We’d like our chapter members to apply to participate in this conservation project. Please pass the information along or apply as you see fit.
CPW seeks sharpshooting volunteers for elk management project in the San Luis Valley
MONTE VISTA, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is in search of qualified volunteers to assist with the second year of an elk dispersal project in Great Sand Dunes National Park and National Wildlife Refuges in the San Luis Valley.
CPW is working with the National Park Service (NPS) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to implement ungulate management plans within this area. Along with these efforts is an opportunity for the public to participate as qualified volunteers to assist the partner agencies with elk distribution throughout the complex. Dispersal actions include culling.
The elk dispersal project is ongoing through Feb. 2023. This project uses volunteers and CPW staff to effect elk management. This is not a hunting or recreational opportunity – it is an intensive elk management effort.
The volunteer commitment is as much as two days of effort. Volunteers who take an antlerless elk are allowed to possess the carcass.
Interested volunteers must complete an application that outlines strict requirements. Youths under the age of 18 are ineligible for this opportunity.
Those who advance through the application process then must complete a shooting qualification hitting small targets the size of an elk’s vitals at 200 and 300 yards. Those attending the qualifying shoot must hit each target three times in a row without a miss within a three minute time period.
“This qualification has proven to be difficult for even the most seasoned elk hunters,” said CPW Area Wildlife Manager Rick Basagoitia. “This standard is likely the minimum allowable standard given the difficulty of the work we need volunteers to do.”
Applicants also must pass a background check, sign volunteer agreements and will operate under a dispersal coordinator.
Once interested volunteers complete the application, they will be contacted regarding scheduling the shooting qualification.
For tips on how to complete the shooting qualification, watch this video.
For more information, contact CPW’s Monte Vista office at 719-587-6900.
CPW is an enterprise agency, relying primarily on license sales, state parks fees and registration fees to support its operations, including: 42 state parks and more than 350 wildlife areas covering approximately 900,000 acres, management of fishing and hunting, wildlife watching, camping, motorized and non-motorized trails, boating and outdoor education. CPW’s work contributes approximately $6 billion in total economic impact annually throughout Colorado.
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