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The Elk need your support!
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
beauregard 27-Oct-18
goelk 27-Oct-18
midwest 27-Oct-18
Ucsdryder 27-Oct-18
Jaquomo 27-Oct-18
Missouribreaks 27-Oct-18
cnelk 27-Oct-18
AndyJ 27-Oct-18
Inshart 27-Oct-18
Jaquomo 27-Oct-18
GF 27-Oct-18
ryanrc 28-Oct-18
goelk 28-Oct-18
altitude sick 28-Oct-18
Treeline 28-Oct-18
Jaquomo 28-Oct-18
GF 28-Oct-18
Jaquomo 28-Oct-18
Treeline 28-Oct-18
sneakem 28-Oct-18
Jaquomo 28-Oct-18
linehunter 28-Oct-18
Surfbow 28-Oct-18
sneakem 28-Oct-18
Jaquomo 28-Oct-18
320 bull 29-Oct-18
altitude sick 29-Oct-18
12yards 29-Oct-18
altitude sick 29-Oct-18
TrapperKayak 29-Oct-18
DConcrete 29-Oct-18
320 bull 29-Oct-18
COHOYTHUNTER 29-Oct-18
elkster 29-Oct-18
thrasher 29-Oct-18
altitude sick 29-Oct-18
sneakem 29-Oct-18
Jaquomo 29-Oct-18
cnelk 29-Oct-18
elkster 30-Oct-18
altitude sick 30-Oct-18
Whocares 30-Oct-18
thrasher 30-Oct-18
Jaquomo 30-Oct-18
Jaquomo 30-Oct-18
thrasher 30-Oct-18
TrapperKayak 30-Oct-18
sneakem 30-Oct-18
Cazador 30-Oct-18
ElkNut1 30-Oct-18
elkster 30-Oct-18
sneakem 30-Oct-18
Bowsiteguy 30-Oct-18
Dinkshooter@work 30-Oct-18
Jaquomo 30-Oct-18
CO_Bowhunter 30-Oct-18
From: beauregard
27-Oct-18

beauregard's embedded Photo
beauregard's embedded Photo
Elk hunters the Elk need your support,

The Elk in and around Steamboat Springs Co. are in desperate need of your support! We have a City-funded trail network going through the NEPA process that will completely decimate our herds over a vast area of public National Forest Land. At this moment the trail building community is getting a couple letters a day into the Forest service in support of this trail network. I know as hunters we like to stay quiet and mostly solitary but we NEED to get loud and join forces if we expect to keep the hunt and our hunting lifestyle alive into the future.

We have already seen the elk population plummet on Buff Pass because of the trail network that went in last summer. This next Madd-Rabbit trail network is massive and extremely damaging to Elk Habitat.

Visit www.KeepRouttWild.com for details about our desperate fight to save the herds.

Here is a link to the Madd-Rabbit proposal https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd568674.pdf

This is a link to the trail system they have approval for and almost complete. We are witnessing a huge impact already from these. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd553389.pdf

Please write an email to the below addresses. Or send it to KeepRouttWild@gmail.com and I will forward it to the decision makers involved.

Bullet points to hit.

1. We value our wildlife and undisturbed habitat over new trails. 2. The elk population surrounding Steamboat plummetted because of the Buff Pass trail network and new trails must stop immediately before all the huntable populations are gone forever.

Also, visit https://www.keeprouttwild.com/take-action/ to see our mission statement.

Email addresses to send your letter of support for wildlife to.

tcorrigan@co.routt.co.us, dmonger@co.routt.co.us, chermacinski@co.routt.co.us, kfoster@fs.fed.us, wdelliquadri@steamboatsprings.net, gsuiter@steamboatsprings.net, kris.middledorf@state.co.us, tumphries@fs.fed.us, citycouncil@steamboatsprings.net

Thank you! And please forward this to five people who you think might be able to help the cause.

Cedar Beauregard Keep Routt Wild 735 Pahwintah St. P.O. Box 770974 Steamboat Springs, CO 80477-0974 (970) 879-0953

From: goelk
27-Oct-18
Done

From: midwest
27-Oct-18
Visited Steamboat this past summer. Couldn't believe how much it'd grown since I was last there around 1990. Too many fricken people!

