Game license numbers set for 2012

Daily News staff report

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission recently approved big game hunting license numbers for the upcoming fall hunting seasons. Herd population estimates drove recommendations to reduce license numbers for mule deer, elk and pronghorn while increasing licenses to manage growing populations of moose and black bears. According to a 2008 study, big game hunting in Colorado provides more than $430 million per year in economic impact to the state and supports 4,660 jobs in the state.

Limited elk licenses – 139,461

Over-the-counter bull elk licenses – Unlimited for archery, second and third rifle seasons.

Limited deer licenses – 79,800

Pronghorn licenses – 23,862

Statewide, mule deer licenses declined 5.8 percent from 2011. The 2.2 percent decline in the number of limited elk tags offered this year is mostly related to elk populations reaching management objectives after several years of intentional efforts by Colorado Parks and Wildlife to reduce elk damage on private lands.

Black bear hunting license numbers will be increased in the state after biologists determined that the statewide population is larger than previously believed. New estimates show that approximately 16,000 to 18,000 black bears live in the state.

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