2020 Hunting Season

Cayen Foye, Reporter

This year has been…. well, eventful. Battling COVID on top of everything else has definitely been challenging for us all. In this train wreck of a year we also had the Pine Gulch Fire, which rose to be the largest fire in Colorado’s history.  Not only did it affect local farmers and ranchers due to loss of land and livestock, but hunters too. With the fall hunting season here, Colorado’s popular hunting grounds Roosevelt and Arapaho National Forests are partially closed along with Unit 31, which is the area around Garfield County.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife, (CPW), has released an official statement saying that, “For hunters whose hunting opportunity will be impacted by the Pine Gulch, Grizzly Creek Fires, Williams Fork, and Cameron Peak fires, revised refund policies are now in place. If you hold a deer, elk, bear, turkey or sheep license for an upcoming 2020 hunting season in units impacted by the fires, you may be eligible for a refund and restoration of preference points (+1) if you choose to return your license.” With these areas closed, hunting has been more concentrated in other areas. 

Local animal populations became displaced due to the fires, and there is some significant strain on public areas due to the fact that with COVID people now look to the outdoors for some freedom. So not only are hunters now competing with each other, but they have to watch out for bikers, hikers and campers as people squeeze a bit more fun out while the weather holds up. Local hunters like Junior Megan Woolley say, “It was a pretty successful year, I ended up getting a buck in Unit 41 and all in all wasn’t affected too much by COVID or the fires”. 

With the low fuel moisture conditions in the extremely dry year this is turning out to be, fires have spread quickly and are mostly human caused. Things like cigarette butts or hot mufflers can easily start a fire. Colorado is known for hunting, but most of it is prone to igniting in disaster. So keep hunting, but with an abundance of caution. It is 2020, but we shouldn’t let that stop us.