From: Ucsdryder
27-Oct-18
as the world becomes more digital you’ll see a lot more people moving from the big city out west and working remotely. Which will turn the west into the big city. It’s sad...

From: Jaquomo
27-Oct-18
I don't want to piss on anyone's campfire, but one of the primary reasons why the "huntable" elk population is suffering in the Steamboat area is due to the explosion of bowhunters over the past 20 years. That, in turn, has caused the elk to adapt by fleeing to the big low-country ranches at the end of August, where they stay in giant herds throughout the rut and don't go back into the National Forest. Couple this with the dramatic increase in backcountry hunters fueled by all the internet and DVD hype, and the elk are running to where it's safe as soon as the onslaught starts.

I've watched this phenomenon develop and grow (I started bowhunting in that area in 1974). We did it to ourselves. Where there used to be one or two hunter vehicles at a trailhead, now there are 25 or more. In the valley where we used to camp there would be a couple other camps. Now every pulloff has a big camp, mostly nonresidents. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a group of "Born and Raised" wannabes hiking around and bugling all day back in the Zirkels (where the Born and Raised boys proudly publicize). I sure wish it was like the Good Old Days, but those are gone and not coming back in our lifetime. To be fair, the "elk" are doing just fine in the area despite the new trail systems. It's the "elk hunters" who are used to hunting the areas where the new trails are proposed that don't like the idea. I get it.

Now, on the other side of the coin, The USFS manages for multiple use. They get nothing from hunters besides headaches, resource damage from illegal off-roaders, forest fires, trash left behind. There are three large wilderness areas around Steamboat, plus a ton of USFS roadless areas, which offer backcountry experiences for hunters. But there is a shortage of the types of trails this plan will offer, based upon the demographics. There is a growing demand for this alternative recreation opportunity, which the city and the USFS recognize because those folks are howling for it. The jillions of people moving to Steamboat and surrounding mountain resort comunities aren't hunters. They are outdoor recreationalists - the REI crowd. Same with the millions of people on the Front Range who recreate in the Steamboat area on weekends.

If you ask the USFS and city policy-makers, they will tell you that hunters are declining overall, while the demand for this type of nonconsumptive recreation is growing exponentially. These are the families who shop in town, who vacation and stay in the $$$ hotels and eat in the restaurants and patronize the rafting companies, etc... Hunters stop at the grocery, the liquor store, and the gas station, then head out.

I feel your pain, Cedar, because my hunting spots have been wrecked over there. But it isn't by the trails - it's from thousands of bowhunters. In the area where I'm hunting now since giving up over there, there are tons of ATV trails, which the elk are accustomed to and don't run from. They just listen to them ride by and go on about their business. But the ATV traffic and big ATV camps bums-out hunters who then head for the "wilderness", which is fine with me. I hear ATVs daily but rarely see another hunter in the woods. Look on the bright side: this new trail network may discourage a lot of hunters, which in turn may make the hunting better and may keep the elk in the area longer.

27-Oct-18
Around here hunters are always pushing for more open roads and access, must be different elk and hunters in Colorado.

From: cnelk
27-Oct-18
Missouri

In Colorado, you cant go further than about 12 miles in most elk units without hitting another road/trail system.

I dont think Montana wants that do they?

And Lou is spot on.

From: AndyJ
27-Oct-18
+1000 Lou.

From: Inshart
27-Oct-18
Lou, with all DUE RESPECT .... we "nonresidents" are not all "born and raised" wannabes who dump trash all over the place. The "hunters" (especially the out-of-stater's) put forth a hell of a lot more financial benefit to the state of CO than all the "trail walkers, kayakers, hotel visitors, etc., etc." combined.

My camp is ALWAYS cleaner when I leave then when I arrive.

Again, no disrespect intended.

