlife hand out
thousands of tickets for violations that cost hunters hundreds of
thousands of dollars.
While some of those tickets are for flagrant violations of wildlife
regulations and hunting laws, many more are for minor violations that
could have been avoided. Hunters are reminded that not only can they be
fined for violations, they can also lose their hunting privileges in
Colorado and the
34 other states that cooperatively participate in a wildlife compact
Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager for the San Luis Valley,
explained that hunters need to set aside some time to review the
Colorado Big Game Brochure. The brochure explains many of the common
violations and how to avoid them.
"Hunters must know their responsibilities when they get into the
Basagoitia said. "Wildlife laws are written to protect a valuable
resource and for safety." Following are some of the more common
violations that occur every year:
• Not wearing fluorescent orange: You must wear at least 500
inches of daylight fluorescent orange, plus a head covering of the
Camouflage orange or mesh orange do not qualify.
• Carrying loaded firearms in or on vehicles: Rifles must not
have ammunition in the chamber while in or on any motor vehicles.
For those riding ATVs, weapons (rifles and bows) must also be in a
closed case and fully unloaded (chamber and magazine). Most
accidents involving firearms occur in or near vehicles.
• Shooting from a road: Before firing a shot, you must be at
least 50 feet off of a designated state or county road, and just off
forest service or BLM roads.
• License not voided: After you kill an animal, you must void the
• Improperly attached carcass tag: The carcass tag must be
attached to the animal. The best way is to cut a hole in the hide
and attach with a tie. It is OK to wait until you get back to camp
or to your vehicle to attach the carcass tag.
• No evidence of sex: Be sure to leave evidence of sex naturally
attached to the carcass. Evidence includes the head, the ovum or the
• Waste of game meat: Big game meat can begin to spoil at 38
degrees. To keep the carcass cool, remove the hide as soon as
possible after the kill to allow for air to circulate around the
meat. Reduce the mass of the carcass by quartering the meat or
boning out the meat. Place the meat in a cooler as soon as possible.
Even in cold weather, a carcass should not hang outside for more
than 36 hours. Remember: Because game meat contains very little fat,
it cannot be aged like beef. The so-called "gamey taste" is caused
by spoilage, not because the animal is wild. To learn how to field
dress a big game animal, see the video at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/NewsMedia/Videos.
• Shooting a spike-antlered elk: Hunters who hold a cow elk tag
sometimes shoot spike bulls. Be sure of your target. If you are
shooting at a long distance or in low light conditions, it can be
difficult to see spike antlers. If you are not absolutely sure, do
• Illegally tagging an animal: You can only place a tag on an
animal that you shot. You cannot trade tags with other license
holders, or use tags of other license holders.
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