From: Jaquomo
27-Oct-18
No, I think resident hunters are often worse than nons in most of the abuse of public land. Many take it for granted and behave like slobs. I have no problem with nonresidents because I am one in every other state. My beef is that virtually everywhere else, nonresidents are limited. In CO OTC, it can be a free-for-all.

As far as the revenue contribution to the state economy from nonresident hunters vs other recreationalists, some recent studies don't agree with your estimates. But for Parks and Wildlife funding, nonresident elk tags are the fat cash cow, no doubt.

From: GF
27-Oct-18
Hey, Bob -

Thanks for keeping things tidy!

JMO... At some point, we’re going to have to welcome the “REI Crowd” as allies in fending off development. Those folks vote, too.

Best to befriend them and demonstrate to them that we’re Good People, and not just a bunch of bloodthirsty Redneck Trumpists who can offer no solid, common ground.

But I’m with Lou; too many people have taken up Bowhunting. At least for my tastes... LOL

I took up a roundball muzzleloader to get away from the centerfire crowds and switched to a recurve when I was able to hunt a good 20 days a season.... and I used to run into one or two other hunters a year. Now there are 3-4 semi-permanent camps in that drainage. Not what it was...

And it’s easy to blame non-residents because they’re only going to hunt one season anyway; but JMO, it’s the opportunistic locals who buy a “bonus” cow tag so they can scout pre-Rifle, maybe take a cow, and who can run into town for a bull tag after the fact in the event that lightning might strike.

No idea how often it happens, but I’m certain that it does.

From: ryanrc
28-Oct-18
That cow is peeing.

From: goelk
28-Oct-18
Fact of life, Colorado is growing and there is a season Turn, turn a time to be born and a time to die under heavan. Remember your past years for those will be memories. Keep moving, keep trying, keep helping, keep dreaming, keep hoping, and keep loving, you got this. People before us though the same thing. They created the wilderness act for future generation to enjoyed. Me, personel being raised in Steamboat i would not allow trail bikes in wilderness never. Foot travel or horse back only.

28-Oct-18
Lou makes some great points. I actually believe they should limit Non residents somehow. Maybe Colorado is a victim of its own Elk herd success. From “herd management” angle.They really can’t limit hunters too much or not enough elk would be killed per year. From our “hunt quality” view point there are too many bow hunters. So maybe a real primitive season would help. Longbows and recurves for half of bow season and more primitive muzzle loaders. Then turn the rifle hunters loose on Cow tags to knock the numbers down. The state could force more pressure on the private land herds by making them kill cows or allow the public access to kill cows in return for more land owner tags. Just some off the top of the head rambling.

From: Treeline
28-Oct-18
Jaquomo hits the nail on the head.

I live, hunt and fish up in Routt County and it is shocking how many people come here year round.

I took a look at the proposals and they kind of make sense. We aren’t going to be able to stop the growth or be able to go back to how it was 20, 30, or 100-500 years ago. As much as we would like to.

We probably should figure out how to work with them to find common ground.

From: Jaquomo
28-Oct-18
Goelk, absolutely, bikes and other mechanized travel should never be allowed in wilderness, and never will be unless the entire Wilderness Act is repealed or amended by Congress.

These USFS trail proposals aren't in wilderness. Pitting hunters against other recreationalists who want to enjoy their nonconsumptive pursuits in ways the general public perceives to be coexistence is a lose-lose for hunters in the long run.

From: GF
28-Oct-18
"....and never will be unless the entire Wilderness Act is repealed or amended by Congress."

These days, I wouldn't put it past them.

From: Jaquomo
28-Oct-18
Ha, good point GF. Lots of things can change. As we know, one state legislature has already outlawed nonresident hunting in wilderness areas. No telling what might happen if future pressure from nonconsumptive recreationalists pushes for a wider ban on hunting in wilderness. Or on the other side, pushes for broader access or energy development..

From: Treeline
28-Oct-18
The Trails plan at the USFS page shows a “roadless” buffer zone around the wilderness boundary and the majority of the trail improvements are for non-motorized access. People are already making a lot of unauthorized trails in those areas so it may help to keep them on the designated trail systems

From: sneakem
28-Oct-18
The end fact is human use is human use regardless of whether they are hunters, hikers, bikers whatever. I could understand and agree with the trail building if it wasn't in the heart of core elk or reproduction areas. The problem is that the area holds limited core areas which is why 80% of the herd migrates 40+ miles. The trails are putting human encroachment into the heart of the elk that typically stay in the valley during crucial times when they are dropping and rearing calves, encroaching into limited wintering areas etc. You have 6 months of recreational bikers hikers in their bedroom so to speak, and that has no effect? The number of trail users crush the number hunters that see the woods each fall...

I have no problem with sharing the woods and building trail, there are thousand of acres of areas that could be built that have minimal influence to local wildlife...You just have to take the time to look at what is beneficial for users and wildlife. You are not going to replace those areas... habitat loss and encroachment are two of the largest reasons for decline in populations throughout the west...

From: Jaquomo
28-Oct-18
The reason for the elk decline in CO is purely by design - to reach population objectives.

What are we missing here? Almost the entire Mad Rabbit project is non-motorized trails. Does this mean that cows won't drop their calves or the calves will die of fright if someone rides by silently on a mountain bike or if some hikers stroll past? Maybe that's why there are no elk in and around Estes Park.. ;)

Looks to me like many of these trails will provide access for hunters willing to ride a mountain bike, and to hike into what are now some deadfall-choked areas. Lack of access is cited as one of the biggest reasons for the decline in hunters across the country. Especially for the aging hunter demographic overall.

From: linehunter
28-Oct-18
ryanrc, Sir you owe me a laptop as i spit the contents of my drink on my computer! Well played sir! LMAO

From: Surfbow
28-Oct-18
Great and thoughtful posts Lou! Ryanrc, I had to go back and look at the pic again...classic

From: sneakem
28-Oct-18
And population objective is set by carrying capacity... carrying capacity decreases with habitat loss... cause and effect...

Estes is a ridiculous argument.... Hows the elk herd in Denver, used to be all kinds of plains elk there....

From: Jaquomo
28-Oct-18
"Carrying capacity" is based on winter range condition and political pressure from ranchers who own much of the winter range (except for the elk that winter right in town in Steamboat, and they don't run in terror every time a bicycle rides past or a jogger skips by).

They aren't building condos or golf courses or shopping centers or parking lots as part of the Mad Rabbit project, only hike-bike-ski trails and a little bit of OHV trail. The true habitat disruption will be nearly nonexistent.

I cited the Estes Park reference as an example of why non-hunting recreationalists have virtually no impact on elk calving, breeding, overall population, vs. the invasion of thousands of hunters in Routt and Jackson counties who directly and relentlessly pursue them from the last Saturday in August until mid-November. They adapted in Estes and they've adapted in Routt and Jackson counties, albeit in different ways because of hunting pressure.

Some folks are using the "habitat loss" argument in this issue as a Red Herring, and its pretty transparent to anyone a step back from the controversy. The only people who appear to be against this project are some hunters who don't want bike trails near their hunting spots.

Understandable and I probably wouldn't want it either. But you guys need a better rationale than "habitat loss" amd potentially "plummeting" elk populations, neither of which are supportable arguments from a biological perspective.

And trust me, mountain bikers and hikers staying on the trails wont screw up the hunting a fraction much as all those hunters do now. The recreational ATV riders where I hunt now sure don't push the elk anywhere. In fact, the elk population in the unit is growing. They're not perceived as a threat, just as hikers and bikers and skiers are no threat. But ATVs make a wonderful hunter repellent.

From: 320 bull
29-Oct-18
I didn't go to the links or read all the information but trails don't seem to be that big of a deal to me. Better than selling it off to a private party and having a friggin fence built. People using the NF is a good thing period. That in the end is what will keep it NF. I ran into a fella back in the NF this year and when we were discussing how neither of us had ever seen so many people he made a great point that somewhat changed my outlook on things. he simply said "at least its being used" Outdoor folks need to be united or we won't have a tree to hide behind. The mentality that we need to protect it for ourselves and our interests alone will not work IMO. And I agree its not the hikers and bikers that have changed Elk hunting for me over the last 25 years. Its the number of hunters.

29-Oct-18
We saw 2 people 12 miles into a wilderness area and one about 5 miles in. They were running the trails. 2 had come from the west and were running up a hill at 11k elevation and going over a ridge at over 12k with only a Camelbak, and had many more miles to go before getting back to town. Who can complain about people enjoying the NF like that. We thought we were working hard. Then on the way out a runner ran up behind the horses and was very polite and did not want to run by spooking the animals. He ran in the dust talking to me for a while then went around us. Very polite, enjoying himself, not bothering hunters or animals what so ever. hopefully they feel the same after our exchange and will remember the polite hunters when they out number us.

From: 12yards
29-Oct-18
Agree with Jaquomo. I'm one of those hunters who hunt that area occasionally. Way too many hunters IMO. I'd rather see limited tags offered I think and go every 3 - 4 years and have a more quality experience.

29-Oct-18
How about traditional equipment OTC and compounds, In-line Muzzle Loaders draw

From: TrapperKayak
29-Oct-18
"As we know, one state legislature has already outlawed nonresident hunting in wilderness areas." To me, a Federal tax paying DoD worker in the field of Fish and wildlife MGT., I have spent a small fortune in taxes and a lifetime in public service, to now face this kind of legislation banning me from accessing land I pay taxes on to do what I most enjoy doing and have worked and tried to improve for other hunters/fishers, ie. Hunting in a Wilderness area outside of my own state. Shame...that is just wrong IMO. Go ahead, hog it to yourselves Colorado, I'll spend my money elsewhere.

From: DConcrete
29-Oct-18
GF has a delusion that the anti crowd will accept us if we show them we’re good people. News flash, they don’t care buddy.

Your first post is so off base and out of touch with reality.

I’d suggest you do a lot more digging into what these people represent and the legislation that they fight for before you remove your panties.

From: 320 bull
29-Oct-18
Many good points here. I skimmed over the EA document and it looks like allot of trail in 1 area to me at first glance? I am sure there is much more to it though. Thanks for bringing it to out attention beauregarud we as hunters need to stay informed about what is being proposed for our NF lands. On a lighter side my hunting partner kept asking me when the Dallas cowboy cheerleaders were going to go jogging by on the trail like I had promised this year. Maybe that could be a real possibility at some point? Would that be worse than running into some stinky elk hunter that is chasing the same elk as you? Be honest

From: COHOYTHUNTER
29-Oct-18
Since I moved back to Colorado in 2010 and have seen the steady increase of bow hunters year over year, I've been saying they need to do something with OTC units to limit the number of hunters.. both from a safety and hunt quality perspective. But the fact is, the CPW really really likes the amount of revenue they get from the unlimited number of OTC tags they can sell..

From: elkster
29-Oct-18
In the West Elks, we have seen such an increase in bowhunter numbers in the past FIVE yrs. due to technology ( websites proclaiming it to be a good unit, handheld devices). These hunters would never have been here if they had to use a map and compass.

We finally found elk the last week in a jungle that we have never needed to enter in the past 25 yrs, although it held elk.

I like the idea of traditional 2 week season. Admittedly, self serving but I can't see it ever having enough support to happen.

At least the people using the proposed trails would stay on them, unlike bowhunters.

From: thrasher
29-Oct-18
Wait till one of these trails goes thru your favorite spots. Then turns into an ATV trail 10 years down the road. Please help keep a few wild places in Colorado.

29-Oct-18
Let longbows and recurves hunt all season OTC. And make all other archery a draw for a compounds. Same amount of tags sold.

From: sneakem
29-Oct-18
"At least the people using the proposed trails would stay on them, unlike bowhunters."

Laughable and unrealistic...and currently they don't...

Personally I tend to listen to the advise of several successive biologists, that have expressed the same concern. Some might believe that ATV's, bicycles have no effect on wildlife. I however disagree, It's my opinion, you can believe what you want. Sit next to your peaceful trail and hunt, I for one will be far away because that's where the elk are....

I know a couple of the guys that are behind this... all are stand up guys, hunters, runners, cyclists, athletes.... they wanted to have a diverse group that way the discussions aren't one sided just about local hunters and their honey holes. That way they aren't just bowhunters complaining online about whats wrong with too many tags, too much season, etc. etc. None of them are against the trail building just making the process take a slower look at the real impact rather than building 50-60 miles of trail every year.

Most won't give a crap because they don't live here, but as a multi use trail user, even I think it has gotten to the point of absurdity. Having hundreds of miles of multi- use trail systems on every major drainage within 4 miles of Steamboat isn't enough? They can't even finish the concrete core trail through the entirety of the town which a ton of 2A money was originally supposed to be allotted to do.

From: Jaquomo
29-Oct-18
Thrasher, there are three large designated wilderness areas surrounding Steamboat and the Yampa Valley. Mt Zirkel, Sarvis Creek, and Flattops. A little further east there are four more wilderness areas - Rawah, Comanche, Cache la Poudre and Neota. There is no shortage of "wild places" in north-central CO, as long as one is willing to deal with hundreds of Sitka Warriors invading them during archery season.

I generally stay out of wilderness to hunt because I don't like people.

Just out of curiosity, what does the EIS for Mad Rabbit say about potential impacts on elk?

From: cnelk
29-Oct-18
For those challenged....

EIS = Environmental Impact Study

From: elkster
30-Oct-18
A trail runner is going to run on the trail, not go bushwhacking to the next trail.

30-Oct-18
Jaq, it’s true. The “extreme” backpack hunting fad has more and more people in the back country. It’s still less than near ATV, Jeep and truck trails but in Colorado there is no such thing as far enough in to be alone. A few years back we fought our way into a remote area that no one else would be stupid enough to try and pack an elk out of. Guess what there were 3 other camps within 2 miles of ours. We did stumble into a few elk though.

From: Whocares
30-Oct-18
True. I backpacked into a favorite wilderness for a dozen years and could go two weeks or more and not see another hunter. Then the last couple years in there - people regularly. All enjoying it. Part of the deal.

From: thrasher
30-Oct-18
The Ute just burned the whole valley to try to keep the white man out. How did that go? I am looking big picture not 10-20 or 50 years. And do you really think those guys behind computers know more about the Routt national forest than a group that has been there for combined something like 800 years. Proud of my friends for working on this! I ope a few more will support the effort and speak up..

From: Jaquomo
30-Oct-18

Jaquomo's Link
Wow. Good thing the internet doesn't have a fact-checking function.. The Utes burned all the valleys every fall because they learned it improved the grass that Wood bison preferred. They burned North Park too. Documented fact. They were doing this looong before white men came along. The entire Routt National Forest needs to burn to bring it back to an earlier successional stage and restore the natural progression.

But WTF does that have to do with some low-impact biking and hiking trails around the Steamboat Human Zoo?

From: Jaquomo
30-Oct-18
Do we think a team of college ejumacated resource analysts with proven data models know more than a bunch of random guys from the Yampa Valley sitting in a bar plotting against the evil bike riders and hikers? Absolutely. Back when I was crawling around measuring habitat on winter range and counting deer poops to estimate supportable densities, we called guys like that "Barstool Biologists".

From: thrasher
30-Oct-18
AAAAHHHH ! You mean the EXTINCT wild Bison herd? Mic drop.!

But I agree with needing to burn.

From: TrapperKayak
30-Oct-18
Seems a requisite of Colorado now - a need to burn, in the NFs.

From: sneakem
30-Oct-18
Do we think a team of college ejumacated resource analysts with proven data models know more than a bunch of random guys from the Yampa Valley sitting in a bar plotting against the evil bike riders and hikers? Absolutely. Back when I was crawling around measuring habitat on winter range and counting deer poops to estimate supportable densities, we called guys like that "Barstool Biologists".

LOL....Classy response... stooping to the name calling level... I'll bow out on this one....its getting a little childish for my taste...welcome to the internet!

From: Cazador
30-Oct-18
Hey look at that mountain! "Which?" "That one right there, too bad its so hard to reach." "No issue Bob, we'll just lobby to get a trail made directly to it so we can take our selfies."

Sadly, those guys that busted ass for years taking elk the hard way are facing this dilemma. Those trails will allow more access which in turn will alter game movements without question. Sad deal.

From: ElkNut1
30-Oct-18
Could be all this added Publicity for this area may help some to decide to hunt it next year since it's so full of wildlife. (Elk) Trail or no Trail it most likely will see more hunting pressure in future years!

ElkNut/Paul

From: elkster
30-Oct-18
If we can't use generalizations to discuss situations here, Smeakum, were gonna have difficulty taking any point of view. Do I need to clarify that a small % of any group will not do exactly as the remainder? It should be self - evident.

If I added one word to my original post "tend" to stay on trails would you have still objected? Probably so.

From: sneakem
30-Oct-18
"If I added one word to my original post "tend" to stay on trails would you have still objected? Probably so."

You're likely correct. While I agree that likely rephrased to be a completely correct statement, I also realize that it only take a few bad apples to screw it up for everyone. That's kind of the point of it all. Beyond the "mad rabbit" trail there is also discussion of developing some illegally started trails, which set a precedence I don't think anyone wants to follow. Its okay, you made an illegal trail, we'll just develop it any way. Many trails have been already built through core habitat areas, but its okay because they got a donation to replace habitat somewhere else. For the record I have no problem with most of the trails. 90% of the Mad Rabbit is fine. Trails through certain core habitat areas are unacceptable in my opinion.

I get the need to recruit other users to help promote the preservation of public lands. I'm all for it, but there needs to be a compromise and serious thought put into it, especially when it comes to the future of North American wildlife, they are a huge source of funding for conservation and betterment for all end users. Fact is hunters and fisherman fund a huge portion of conservation efforts now with licensing fees for pursuing said wildlife.... Trail building funds also are set aside from those dollars.... It will inevitably hurt both sides (hunter and other recreational user) from the loss of wildlife...

I don't know about other locals but I have access to some great ground below said trail systems on private. Since the trail development my hunting has become epic as the animals avoid the trail system like the plague..... While the property provides secondary habitat in the interim, I think it's important to preserve that natural habitat because eventually that private sanctuary I hunt will likely get purchased, condos built, sidewalks paved, parking lots, barking dogs...and they'll have to move again, even farther....that's the nature of the beast. A consistent fractional sacrifice of habitat will eventually lead to a significant portion being lost over the course of time....

I assume that's kind of what Thrasher is getting at... its not the immediate future, its a ways down the road, generations maybe... I think Teddy Roosevelt also looked at it that way...

From: Bowsiteguy
30-Oct-18
Access is the most important political issue for us, right now. We need to join with as many as we can who have the same access needs. Non-hunter recreation users are a force. According to an article in the Denver Post last week, they spend 12 times as much money and employ 12 times as many people as hunters and fishermen. I want them on our side. Give and take and join together. Heck, give them the trails, within reason, and work with them to make the trails as harmless as they can be to the elk. Give them the trails and tell them it's because we want them to join with us in this important fight. Give and take and win.

30-Oct-18
I just wish Jaquomo could go back to his old "OTC" spot so we could all hear how easy Colorado OTC elk hunting was....................

He didn't complain much back then.

From: Jaquomo
30-Oct-18
Not complaining now. I'm just pointing out reality in that chunk of OTC units.

From: CO_Bowhunter
30-Oct-18
I agree that it's worth avoiding OTC units during the bowhunting season AND as Lou points out, wilderness areas as well. I'll add one caveat. The highest valleys and ridges in wilderness areas are the ones to avoid. They attract bowhunters like flies to honey, even though the hunting isn't as good as many other places in these wilderness areas. I prefer to hike at least 4 miles from the highway, no roads, no trails and leave 99.9% of hunters in the dust. I hunted for 10 days this year and didn't see, smell or hear another hunter. And I saw plenty of elk, in fact more elk than I've seen since 1992. Location, location, location.

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